Creating a website is not only about design and content, it’s also about functionality. In one of my first articles “Getting started. Challenge No. 1: the website”, I gave you some tips and insights on how I set up my WordPress site choosing a domain, a provider and a hosting service. I also talked about fonts, colors, and images and gave you some links that will help you in creating your own website. Today, I will share with you some valuable WordPress tips to fine-tune your website.
Do you know what widgets and plugins are? In the beginning, I didn’t. I had no idea what they are and what they do. I even had problems connecting my server with my hosting. Fortunately, I am a member of a network of German-speaking young professionals here in Barcelona (it’s called NeDeNa). We have a WhatsApp group and I posted a message that I needed urgently some help. Some minutes later, I had a positive reply and a WordPress date the next day. My savior was someone who runs also several WordPress pages and is a former logo designer. (He, in fact, told me that people make a mistake when they try to have a great logo right from the beginning on. He recommended to wait until the project got live and to see where it is actually evolving.)
Plug-ins & Widgets?
Next to connecting my hosting to the server, he also gave me some valuable tips on plug-ins and widgets. A short explanation for those who are not familiar with these terms:
> Plugins are software components that add specific features to your WordPress site. Like in a web browser, you can add search-engines and virus scanners which you can customise according to your needs. They are normally for free, some have in-app buy options.
> Widgets, on the other, hand are software applications that have a limited functionality. They are as well for free and can be easily installed within your web page. Widgets connect to another website to source the information for your website. For example, clocks, the daily weather information or the social media feeds displayed on your website are widgets. There are hundreds of them and you need to think about which information you want to display and search for a suitable widget.
When you search for plugins and widgets, have a quick view on the reviews and the last time they were updated (choose one that has been updated recently). You can also see some screenshots to have an idea how they translate in the back- and front-office of your website.
A lot of my plugins came already with widgets such as the Instagram or Twitter feed. My WordPress theme had already pre-installed widgets like ‘Recent Posts’ or the ‘Categories’ widgets. You can also add different menus, text boxes, maps, and a widget to ask people kindly to sign up for your newsletter.
I hope this article helped you. I will for sure use it myself in the future. I am planning to also build a website for myself. I want to become an entrepreneur/freelancer myself (I will offer communications and consulting services).
If I can help you with anything let me know.