WordPress plugins

When Should Publishers Use WordPress Plugins?

Millions of online publishers run their websites on the WordPress platform. The vast majority of those websites include one or more plugins. If you’re the publisher of an online magazine or a niche blog, and you’ve been contemplating upgrading your website to add new features or enhanced customization, now is the time to start researching WordPress plugins.

WordPress plugins are incredibly useful tools for digital publishers who want to customize or upgrade their websites. Although WordPress’ default configurations are usually fine for the short term, when you’re still getting your website off the ground, plugins will give you extended functionality to make your website look professional.

Web developers often use plugins to give their clients’ websites a professional design, without having to build them from scratch. Using plugins in this way dramatically decreases the cost of development.

What Are WordPress Plugins?

If you’re still new to WordPress, you may be wondering what plugins are and why they are important. Plugins are PHP scripts that extend the functionality of websites built on the WordPress platform. Although WordPress’ content management system software offers all the key functions that are necessary for publishing and managing users, upgraded features are often useful for publishers of online magazines and niche blogs.

Plugins are what we use to make the WordPress content management system more functional. Plugins can also help us develop a more custom look for a publisher, without having to re-design every feature on the website from scratch.

Most WordPress plugins are developed by volunteers who work on the WordPress platform. Many of them are made available to publishers for free. You can access WordPress plugins through the WordPress Plugin Directory, however, you may still need a WordPress developer to integrate the software into your website.

If you are interested in adding spam control, e-commerce, or enhanced security features to your website, then WordPress plugins give us a way to integrate those features quickly and efficiently. The software itself is already available, and usually free. All we need to do is add the plugin to your website. That’s the beauty of WordPress, and one of the many reasons why WordPress has become the most widely-used content management system among professional digital publishers.

Which Plugins Should Magazine Publishers Use?

As the publisher of a niche blog or online magazine, you probably have needs that smaller publishers do not. For example, you might have an editorial calendar, and you most definitely have multiple writers and editors adding content to your site on a regular basis. If your needs are not being met with a basic WordPress website, then it’s time for an upgrade.

Publishers have tens of thousands of plugins to choose from in the WordPress Plugin Directory. Many plugins have been developed specifically with independent news publishers and online magazines in mind. In our experience, the plugins most frequently requested by online magazine publishers fall into these main categories:

  • Calendars
  • Online Advertising
  • Multi-Author Support
  • E-Commerce
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Data & Analytics
  • Image Optimization

(Click here to read Web Publisher PRO’s list of the top WordPress plugins for publishers.)

If you have the need for any of these features, then now is the time to start talking to your developer about adding plugins to your website. Additionally, it’s worth checking out the latest plugins if you are thinking of adding a paywall or implementing a subscription program.

Your developer should have insights into which specific plugins will work best on your website. Some plugins play better together than others. You don’t want to overload your website with too many plugins or plugins that aren’t compatible. You also don’t want to have plugins with overlapping functionality. Websites that have too many plugins can be slow to load, which detracts from the overall user experience. That’s one of the reasons why working with a developer who has publisher-specific experience is important.

To learn more about WordPress plugins, and find out if your website could benefit from the enhanced functionality that plugins provide, get in contact with our team of WordPress development experts here at Web Publisher PRO.