What Is a Plugin, Anyway? And More!

Photo Credit: http://morguefile.com/creative/kahle

If you’re new to WordPress or just aren’t to adventurous in your blogging you may be wondering just what a plugin is and why I’m so crazy about them.

I like to explain plugins like this:

If you’ve got a new vacuum, and want to vacuum your living room carpet, you can pull that new vacuum out of the box, plug it in and it’ll work great.  Right?  No attachments necessary.

But if you want to use your vacuum to clean your drapes, you aren’t going to pick up the entire vacuum cleaner and hold it over your head while you try to clean those drapes.  Well, not if you prefer to avoid landing in the hospital in traction due to a back injury caused by attempting to bench-press your vacuum cleaner so you could clean your drapes.  Bad idea.  Instead you’d find the appropriate attachment in the vacuum box, and plug it into the vacuum.  Viola!  Perfect!  Now you can *safely* and easily clean those beautiful drapes.

WordPress plugins are like that.  Out of the box, WordPress works great for the basics.  And while you COULD hack it to do what you want, that’s risky and keeps you from being able to update it easily later.  So instead, when you’re ready to do something more, just find the appropriate plugin and you’ll be all set!

And that is why I love plugins.  With plugins you can transform your WordPress blog to add dozens (okay, probably hundreds or maybe thousands) of new features.  Awesome.

So, now that you know what they are and why they rock, here are some more great plugin suggestions from some of my regular blog readers, who also rock.  ;)  I’m not using all of these, but there are some definitely worth checking out.  Many minds are always better than one!

Simple Pull Quote – for making your quotes look nice and pretty
From Tracey Hayner Vanover, the PromoDiva(r), from ESBJournal.com

Affiliate Camo – helps you track and manage your affiliate links
From Mountain Jim Fisher, OutsourceJim, from OutsourcingControl.com

cbnet Ping Optimizer – a better way to ping the blog searches
Leenk.me – another way to update your social networks when you post
OnlyWire for WordPress – syndicate your post content faster
From Janis Bennet of FreelanceWriterRoad.com

Anti-Spam Plugins – Anti-Captcha, WP HashCash, Growmap Anti Spambot
From Slava of WhitePost Blog

Psychic Search – see what your readers want more info about
My Live Signature – adds your signature to posts
From Melanie Kissell of SoloMompreneur.com

Now, figure out what else you want your blog to do and I bet you can find a plugin for it… http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Terri Zwierzynski, Michelle Shaeffer and Michelle Shaeffer, Jennifer Shanika. Jennifer Shanika said: RT @SmallBizMuse: What Is a Plugin, Anyway? And More! http://bit.ly/aIjoOn #blogboost […]

  2. What a great explanation of plug-ins! I get it!

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