Customising your web site

useful WordPress plugins and widgets

A presentation for WordPress Findhorn, June 2013, by Mark Rowatt Anderson

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  • What's a plugin?
  • What's a widget?
  • Where to get plugins
  • What to watch out for
  • Useful plugins
  • Q&A

But first...

  • Next meeting Thursday 19th September
  • Survey results...

Anything else?

What's a plugin?

  • Extends WordPress core functionality
  • Does not change WordPress core code
  • The sky's the limit!

But you can't install them on a site

What's a widget?

  • Something which lives in a sidebar...
  • Often part of a plugin
  • Some are part of WordPress core
  • Sometime part of themes (be careful)

Most widgets are part of a plugin

Most plugins don't include widgets

If you are looking for a new widget, you'll need to find a plugin

Widget Admin

Widgets in Sidebars

Where to get plugins

Is a plugin good (& safe)?

  • Is it from a reputable source/author?
  • Is it popular?
  • Was it updated recently?
  • Will your site depend on it?

If in doubt... backup before installing.
If not in doubt... backup before installing!

Plugin myths

  • Plugins are complicated
  • Plugins will slow my site
  • Too many plugins are a bad thing
  • One plugin can't do too much harm

Some useful plugins

  • Must have plugins
  • Site security & performance
  • Forms, images & other content
  • SEO & analytics
  • Ecommerce
  • Social & events
  • Other

... it's not an extensive list, just a start!

Must have plugins

Site Security

  • Backup
  • Updates
  • Anti-malware

... or use a host who does all this for you




Site Performance

... or use a host who does all this for you

Forms, images & content

  • Forms
  • Image galleries & sliders
  • Other content


Image galleries & sliders

Other content plugins

SEO & Analytics



  • Copy & paste PayPal buttons
  • Copy & paste Amazon links
  • Hosted ecommerce services


  • Connect to social sites
  • Host your own
  • Stopping spammers

Connect to social sites

Host your own

Stopping spammers

And a few others...

Wrap Up

  • What does your site need?
  • Backup your site
  • Experiment & have fun
  • or... try writing your own!

Next meetings

Next meeting 19 September

(third thursday of month)

These slides available from

Thanks for listening

Mark Rowatt Anderson

(0797) 123 1239