WordPress, Plug-Ins & Customisation

So, we’ve been asked about various parts our website and thought we’d share a few thoughts and experiences with you in terms of using WordPress plug-ins to add functionality.

We built our site on the WordPress platform, partially because there is a wealth of plug-ins that can be used to add amazing functionality.  Experienced developers, like Cascade, use plug-ins for WordPress as they allow functionality to be added by customising existing code which is not only quicker but keeps the costs down for the client.

The Pitfalls of Multiple Plug-Ins

If you use multiple plug-ins, you have to be aware that they can conflict with each other and cause problems to parts of the site which you wouldn’t think are even related to each other, so you will need to run a cross-browser test each time you add one. If you have conflicts, the first thing you should do is deactivate and reactivate the plug-ins one by one to see where the conflict lies.  At this point, you could try an alternative WordPress plug-in with similar functionality as this might not cause the same conflict.  Secondly, if the plug-ins are ones you have paid for, you could ask the developer to have a look and advise – paid for WordPress plug-ins are generally much better supported.  Finally, if there are no other options, you’ll need the help of a specialist WordPress developer who can resolve the conflicts for you.

When customising themes with plug-in, best practice is to make you stylesheet changes in the ‘Custom CSS’ section of your WordPress theme as this will then allow you to update the theme and the plug-in without your customisation getting lost.  Of course, when making ANY changes, you should take a back-up of your site including the databases so that you can roll-back if necessary.

Having a duplicate of your site on your server is also a great idea so you can play around with your site ‘offline’ without interrupting your current site visitors!  Changes and updates can then be transferred over seamlessly in seconds.

Need More Help?

Of course, if just reading this blows your mind and you need any help with your website, whether its a new one, an existing one on WordPress or one built on any other platform (Joomla, simple HTML, CMS made simple, Drupal etc), our specialist Studio team are here to help!  Email us at: studio@cascadelondon.co.uk or take a look at our page on Web Design for more information on our solutions.