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WordPress PluginPlugins

If you are new to the world of web design and WordPress then one of the best analogies I've heard to described what they do is this...

If your website is like your house then a plugin is like an appliance in your house (washer, dryer, fridge, stove, etc) that you plug in to increase the functionality of your home. Wouldn't you agree that having a washer and dryer in your home makes your life more functionally convenient than having to go to a laundromat? And a fridge and stove more efficient and cost effective then having to eat out for every meal every day? (Unless, of course, you are like me and the smoke alarm let's you know when your meal is ready Blush)!

So, overall plugins are web designers "GOLD!" Only problem is there are currently over 20,000 plugins to choose from covering just about every functionality you could ever dream of adding to your site; everything from analytics tools, forms, audio / video / graphics as well as social media and SEO tools. This can make choosing one that is right for you a daunting task. Just like shopping for a new appliance for your home it takes some research; checking out the screenshots, reading other user's reviews and of course taking them for a "test drive." If you have the added benefit of having a first hand recommendation from someone else who is using the appliance you want to buy then you can feel much more confident in your decision.OTWthemes.com

That's why I would like to recommend a plugin I have stumbled upon called "Widgetize Pages Lite" from OTW Themes. This is the free version of  their sidebar and widget manager that allows designers to create as many specialized widget areas as you want on your pages (not just in sidebars) and posts using shortcodes.  

Not only am I thrilled with the added functionality this plugin can add to my pages but I am also thrilled with the excellent customer service I received from the designers. You see, my WordPress site is built on a framework and when I first stumbled upon this plugin and activated it - ARGGHH; it somehow messed with the style sheets which totally messed up the format of my site.Talk about frustration! Here I thought I found "the plugin" I had been searching high and low for only to have it yanked out of my reach by some back end coding problem.

I immediately contacted OTW customer support asking if they could enlighten me on what was going on and if there was anything they could do to help. Now, mind you, I was only inquiring regarding the "Widgetize Pages Lite" (free) version and not the premium version. But, much to my delight the widget designers were able to discover the coding conflict and resolved the issue for me in less than a week and then released a WordPress update. Now granted, because my site was still in pre-publish stage, I had to send them my user name and password to access the site and diagnose the coding conflict but I resolved that by changing to a temporary password. You may not be comfortable with that solution and I certainly made a back up of my site before releasing that information but these guys were quick and professional.

My Home page displays an example of how I used the "Lite" version to create the widgets at the bottom of the page. I will be purchasing the full version ($15) in the near future.

Happy designing!!!

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