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Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Chapter 7 of WordPress For Dummies, 8th Edition by eWebscapes founder and WordPress pioneer, Lisa Sabin-Wilson. This is the seventh in a series of excerpts called “Advice from a Pro” from this book. In this chapter, the reader will gain knowledge on using the plugins that WordPress comes with, as well as how to find new ones to download and install. 

Half the fun of running a WordPress-powered website is playing with the hundreds of plugins that you can install to extend your site’s functions and options. WordPress plugins are like those really cool custom rims you put on your car: Although they don’t come with the car, they’re awesome accessories that make your car better than all the rest.

By itself, WordPress is a very powerful program for web publishing, but by customizing WordPress with plugins — add-on programs that give WordPress almost limitless ways to handle web content — you can make it even more powerful. You can choose any plugins you need to expand your online possibilities. Plugins can turn your WordPress installation into a full-featured gallery for posting images on the web, an online store to sell your products, a user forum, or a social networking site. WordPress plugins can be simple, adding, say, a few minor features, or they can be complex enough to change your entire WordPress site’s functionality.

Key takeaways:

  • To customize your WordPress website to meet your specific small business needs, take advantage of plugins.
  • Plugins are like accessories that add cool features to your website.
  • With plugins, the possibilities are limitless. You can do just about anything with your WordPress website with the right plugins.

Purchase WordPress for Dummies, 8th Edition at a bookstore near you or online at Amazon.

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