WordPress can be a bit intimidating when you first get started. This is a question I get from many people when they are just starting out with WordPress. What’s theme? How do I pick one? What are plugins? Do I need them? Which ones do I need?
Today we’re going to start out with the basics. What’s the difference between plugins and themes?
Themes are your overall design. They tell your website what fonts and colors to use and in many cases where to put different elements on your pages. Some themes are widget based so you can just add elements to different areas. And other’s might include a drop a drag editor similar to what you will see with Wix or Weebly. I recommend using Divi if you want a good solid theme but keep in mind there are certain restrictions with Divi. The Astra theme with the Elementor is also another option.
Ok enough about themes, let’s talk about plugins. Plugins make your site function. When you install your theme, it will most likely tell you to install certain plugins to make things work as you saw in the demo. Plugins let you add a shop to your site, add social media buttons, create a podcast, and so much more. No matter what you want to do with your website, there is a plugin that can help. What you want to be careful with is first having too many plugins and second understanding certain plugins don’t work well together. I never recommend having more than 30 plugins and quite honestly that is my absolutely max number of plugins. Ideally, you want less than 20. If you are having a problem with your website, there’s a good chance it might be caused by plugins that are not working well together.
A word about updates
Every time you log in to your website, you should run your updates. You will know if there are updates from a circle with a number in it on the top admin bar when you are in the dashboard. When there are too many of these, they can cause problems for your website. It is also a major security risk as it’s an easy way for hackers to get into your website. In short, always run your updates.
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