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SMASHING: WordPress Themes: MAKING WORDPRESS BEAUTIFUL by Thord Daniel Hedengren

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CHAPTER 11

EXTENDING WITH PLUGINS

PLUGINS ARE GREAT for extending the functionality of your site beyond what you can get out of a WordPress theme itself. The real beauty of it is that someone most likely has already solved your potential problem and saved you much time and aggravation.

In this chapter, I look at which plugins are good to rely on in theme development and WordPress site building.

WHEN SHOULD YOU USE PLUGINS?

Sometimes you want to do things that just aren't supported in WordPress by default, and that's when plugins come in handy. As you probably know already, there are a huge number of plugins available from the official plugin directory at http://wordpress.org (see Figure 11-1). All plugins that you find there are free to download and use, and there's also some sort of quality control; at least you can rest assured that these plugins aren't poorly disguised malware for your site.

Figure 11-1: The plugins page on wordpress.org

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THE PROBLEM WITH PLUGINS

Don't be afraid to use plugins. The fact that you can add features to a WordPress site as easily as activating a plugin is a great thing. As long as the plugin is decently written it shouldn't affect your site much.

Plugins are great, but you should definitely use them with caution. First, they offer even more overhead for your WordPress site. Adding functionality is fine, but consider how it is added. A poorly written ...

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