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Why Some Plugins Work and Others Don’t

Why Some Plugins Work and Others Don’t

Which plugins should you use? There are so many how do you know the plugin will work? You don’t until you use the plugin. Some plugins will crash your website. This is because they are in conflict with the theme. How do you avoid this problem?

About Plugins

This article will give you information about plugins based on my experience of using plugins with WordPress since I started using WordPress in 2006. The links to purchase the plugins are my Affiliate links. I constantly use these plugins on my websites. They do specific functions I couldn’t do without them. They’re so good they’re worth recommending.

WordPress gives you the advantage to add specific functions into WordPress known as a Plugin. A Plugin is a package of code and is developed by a team of developers. For a Plugin to work sucessfully, it has to be compatible with WordPress and the WordPress Theme. All you would need to do is add the Plugin to your website and activate the settings, and the plugin does the work intended.

There are over forty-four thousand Plugins in the WordPress Plugin Repository. That’s a whole lot of plugins! All plugins are required to go through testing before being allowed to be offered in the WordPress Repository. The Plugin Repository is accessed from your website Dashboard in the Plugins area. The Plugin Repository is linked to your WordPress website. When adding a plugin, go to the Plugins section, select Add New, or Upload a Plugin.

How are Plugins Made?

Plugins are created by developers, the people that know how to code. Plugin Developers are problem solvers. Many of the things you want to do in a website aren’t simple to implement. The Plugin Developer creates the plugin code package to add specific functions to the website.

Before you add a plugin to your website you do need to research the plugin beyond the sales copy, which by the way is just advertising. The Plugin will appear to be the perfect solution for what you want. Is it? Always do some research. Read the reviews about the plugin. Who is the Developer? When was the plugin last updated? Is it compatible with the latest version of WordPress (which is updated frequently). Is there tech support available if something goes wrong with the Plugin? Sometimes the Plugin is offered free, but tech support requires an upgrade.

Because there are so many which one should you use? This depends on the WordPress Theme you’re using. Not all Plugins in the WordPress Repository are compatible with all themes.

The question to ask; does this plugin work with the Theme you’re using?

Today, technology updates faster and there are more people using the software. You want a smooth integration with Plugins and this isn’t always possible. There will be problems along the way. The key to less Plugin issues is to use Plugins specifically made for the Theme you’re using.

Plugins I Use

The plugins I use are compatible and specifically developed for the Divi Theme. It’s no secret I use the Divi Theme and love using it. I also don’t know how to code with HTML but I can copy and paste a CSS style into the appropriate field (following a video tutorial, which anyone can do). The Divi Theme is produced by Elegant Themes in 2013, since it came out I haven’t needed to use any other theme. 

I will only add a plugin to a website if it’s necessary and it has a specific feature. For example; the ability to add more information to the main navigation menu with images and text. This is something I could not do without a plugin.

At some point there will be a problem even with the most perfect plugin specifically built for the Divi Theme. When that happens the test is; the developers tech team fixes the problem, with no extra charge asap.

This may or may not happen depending on the Developer. Some Plugins are developed but not kept up and the Developer goes out of business and the Plugin is no longer available. Other times the Plugin becomes obsolete and is discontinued. Usually another Plugin better than the first Plugin will come in it’s place.

Why You Should Be Prepared to Buy a Plugin

It’s great when it’s free, but as you’ve most probably come to know by now, free means upgrade for a fee. Any Plugin might have conflict even if you paid for the plugin. Plugin Developers are a 3rd party development team and not part of the Theme Development Team. Remember, there’s three sets of code that work together, the Plugin code package, the Theme code package and the existing WordPress core code. If the Plugin Developer is good, their Plugins will work well for what they’re designed to do.

Plugins Included with The Divi Theme

Bloom

Included With Elegant Themes Membership

An email opt-in plugin with design features that creates popup modules and fly-in modules to request visitors to your website to subscribe to your newsletter.

Split testing and growth measurement dashboard tells you how people respond. Did you know; email is the most direct way to connect with your audience and customers.

Monarch

Monarch

Included with Elegant Themes Membership

Social Media changed the way we communicate. Now you can arrange the social sharing buttons in a floating sidebar or an inline style at the end or beginning of a blog post.

This plugin is lightweight and integrates with all the social media platforms that you want to connect with.

Plugins Worth Considering for your Divi Website

Divi Blurb Extended Plugin

Divi Blurb Extended Plugin

Did you notice when you hovered over the Zip file image it flipped into another view? I use this plugin on all my websites. It has extra features and options that make the blurb look interesting.

The developers of this plugin, Elicus Technologies created an enhancement to the existing Blurb Module inside the Divi Theme.

This is my Affiliate link with Elicus Technologies; Purchase Divi Blurb Extended Plugin here.

Divi Post Extended Plugin

Divi Post Extended Plugin

Developed by Elicus Technologies

This blog post layout uses Divi Post Extended Plugin with the Stellar layout. If I didn’t have the Plugin, I would have to do a lot of HTML work to get this layout. This Plugin also comes with a Widget which you can pull in blog posts into a sidebar and the footer area. Here’s an example of a blog post with a sidebar using the Stellar layout. 

This is my affiliate link with Elicus Technologies;  purchase Divi Post Extended here.

Divi Blog Extras

Divi Blog Extras

Plugin Developer Elicus Technologies

With this Plugin you can arrange the blog posts on the Blog page from a choice of six styles. I use this plugin on all my websites to style the blog page.

Take a look at the Blog page on this website to see how the posts are pulled in and displayed using this Plugin. The Blog page has an attractive layout and this is because I can select one of six styles to display the blog posts on the Blog page.

This is my affiliate link with Divi Extended;  purchase Divi Blog Extended here.

Divi Mega Menu Pro

Divi Mega Menu Pro

Developed by Tim Strifler | Divi Life

This plugin gives lets you place additional information in the top navigation menu when you hover over a menu tab. The header of a website is one of the most complex areas and is best left alone!

Without this plugin you only have the option to display the main navigation menu as tabs with a drop down list of items. This plugin isn’t in use on this site but soon will be.

This is my affiliate link with Divi Life; purhase Divi Mega Menu Pro here.

 

Divi Overlays

Divi Overlays

Developed by Tim Strifler | Divi Life

The Divi Overlay Plugin gives you the ability to put a popup form from a link in a button or text. This plugin is in use on the Homepage.

In this example if a visitor clicks on the button Free Live Consultation a contact form will popup without the visitor having to leave the page. The contact form can be styled and modified as well.

This is my Affiliate link with Divi Life; you can purchase Divi Overlays here.

The Divi Community

The Divi Theme changed the way we build websites. It’s for anyone to use. Even if you’re a beginner and have no experience with WordPress you can use the Divi Theme.

The popularity of Divi gave rise to the Divi Community. People who use the Divi Theme, Designers, Developers, and Users share their knowledge and products about Divi.

Connect with the Divi Community on Facebook, and Meetup. Join the Divi Nation and participate in website building with professionals and beginners.

Join the Divi Chicago Meetup Group. The Divi Community is in Chicago! Everyone welcome at all levels, beginners too. Feel free to bring something to share or questions to ask.

How Many Plugins Can You Add?

As many as you want. But if you add too many you could bloat the website and weigh it down causing the site to load slowly.

If you wanted to sell products on your website you can add the WooCommerce Plugin. The WooCommerce is free to use initially but it is adequate for a start up business. As your business increases you add specific features you need. If you wanted to add courses to your website you could add LearnDash. Almost any function you can think of you can find a plugin for it.

Questions to Ask About Plugins

Find out as much information about the plugin as you can. Do others use it? What is their feedback?

Is the Plugin updated regularly?

Avoid Plugins that haven’t been updated in a while.

Is there tech support and tutorial documents?

Is the Plugin compatible with the WordPress version you’re using (you should be using most current one).

Is the Plugin compatible with the Theme you’re using?

Is the Plugin necessary?

Sometimes you might purchase a Plugin and some time later the Theme updates and adds the feature the Plugin provided. Developers know this and it’s part of their work. They might discontinue that Plugin or develop it further with additional features. You can continue to use the Plugin, but if you’re not going to continue to use the Plugin you should delete it from the website.

Plugins Are Essential

This is one of the most outstanding features of the WordPress software, being able to add a specific function to a website to enhance the website even further. A WordPress website can expand to a membership site, an information portal, an online store. Anything you want to expand into with your idea can be accommodated and added to a WordPress website with Plugins.

All Plugins should come with sufficient documentation to help you set it up. If you get stuck on the settings you can always contact the Developer, they’ll be more than glad to help. They want you to be satisfied using their Plugin.

Your plugin adventure is about to begin as you start to develop the idea behind your website. Research the options and always be prepared to ask questions. If you have more questions contact me, I’m always willing to answer questions. These Plugins work with the Divi Theme.

Purchase the Divi Theme

To use the Divi Theme you must be a member of Elegant Themes. This is one Theme Company you don’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll be going out of business or discontinuing their Theme. The Divi Theme is the world’s most popular Theme for a simple reason; it’s the ideal WordPress Theme that accommodates all types of users, even beginners. 

This is my affiliate link with Elegant Themes. I’ve used the Divi theme since it came out in 2013 on all my websites. It’s that good!

A Better Way to Blog

A Better Way to Blog

After the much anticipated update of the WordPress core editor, Gutenberg, you still need to write a blog post, or two. At the same time of the update, the Divi Theme came out with a better way to blog using the Divi Visual Builder.

The Divi Theme provided the solution. It can be irritating to have to learn an entirely new system when you’re used to the previous one.

The Divi Visual Builder Experience

With this update the Divi Theme changes the way we create content. Now you can enter content directly onto the page. As you type, your edits are in real time. At last you can concentrate on the content you’re writing and not the technology to arrange the content on the page. You now have no obstruction for the flow of the information.

Within the post you can add sections, columns and images to make the post interesting and pleasant to read. Did you know, people skim read the content you worked so hard to produce. The web is full of information and distractions. All competing for the reader’s attention.

You want to keep your paragraphs short and to the point. You can when you get into the flow of writing directly onto the page. Then you can see the length of the paragraph, and edit the content.

Selecting the Content Layout

You can stay with a single column width for a blog post. and put pictures into the single column, or you can put the next section in a two column layout. What you’re doing is making the content easy to read and pleasant to view.

 

Choose a Module

Staying within the confines of a blog post you don’t want to divert the attention away from the subject. In this layout only the text and image modules are used in a two-column width. The two images in this layout reduce the need for an explanation.

Don’t make the reader work to read your content.

 

The Purpose of the Blog Post

The Internet is a place to share and exchange information and connect with people you wouldn’t ordinarily have an opportunity to meet in person. The blog post is a powerful tool. It is the voice of communication of your business, or hobby. This is where you give out information that relates to what you do.

When you write a blog post regularly you create fresh content. Think about the times you want to find out information and you go to the search engine of choice and type in what you’re looking for. The search engine results show more questions going deeper into the original question. Eventually you find a link that takes you directly to a blog post. This is the way we find information.

The blog post doesn’t have to be lengthy but it must be substantive in that it gives information and enough pictures and not too much text.

Always write for a person, not the search engine.

When you write regularly the content of the blog post will flow better. Writing blog posts directly into the post is a better way to blog.

Styling The Blog Post

This blog post has a different layout. It isn’t the standard blog layout with a right sidebar. For this post I am using the Divi Blog Extended Plugin by Elicus Technologies. This plugin gives you six additional layouts to choose from for a blog post. No short code or coding needed. The layouts are fully responsive. You can even create a custom category archive page to store in the Divi Library.

The ability to style the blog post has to be in moderation. Always keep in mind the person reading the content. A blog post isn’t an advertisement. Nothing is more irritating than an interruption in the flow of content.

Other Blog Posts

GDPR and Your Website

GDPR and Your Website

GDPR and Your Website

The European Union General Data Protection Act is in effect May 25, 2018. The Information provided is a courtesy and is not legal advice.

websites must be in compliance

The user now has complete control over their data and has a say in how it may be used.

As a website owner you must explain to the user why you need the data, and what it is for. The user has to agree that you can use their data for the purpose you describe.

There are plugins and software that track people’s movement on a website. You will have to disclose the method you use to collect data.

The fact that software can document the use of a website by a visitor is unsettling for the visitor. This does not promote trust and people are more likely not to do business with companies that disclose information about their activity on a website.

WordPress

Official Support of GDPR

Automattic

Automatic is the owner of WordPress used by 30% of websites worldwide. WordPress will add features necessary to comply with the GDPR regulations.

The law reqires site owners to be transparent and explain how a business collects, stores, or processes personal data of residents in the European Union.

Solution

When you sign up for WordPress.com only limited information is needed to set up an account. Only your email and username is needed.

You have control of your content. The privacy settings give you choices to make your site public, private or hidden from search engines.

Personal Information

Details: email addresses, names IP addresses are considered personal data. Depending on the service you provide you must disclose how this information is used.

Use of Information

The website must disclose how the information is used, allowing the user to take into consideration whether to use that service or not.

Third Party Selling

When your information is shared, a website can share or sell it to third-party services. A user has a right to know what happens to their information.

GDPR Legal Obligation

With the passing of this law a website owner has a legal obligation to comply. This law is not yet effective in the US, but similar legislation might be passed soon.
Information Resources

Elegant Themes provides more detailed information.

WordPress outlines Automattic’s compliance with GDPR.

Official GDPR Information.

Wikipedia General Data Protection

Your Privacy

Take it Seriously

Anyone who uses the Internet, and that’s everyone, has a right to private information treated with respect.

It is not acceptable to just want to profit from someone’s use of a website or a sign up for a service.

The Web is now complex

The web is an information space, where we come together and share information. This information is susceptible and there have been too many personal data breaches.

Security and Confidence

We use the web everyday. As we do we are being tracked and documented. Even though there is a general data protection act, we have seen the violation of privacy continue.

The web is under threat

“if we spend a certain amount of time using the intenet we have to spend a litle proportion of that time defending it, worrying about it, loking out for it… Do me a favor, fight for it for me.” Sir Tim Berners-Lee. The Case for the Web Report.

Every Action You Take

It is time to revise how we interact on the Internet. Read carefully the Privacy and Terms of Service. Just exactly what does this company do with your information?

The Divi Theme is GDPR compliant.

Never Take The Web For Granted

It’s time for regulation and standards to be implemented. The use of the Internet is a right, and this right shouldn’t be violated by anyone. A Contract for the Web outlines the rights and responsibilities for all who use the web.

Sample Contact Form

With optional opt-in buttons

Please indicate your consent:

Privacy

Information you provide is confidential and is only used to contact you.

You must reveal tracking methods used. Articulate the method in the privacy page. Inform the user how you use their information.

General Data Protection 

The implimentation of the General Data Protection Act (GDPR) is not yet in effect in the United States. It is only a matter of time before it will be. There is a definite threat to the web, and if we want it to continue then it is necessary to implement standards. The GDPR is a step forward. The World Wide Web was given to us by a man with an idea to connect information systems to promote knowledge, bring people together, and make knowledge freely available.

Everyone who uses the web can protect the open web as a basic right. No one should be denied access and neither should anyone have their privacy violated.

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Divi and WordPress

Divi and WordPress

The match between Divi and WordPress is a good from start to finish. No matter what you read about the “end of WordPress,” or the “end of Page Builders and Themes,” it isn’t for real.

Here are some facts:

  • WordPress is the most used website software worldwide
  • 30% of the websites on the web are powered by WordPress
  • WordPress is the most flexible software to build an online platform
  • The Divi Theme is used by Developers and Designers
  • The Divi Theme has been translated into thirty-two different languages
  • It is used all over the world
  • You don’t have to know how to use code to build a website with the Divi Theme

There will always be those who want to take down the person who is sucessful. It is a favorite passtime among some competitors to consistently bash the best. The Divi Theme is the developer and the designer’s best kept secret. This is the Theme they use because it compliments their knowledge.

WordPress is open source

Open source means developers from all over the world contribute to the core code. WordPress is the framework upon which a Theme is built. The fact that expertise is garnered from the best developers is a testament to the collaboration of WordPress. The end result is WordPress has created the space for everyone to benefit.

Developers, designers, business owners, entrepreneurs, corporations, governments, schools, individuals, use WordPress. With this philosophy, WordPress isn’t about to collapse or put anyone out of business because it makes changes and improvements to it’s existing framework.

Divi is a Premium WordPress Theme

The features inside the Divi Theme give you the opportunity to work within a framework that suits your technical knowledge. At first you might think you cannot build a website because Divi is too advanced. There are predesigned layouts in the Divi Library. A new layout is added each week.

With Divi, you never have to look at a blank page.

Conceptualizing the layout of content onto a web page is much easier if you have the elements of the page widths and measurements visible. As you work with the premade layouts with the modules you become familiar with how a webpage works. The page is divied up into dividers, this is how the Divi theme got its name.

Column Layout

This is what the layout of a page looks like using the built in Divi Builder. The blocks assigned are predefined and fit exactly to the width of the page.

You have a selection of columns. After choosing the layout you select a module to place into the layout.

Select a Module

This is the selection of modules available to use. For every function there is a module to match.

The design team that created Divi wanted to make the experience of building a website pleasureable. Not only for the developer and the designer, but for us, the user.

The design team at Elegant Themes were so successful, the Divi Theme is now the #1 used theme in the world. Since it came out in 2013, I have had no need for any other theme. Some have said when you use Divi you’re stuck with it. Not so. I’ve never been “stuck.”

Once you learn the basics there is no limit, you can take your website where you want, and concentrate on your business, and enjoy the experience of owning a website. To have more visibility and take advantage of doing business online you would need a marketing and promotion strategy.

Today’s web is a network of connections. Knowing how to connect isn’t obvious. To get help with this next step connect with Scott Winterroth. I had the good fortune to meet him at a WordPress Meetup four years ago. Ever since that meeting the conversation hasn’t stopped. He is an excellent resource for digital marketing strategy for your online business.

If you’re interested in learning more about how WordPress and the Divi Theme work to build a website, join me in an online bootcamp. I show you how it’s done step-by-step. No code or advanced knowledge needed.