WordPress is one of the most full featured Content Management Systems available. This helps to explain why almost 1 out of every 4 (24.96% as of July 2014 if you want the exact number) websites using a Content Management System use WordPress.
While WordPress is capable on its own, most sites use several plugins to add functionality. They are used to add social media buttons, ecommerce, or an email signup form. These plugins come from the WordPress plugin repository, premium plugin sites, or are custom developed.
When we develop a custom WordPress site, we use several plugins to provide our clients with a site that meets their goals. Often we’ve had clients ask why we use plugins instead of adding the features to their custom theme. So why do we use plugins instead of adding it to a theme?
By using plugins we future proof our client’s WordPress install. Most WordPress themes need few updates outside of the occasional bug fix or adding a little spacing between lines. Plugins are different. Plugins are in a constant state of testing, updating, and improving.
A plugin developed using WordPress standards will work with any WordPress theme either free or paid. By using plugins instead of coding features into themes, our clients are never locked into using only one theme.
The second question we get asked most often is why we need to develop a custom plugin and why we can’t just use a stock plugin. The answer to this is the same as when we’re asked about stock photography. Sometimes it works fine and sometimes it is detrimental to a business’s goals.
We always start out looking for a stock plugin to meet the needs of a client’s website as this is a much better use of our client’s budget. But when a goal can only be met with a custom plugin, we provide unparalleled WordPress plugin development.
We work with our client to define their precise need so that their plugin does everything it needs to do without adding bloat. We use these needs to create our development roadmap, allowing us to work quickly and efficiently. Our average WordPress plugin development takes two weeks including testing.