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Surprising Things You Didn’t Know WordPress Could Do

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What's This?

WordPress is an incredibly popular content management system powering 75 million websites but most users only scratch the surface of what WordPress can do.

What can WordPress plugins do? Almost anything.

WordPress is so flexible and using themes you can build WordPress sites that look nothing like blogs. WordPress plugins really extend the functionality of the site – either for users on the front end or for you on the back end.

What can WordPress plugins do? Attention-grabbing social features

You would think you needed a developer to create some of the more advanced social features for your site. To deeply integrate your website with Facebook, maybe some sort of API? You don’t have the time – or the money – to get into it all. But you don’t need to. WordPress plugins can do that for you.

Social Gallery is a suite of powerful plugins that gives you Facebook style images and videos in WordPress. Galleries, lightboxes, social sharing, all right there in WordPress

How about polls? Polls are really popular and get a lot of shares – and you can add them with just a WordPress plugin. Check out Easy Polling and the Social Polling add on, Opinion8, the Dilemma Plugin or even quizzes with QuizBox. Polls and quizzes really add a fun, interactive element to your site and get shared a lot.

You can even build a fully fledged social networking site using the power of WordPress plugins. BuddyPress is the main event here, a plugin that gives you profiles, groups and private messaging. You can also build yourself a community site on WordPress and emulate the success of businesses such as Reddit, Product Hunt and Growth Hackers.

Make sure you check out the information on WordPress multisite below for even more social uses! And keep reading for more surprising things you didn’t knew WordPress could do.

What can WordPress do? Transform your site completely

You might have seen mention of WordPress’s multisite and forum abilities, or custom fields, but you probably aren’t using them. You might want to reconsider.

You can expand your site with multisite, by having multiple blogs on the same WordPress installation. This one isn’t even a plugin, for a few years now it has been a standard option in WordPress.

WordPress.com, their own hosted multisite accompaniment, hosts over 37 million blogs. You could use multisite like that, to enable your websites users to set up their own blogs as a social network. You could run the multisites for clients, or just for yourself. If you use a domain mapping plugin – another great example of what WordPress plugins can do – each site can have its own domain name.

WordPress plugins can transform your site into a forum. The popular bbPress plugin is forum software from the creators of WordPress themselves, with user registration, subfora and all the bells and whistles.

A forum is still an in-demand and well-used way for people to interact online. Through the power of WordPress plugins you could easily add one to your site to give users a way to share and discuss your content, or provide their own.

Your WordPress plugins can do some seriously heavy lifting. Nowhere is that better illustrated than with custom fields. The webhooks and other advanced features in WordPress can involve some coding and tinkering around in the guts of the code editors. Which is not for everyone. But WordPress plugins can massively simplify it for you.

Advanced Custom Fields, as the name suggests, brings this ability into the WordPress dashboard. You can create and edit custom fields, add them to your site and display them anywhere, with just a few clicks. This expands your WordPress abilities well beyond whatever options your theme or the basic install allows you.

Build different page templates for yourself, add extra data to posts in its own dedicated area, the list is limitless. Don’t be put off, plugins can do so much of the technical stuff for you and really unleash the abilities of your site.

What can WordPress plugins do? Streamline behind the scenes

Staying on the backend of your site, WordPress plugins can do some seriously cool things for you as the administrator.

WP-Hotkeys lets you use the admin area using hotkeys for fast, mouse-free navigation. WordPress offers an option to shrink the menu in the admin screens, but you can widen it instead with Wider Admin Menu. You can edit what shows up on that menu with Admin Menu Editor. Admin Columns gives you greater control over the columns that display when you look at your content. You can even get two factor authentication with the service of your choice and various plugins.

Streamline behind the scenes, yet more great examples of what WordPress plugins can do.

WordPress has such a huge following, helpful community and talented developers building these plugins that there’s not much a WordPress plugin can’t do.

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