We Must Have Plugins and Other Myths

Since launching Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog back in 2011, I started learning how to use WordPress “by hand.” I continue to design and develop all my own content and design elements. And while I have moments of frustration learning the latest capabilities, I can say without hesitation that WordPress is a marvelous platform. I recommend it highly, and on occasion, I have helped nonprofit organizations develop cost-effective websites on WordPress.

A question came to me recently via my contact form. In brief, they asked how I could possibly claim that I do not use plugins. Here is one definition: “In WordPress, a plugin is a small software application that extends the features and functions of a WordPress website. Plugins play a major role in building great websites using WordPress. They make it easier for users to add features to their website without knowing a single line of code,” according to WP Beginner.

But I have found that today, WordPress provides a variety of helpful widgets along with most templates that allow you to have greater functionality without paying for extra plugin support. HP Tech Takes notes about widgets, “On websites, blogs, and in WordPress specifically, the term is more likely to refer to a small piece of software officially called an application. This application usually performs one small task, takes up little resources, and updates often.” This sounds like the same thing as a plugin, smiles. And again, there are quite a few widgets on WordPress that come with the template you select.

I also use secure links for gift processing like those available from Qgiv, which is a favorite, by creating a WordPress “button” and adding a donation link to it.

It is also possible to embed donation forms you create on your WordPress website. Abby Jarvis notes, “Some nonprofits go a step further to earn donations and embed their donation form right onto key pages, such as their homepage. This ensures that your donation form will be impossible to miss and that supporters will have multiple places on your website where they can complete a donation. If you’re interested in this strategy, make sure to partner with a fundraising platform that lets you easily embed donation forms (like Qgiv!).” One does not need a separate “plugin” for that.

Think twice before assuming you need a plugin. Check your widget options on WordPress. You will be glad you did.

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