Roughly two months back, I registered a domain, Running Without Condition, for the very first time on my own. It wasn’t difficult, but this was my first step in setting up my own full-fledge website with a hosting company at some point in the future. The prompting of this was due to the fact that I love WordPress so much, that I want to be able to control it more on my own. When you’re using WordPress.com, it’s a great springboard for getting adjusted with the interface and the program for free. However, you begin to see that in its ease of use the .com version of WordPress is very linear (and for good reason), but if you want to get more out of WordPress, use it as a CMS (something that I want to do and learn from the experience of interaction and mucking around), or increase its functionality with the use of plugins; then you need to go the WordPress.org route.
Both routes are free, however, the WordPress.org version is completely controlled by the user and requires the user to have his/her own domain and server space. With all of that being said, I’ve been reading a lot since I registered my domain on how to install WordPress on my server and what I can potentially do with it when I am ready. Part of understanding that use is understanding how to increase its flexibility with the use of plugins. Plugins, in my view, are like constructing your own personal robot. You start with a base (that’s the wordpress.org installation) and then you start to think how you want to build your robot so that it can do what you want and how you want it to do it. This is where Plugins enter. They provide the functionality that you seek to increase WordPress (your robot) beyond its basic installation.
I just came across another post about the use of WordPress plugins on Kikolani’s website. Her post, entitled, “WordPress Thesis Theme Customization Part Two: Plugins” speaks directly to the heart of using plugins with WordPress. Kikolani even provides some very useful plugins to start off with and short descriptions of what they do. If you have any interest in using WordPress and customizing it to your needs, then you should definitely take a moment to read her WordPress customization post.