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How to utilize and implement the right plug-ins for your business

Puzzle consisting of four parts with cable

Plug-ins are a fast growing trend in the world of technology today. Wikipedia’s definition of a plug-in states: In computing, a plug-in is a set of software components that adds specific capabilities to a larger software application. If supported, plug-ins enable customizing the functionality of an application. – AKA a plug-in is a way to take a problem, look at the solution, and squash all the steps to get to this solution into one easy to use code or click.

How do plugins make your problems easier to solve? Well, they allow several things to happen in the technology space. First, the enable third party developers to innovate and create capabilities which extend a given application. The allow easy integration of new features, shrink the size of large applications, and separate source code which eliminates incompatible software licenses.

Everyone and anyone can utilize the power of plug-ins! One of the best things about plug-ins is that you can create them to do almost anything. WordPress is a great example of a company that makes many features available and easy to use with little to no experience in developing or codes. I can tell you from experience, they are great! Just imagine something you might want, literally any feature or design, and there’s a plug-in for that!

Wikipedias List of Specific examples of applications and why they use plug-ins:

shopping cart plugin

On a daily basis I use plugins for about 9 tasks, spread from e-mails to blogs, to video to recommendation software. I have recently been involved in some plugin endeavors and have had the chance to work with several developers and learn a bit about their experiences. We should just call them simplified problem solvers, because that is what they do! They make solutions to problems easy to understand and implement. Most of this focus has been on ecommerce plug-ins which is probably the fastest growing track right now. Some of my personal favorite plug-ins in the ecommerce space now are chimpified (mailchimp + shopify), WP e-Commerce (ecommerce platform for wordpress), and of course the infamous Facebook “Like” button. More and more ecommerce platforms are integrating plug-ins to make it easier to run ecommerce stores. Miva Merchant is a great example of this as well as Magento, utilize an app/plug-in market place.

Plug-ins are definitely the next wave of integration technology in more than ecommere. With the mass amount of resources available it would be a good idea to check it out and see what you might gain from putting some plug-ins to work for you!

Want to learn more about plugins in the ecommerce space? Register for our free upcoming webinar with Practical Ecommerce: How to effectively build and market your plug-ins. Learn what developers go through on a daily basis, and hear about some simple ideas that grew into an empire of innovative technology!

register now for the webinar Do you use plug-ins already? Have some ideas that could help power ecommerce or recommendation plugins? We would LOVE to know! Leave a comment here or @Strandsrecs

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