Hot off the presses: for the first time in its history, WordPress.com business users can access third-party plugins and themes! That’s huge for anyone using the world’s most popular web platform, and we’re about to explain why.
WordPress Business encompasses the two paid hosting plans, Premium & Business, provided by WordPress themselves. The Premium plan is aimed more at individuals and garage startups on a budget who want more features than the standard free WordPress sites. The more expensive Business plan comes with a more robust suite of features supporting larger enterprises.
Before August 2017, users of these two accounts were limited to only WordPress’s own plugins and themes (run by Automattic, the company behind WordPress). That was a huge drawback; part of the main appeal of WordPress is its vast community and continually updating the library of new add ons. One reason WordPress sites are so customizable is that third-party companies everywhere are pushing the boundaries and creating new features… but sadly, business-tier accounts were restricted from accessing them.
From August 7, 2017, Premium and Business account holders could access the ever-expanding library of plugins and themes from third parties, practically doubling or tripling the personalization capabilities. WordPress is even reaching out to these partners and WordPress developers to streamline the new integration.
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While WordPress’ initial restriction of third-party software may seem like a cutthroat business tactic to undermine competitors business, there’s an actual more humane reason behind it. Third-party software comes with an inherent risk since virtually anyone, anywhere, can create it. This makes third-party themes and plugins an ideal ingress for hackers, with unwitting victims haplessly installing malware that could subvert their entire WordPress site.
The resources to check and monitor every new plugin or theme would be too great, so rather, WordPress just kept them out. Of course, crippling their competition was also a motive, but the restriction on third-party software was more than just a ploy for Automattic to make more money.
Regardless, the ban has been lifted and paying WordPress customers can also enjoy the same rainbow of personalization options as free users. Popular third-party plugins that business accounts can access include Yoast, a leading name in SEO plugins, and Membership, one of the most popular plugins for adding membership features.
For Any WordPress Development Company and Premium account holders, the benefits are obvious. They now have access to the smorgasbord of customization features WordPress is popular for, along with the perks of a paid WordPress plan, which include better customer support options and access to exclusive tools.
But what about everyone else? What about the people who use free WordPress accounts? Will they be affected at all?
The short answer: yes. While they won’t feel the impact of this news as much as paid account holders, everyone who uses WordPress will be affected.
This new policy essentially opens the doors wide for third-party software developers and incentivizes the entire industry. Overnight, the market for third-party plugins and themes has expanded, paving the way for new software companies to enter the arena and for old software companies to improve their products.
What we’ll see in the near future is more plugins and themes that anyone on WordPress can use. That means more new features, visuals, and even some tech advances. The more plugins available, the better, so be on the lookout for fresh new customization options on the horizon.
About The Author:
Max Emelianov started HostForWeb in 2001. In his role as HostForWeb’s CEO, he focuses on teamwork and providing the best support for his customers while delivering cutting-edge web hosting services.