What Is a WordPress Plugin: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners
What is: Plugin. A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. In the WordPress community, there is a saying that goes around: “there’s a plugin for that”. Apr 19, · WordPress plugins are bits of pre-packaged code made by developers in the WordPress community. They’re essentially add-ons that extend the functionality of a WordPress site. Think of the WordPress core software as a brand-new smartphone with factory settings.
In human terms, that means a WordPress plugin is something that adds new functionality to your WordPress site or extends existing functionality on your site. One of the benefits of WordPress is that enterprising developers have written tens of thousands of WordPress plugins that you can add to your site.
Plugins can make everything from small tweaks to massive changes to your site. For example, some plugins can even turn your WordPress site into a fully functioning eCommerce storesocial network, or forum. Or, they can also add smaller features like an Instagram feed.
You cannot use WordPress plugins at WordPress. Recently, Automattic slightly tweaked this policy by allowing WordPress. But still, the average WordPress. Read this post for more a more detailed comparison of WordPress. You can find WordPress plugins in a few different places, depending on whether you want free or premium plugins.
With free plugins, you can install and use the plugin without paying anything, though sometimes certain features are locked unless you pay money.
On the other hand, premium plugins, obviously, cost money, but often offer better features as a result. You can also search the WordPress. Because installing a WordPress plugin entails adding third-party code to your WordPress site, you need to be careful about which plugins you install.
There are a few different ways to install WordPress plugins. For full instructions, we recommend that you read our dedicated post on how to install WordPress plugins. Most of the time, you can install WordPress plugins directly from your WordPress dashboard. As with installing WordPress plugins, you can usually update WordPress plugins directly from your WordPress dashboard.
For more information, read our post on how to manually update WordPress plugins. Just how to clean plastic phone cases with installing and updating a WordPress plugin, we also have a dedicated post on how you can deactivate and uninstall a WordPress plugin. Try to keep your plugin list to just the necessities! And that wraps up our entry on what a WordPress plugin is. Chat with the same team that backs our Fortune clients.
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Premium WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language. Plugins are usually user-friendly and designed to be used by people who have no experience in technology or WordPress at all. A plugin is a piece of software that extends the functionality of the WordPress platform. Once installed and activated, plugins can add new features to your site. They can also change existing functionalities or even completely modify any particular part of the blog.
Today, there are more than a few tens of thousands of plugins available for WordPress. Whether you want to improve the security of the blog, add animations, transform the site into a modern e-commerce system, or just add a video game to it — there is a plugin for that.
Before you start to use them, it is crucial that you learn to differentiate WordPress plugins. When starting out, it is good to know that there are many great free WordPress plugins. Without spending a cent, you can extend your blog by installing plugins from the official WordPress plugins repository.
Each of the plugins found there can also be installed directly from the WordPress dashboard. Outside the repository, you can find many free WordPress plugins across the Internet. Although most of them will help you add features to your blog, be very careful when downloading anything that you randomly find on the world wide web.
As these have nothing to do with the official WordPress directory, people can hide whatever they want in a plugin. Most of the times, when individuals pick up a malware or get hacked, you can blame a free plugin installed from an unknown source.
Somewhere in between free and premium extensions for WordPress, there is a popular category of Freemium plugins. What that means is that a basic plugin is free of charge.
But, while the basic features are free to use, one would have to buy a license in order to use extra features of the plugin. So, if you decide to purchase the extended version, you would get all additional perks of it, and basically, end up having a premium plugin.
To use premium plugins, you will have to pay a one-time fee or subscribe to a membership. Many marketplaces sell premium plugins, but you can also find companies and individuals who retail items on their own. Paid plugins are usually considered better. Most of the times, premium WordPress plugins offer more features than the free ones.
They are also higher quality coded better and compatible with a greater number of other WordPress plugins and themes. But the most valuable feature of a premium plugin is support. When installing a free plugin, everything depends on you. When purchasing a plugin, the staff and developers who created the extension will be there for you, always ready to help and solve any problem with the item.
Most of the times, this will be the main reason to buy a WordPress plugin. Before installing a new plugin , it is important to check the time of its last update. Two years is a long time when it comes to technology. During this period, hackers will find security holes and will be able to attack your site. Coding standards might change, and some part of a plugin might simply stop working.
Even WordPress will go through a few versions which may render the old plugins unusable. So, if you want to be sure that the extension is safe to use, and also completely compatible with the latest version of WordPress, always look at the time of its last update or contact the developer to ask for more details. Although there is no limit on how many plugins you can install, we suggest keeping the number as low as possible.
Some sites will need just one, while others will have to have more than ten active plugins to work properly. But since all plugins use the same resources from your server, it is quite probable to slow down your site by having too many of them. It is not possible to give the exact number of how many plugins you should have , so our best advice is to keep them to a minimum. If you happen to have more than twenty or thirty active plugins, go to the list one more time and make sure that you have only those plugins that you really need.
While it is technically possible to run a WordPress blog without having a single active plugin on the site, it has practically become absurd to do so. Without plugins, you would have to code every feature that you want manually.
And as you can imagine, besides having to know how to do that, it would take a tremendous amount of time to keep everything in order. You just have to search for it on the official repository, find somewhere else on the Internet or purchase a premium plugin for the job. But before installing plugins, check them twice to make sure they are safe and updated regularly. While it is technically possible to have a WordPress site without even one active plugin, the chances are that admins will need at least a few of them to even a start a blog.
With time, the need for plugins will keep on increasing. Your email address will not be published. What are Plugins in WordPress? Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email. FirstSiteGuide is supported by our readers. When you purchase via links on our site we may earn a commission.
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