Today in this article we will try to focus on, “What is a WordPress Plugin?” the most important question that our blog readers are asking. After reading the whole article you will be able to learn about WordPress plugins. During this discussion we will also shed light on where you will be able to find useful WordPress plugins. In the same way you will be able that how to manage plugin on your site.
Now we are going to discuss them one by one. Most of the peoples who are new to WordPress, are asking about what is a WordPress Plugin? This is the basic and most important question for those who are using WordPress for their web development. This is a legitimate and fairly common question to ask because, WordPress plugins are playing pivotal role in any of WordPress blog/website.
As a new user of WordPress you will be introduced to several new terms and as a result these new terms will be added to your vocabulary. When you use your WordPress.org, you will also see a new term of Plugins. As we have already mentioned about that Plugins are playing very important role in the development of a WordPress blog/website. Plugins are the building blog for every WordPress website/blog, and without WordPress plugins, a WordPress blog/website will be incomplete.
What Is Mean By WordPress Plugin And How They Work?
Did you know that what is a WordPress plugin and what are the functions of a WordPress plugin? If you are the beginner then probably you might not have any idea about WordPress plugin. Similarly you will also have no knowledge about the functions of a plugin. But don’t worry, we are here to help you and each and every things about this topic.
Basically a WordPress plugin is a series of codes that you can, download and then, “plugs in” to your self-hosted WordPress blog/website. In simple words a WordPress plugin is a series of codes that adds some new and additional features and functionality to your self-hosted WordPress blog/website and increase the already existing features and functionalities on your blog/website.
In other words you can say that WordPress plugins are, in fact, software which consist of a group of some special features and functions, which you can upload to your WordPress blog or website. It helps you to extend, increase and expand the functions of your WordPress blog or website. These WordPress plugins also add some new characteristic and features to your blog. These WordPress plugins are written in the language of PHP programming. It also integrate effortlessly with WordPress.
It is a big news for you that if you are the user of WordPress then you are fortunate, because it offer you several benefits. One of the best advantage and benefit of WordPress is that there are several thousand plugins, developed by team of expert developers, which you can add to your WordPress blog/website. By downloading and installing plugins, it will be able to make some small changes to huge changes to your blog/website.
These changes may ranges from developing a forum, a social network, can improve your blog/website performance and may help your site to be ranked higher in search engines. In the same way you can turn your site into an ecommerce online store/shop, sports store, digital store etc.
There is no need to know about the single line of PHP coding skill and knowledge when you add these WordPress plugins to your blog or website. When you add your desired plugin to your blog it will add some additional features to your blog. For example your simple WordPress blog, without a social share plugin, will not work and provide the option of creating social share buttons. But when you upload a WordPress plugin that is responsible for social share will helps you and provides you the options to create the social share buttons.
Similarly your simple WordPress blog, without Google Analytics plugin or any other statistics plugin, will not provide you the site statistics. But when you upload WordPress plugin to your WordPress blog or site, it will provide you the site statistics report that how much visitors viewed your blog, which article is viewed more, what browser they used to view your blog or website and from where your blog or website viewers belongs to and like more.
You can install/uninstall plugins from the admin area when you are the administrator of a WordPress blog/website. By using an FTP client you can also download and manually install them.
As we have mentioned above that there are a very large number of free WordPress plugins. But it is very important to note and kept in mind that they usually do not come with technology support. It is, therefore, very important to be extremely careful when you are selecting which WordPress plugin you want to install on your blog/website. As there are several plugins for different purposes and each of them have specific functions. In these plugins some are of very high quality as compared to others.
Now if you want and interested to select the right WordPress plugins for you blog/website, you should need to keep a few important points in your minds that, (1) when and how long has it been since it was updated? (2) Is your desired plugins are compatible with other WordPress plugins? (3) Is your desired WordPress plugin is compatible with the WordPress latest version? (4) Also thing about that peoples are getting answers when they ask question about support? (5) What is the rating status of your WordPress plugin that you want to install on your self-hosted WordPress blog or website?
Some times on the internet or from your friends you might have heard that your blog or website loading speed may be slow down when you install WordPress plugin to your blog. But in fact this myth, about WordPress plugins, is totally wrong and there is no reality in it. The reality is that when you download and install some poor quality of WordPress plugins so it will slow down your blog or website loading speed.
Now the question arises that can you upload a WordPress plugin to WordPress.com blog? The answer is NO. Because it limits you this option of uploading WordPress plugin. You cannot upload any kind of WordPress plugin to WordPress.com. On the other hand, one of the best and primary advantage of using the self-hosted version of WordPress from WordPress.org is that you will have the ability to upload, and use WordPress, plugins on your WordPress blog or website.
If you want to increase and expand the functionality of your WordPress blog or website you have to install WordPress plugins. There are more than 40,000 WordPress plugins available on the WordPress plugins directory. Go to WordPress.org site and then click on the plugins option there, you will see a huge list of WordPress plugins. Now enter the name of your desired WordPress plugin and you will see your desired plugin there. The plugins available on the WordPress.org are totally free. You will not have to pay any penny for that. But there are also premium plugins available in the market. In the below paragraph we will discuss somethings about Free and Premium plugins.
How WordPress Plugins Works?
How a WordPress plugin works is a broader term. Before we start the discussion about using WordPress plugins on your blog/website, you’ll be required to do the following steps.
- First of all you have to find your desired WordPress plugin
- Then install, your desired, WordPress plugin on your WordPress blog/website
- And after installing you have to configure the plugin inside your WordPress dashboard
Now going to our second important topic that how a WordPress plugin works. So you will learn about it in more details below.
Can I Use WordPress Plugins On WordPress.com?
Now another question arises here and also asked by our several blog readers that can I use WordPress plugins on WordPress.com. Our answer to this question is a big “No”. WordPress does not provides this facility for WordPress.com users. Those peoples who are using self-hosted WordPress blog/website can be benefited and are allowed to use these WordPress plugins.
Keep in mind that in the recent time WordPress has brought some slight amendments in this policy by allowing WordPress.com Business Plan users to install third-party plugins. And as a whole, WordPress.com user are not allowed and permitted to install and add WordPress plugins to their free sites.
Finding and Managing WordPress Plugins For Your Site
In the above paragraphs you will have learnt that what is a WordPress plugin, and now as you are able to answer the question of what is a WordPress plugin, so let’s move on to other topic that where you can find WordPress plugins? Similarly you will know that how you will be able to add them to your blog/site.
Where to Find WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins are available and can be find in different places, completely depending on whether you want free or premium plugins. If you are looking for free WordPress Plugins so with that free plugins, you can install and use these plugins without paying money. In these free WordPress plugins, sometimes, certain features are locked unless you pay money. When you pay money you will get the full features and the locked features will be unlocked.
There are also premium plugins, which are available in different places. And as these are premium plugins, obviously, it must cost money, and you pay it. As these are premium plugins so it often offer some better features as compared to free WordPress plugins.
In the below given lines we have provided some best places where you can you’re your WordPress plugins for your blog/website.
- WordPress.org– This is the official WordPress plugin directory. It is one of the best plugin directory/place to find your desired free WordPress plugins. Here more 40,000 plus free plugins are available. You can also search and install any desired plugins from the WordPress.org plugin directory. You can do so directly from your WordPress dashboard. Just click on the Plugins tab >> Add New. And then search your desired WordPress plugins there.
- Code Canyon– This is also a large directory of completely premium WordPress plugins. All the plugins available are premium and you will need to pay for it.
- Third-party developers – This is another way of finding WordPress plugins. There are plenty of developers that sell plugins through their own sites. So if you want to get a plugins from any third party so we think that using Google is a good way to find plugins.
WordPress Free and Premium Plugins
As we have stated above that there are a very large number, more than forty thousands, of free WordPress plugins. You can download these free WordPress plugins by going to the WordPress.org Plugin Directory. But in addition to free plugins, there are also paid or premium WordPress plugins. It means that when you download it you have to pay for it.
Here someone of you may ask that when free WordPress plugins are available then why you will need paid premium plugins. Very well, the answer is very simple and there are many reasons for it.
You can download thousands of free WordPress plugins from WordPress plugin Directory, but remember that as compared to free plugins, premium/paid plugins generally offer its users full time support staff and developers. The staff and developers, of paid WordPress plugins, closely work on maintaining the security and compatibility of plugins with the latest version of WordPress. Similarly they also works to maintain and make the plugin compatible with other themes and plugins.
Keep in mind that plugins are compatible and play very well with other plugins and WordPress, but sometimes when a WordPress plugin’s code get in the way of another plugin, it seriously causing and creating the compatibility issues. In this situation when, when anything goes wrong, and you have paid for a WordPress plugin, so their supporting staff will help you to get rid of this issue.
Important Points Before Installing WordPress Plugins
You are required to be very careful about which plugin you are going to install on your blog/website, because installing a WordPress plugin entails adding third-party codes to your WordPress blog/website. It is, therefore, you should keep important points about WordPress plugins that you are going to install on your website.
The wrong and irrelevant plugin could:
- Intentionally introduce certain malicious codes to your blog/website.
- Cause several errors on your site when you install it.
- Also open an unintentional vulnerability that hurts your WordPress site’s security
- Also slow down the loading speed of your blog/site.
To avoid such kind of problems you will needed to:
- Always try to download/install plugins from reputable and reliable developers or directories. Some trusted directories are WordPress.org & Code Canyon.
- Also read, reviews and check that how popular a plugin is before installing it.
- Also check that when your desired Plugin was last time updated. It is because to make sure it’s still maintained and updated.
- Also check the four star and five star voting and rating system/technique that how the plugin that you are downloading is trusted by others peoples.
Although this method/approach isn’t foolproof, but it will help you a lot to ensure you are downloading and installing a trusted and quality WordPress plugins for your blog/website.
How to Install a WordPress Plugin
After you have find your desired WordPress plugin and read, reviewed and also checked its rating. Now the next step is that how to install your desired plugin on your blog/website. So there are different methods to install WordPress plugins. If you are the beginner and want to read that how to install your plugin on your WordPress blog, we therefore recommend you to read, the full instructions, in our dedicated article on WordPress plugins complete installation guide.
How to Update a WordPress Plugin
It is very important and necessary to keep all your WordPress plugins updated so that your function in a better way and also be secured. Keep in mind that when you are installing a WordPress plugins, you can usually update WordPress plugins directly from your WordPress dashboard. But there are also some other ways to update your plugins like manually and automatic updates.
Automatically updating your plugin is easy but somehow risky while with manual updating is often more secure and you have more control over when your updates happens.
How to Deactivate & Uninstall a WordPress Plugin
If you think that one of your WordPress plugin is no further needed and of no use in future, so you can deactivate it. All the extra code that were added due to installation of that plugin will also be deactivated. And as a result its functions will no work further.
If you want to deactivate a plugin just click on the plugin tab, present at the left side of your dashboard, a new window will open. Now find your plugin that you want to deactivate and click on deactivate option which is present below each plugin. Deactivating process is very simple and can be done entirely from within your WordPress dashboard.
If you want to completely uninstall and delete the plugin that is no longer needed, just click on the inactive plugin tab >> then select it >> click on delete option. And you will be done.
Can You Have Too Many WordPress Plugins?
With the passage of time when you become familiar with WordPress, you’ll probably met with some people who are not in the favor of installing too many WordPress plugins. They think that installing too many plugin will slow down you site loading speed. But their idea that “more WordPress plugins equal a slower site” isn’t technically true. But as you are the beginner so we thing that is will be good and useful to keep only necessary plugins on your blog.
As we have already mentioned that adding WordPress plugin also add some extra features and functions. And you are the beginner so you will be not aware of those functions and features that these plugins offer. We suggest you that adding more plugins on your site is not too much necessary and important. The important thinks are that what each plugin does and how well each plugin is coded. But, as a beginner, you would don’t have too much knowledge and skill to
But, as a beginner, you likely don’t have the coding knowledge to evaluate and assess the impact of each individual plugin. We, therefore, stress that it is a very good concept to keep and install only those plugins that you really need. That is, don’t just install a plugin that you think looks good and cool. Every time look at your plugin list and try to keep it on the basis of necessities.
If you’re looking for helpful ideas and concepts related to WordPress plugins, so we regularly publish articles about this field. So never miss a chance to read our experts high quality blog posts. If you think this article helpful please don’t forget to share it on social media, with your friends and colleagues.