WordPress is an extremely powerful software or platform. But it can’t do everything for you, and honestly speaking, nor it should. Just because one person wants a particular feature or functionality for a blog or website doesn’t mean that it’s applicable to everyone.
So, in the most simple words, a plugin is a piece of software or simply a small program that adds certain functions and features to your WordPress website or webpages.
They can either add new features or strengthen the old ones that are already present in the system.
As I’ve already told that WordPress is written in PHP in this post, plugins are also written in the same programming language to be able to integrate with WordPress without any difficulties.
Simply put, a plugin makes your work more manageable with WordPress by adding new attributes for better usability and user experience. And of course, you don’t have to know any type of coding for that.
With over 60,000 plugins available in the WordPress Plugins directory, you can get any type of functionality on your website that you wish to add.
You have a variety of options to choose from. If you want free plugins, they’re available in incredible numbers. If you want paid ones, those are available too.
Generally, most of them are both free and paid with certain limitations to the free plan and certain privileges to the paid plans.
If you’re just starting out, I’ve talked about the top 5 WordPress plugins that every beginner should be using in one of my previous posts.
As an administrator (admin) of the website, you can install and delete plugins according to your needs. It’s just a matter of seconds.
But one thing you should keep in mind is that majority of the plugins don’t give out tech support for they are free. Hence, if you find it hard working with a particular one, you’re going to want to check for solutions on YouTube or Google.
But when you have so many choices and options, it’s kind of hard to decide the best quality. But for that, you have ratings to keep in mind. If a plugin has a good rating out of five stars, you want to consider using it. If it doesn’t, it’s better to find something else.
Here’s an example for beginners.
Side-by-side, you can also check for the reviews to understand if you should be installing it or not.
One more thing you’ve got to consider is that when was the plugin updated and is it compatible with your current WordPress version or not.
You’ll be given a warning by WordPress itself that’ll look a bit like this:
Thus, you want to make sure that it is tested with your version.
Now, there’s a myth: Plugins slow down your website/blog.
No, fortunately, that’s not true. Only the poorly coded (with low rating) plugins slow down your website. At present, the majority of the plugins are optimized for not affecting your site speed.
Therefore, as long as you’re using a popular and quality plugin, don’t worry about load times and speed.
Also, now, all the plugins are carefully reviewed and scanned by developers.
Now you might be thinking of what kind of specialties could be added with plugins…
Simple answer: anything you want from contact forms to popups, from page builders to comment systems, from SEO plugins to editors, and whatnot.
Just ask the search box what you want and you’ll be rewarded with your favorite plugin.
I hope this post helped you understand and find what you’re looking for. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.