WordPress Plugins-What are they and how do they work?
WordPress is a publishing platform that powers many of the websites and blogs on the internet. It used to create an eclectic range of websites ranging from simple to complex. Personal to Professional, Feature-rich to content-rich. And a whole other host of unique and similar designs. According to the owner’s preferences.
A WordPress site allows you to create and publish posts, content, and pages and customises it with themes while extending it further with the use of WordPress plugins.
But what are WordPress plugins and how do they work?
WordPress plugins are software or apps that enable the addition of new features and functionality. On the WordPress website.
The software contains functions and is written in PHP programming to allow for seamless integration with WordPress. Plugins can be free or commercial and make it easy to make your WordPress websites do whatever you want to.
For business owners seeking to promote their WordPress duties. The key to a good design is one that does not have too many plugins. And one whose plugins for WordPress achieve proper functions such as. Add contact forms, create galleries and improve SEO among other functions.
Choosing from the many plugins for WordPress has available for web developers and designers. You can create so many different types of websites instead of being limited to having a blog or website that is only basic.
For instance, the plugin WooCommerce allows you to create an online store. Job Manager plugin allows you to create a WordPress job board and other plugins help in making it possible for you to create:
- Business directory
- Photography site
- Podcast site
- Wiki website
Among other types of WordPress websites, all made using the various types of plugins available.
How WordPress Plugins Work
The way plugins work is that they are written in such a way such that developers can update them by adding their code. They are also a simply designed such that they can be added to WordPress by someone who is not experienced.
Plugins make use of the various WordPress custom fields. Types of content and taxonomies that allow for developers to manipulate them.
You can find plugins in the WordPress.org plugin directory. Search from among the thousands of free plugins, using the specific name of the plugin you want. Or search for the desired functionality you hope to achieve with it.
You can also search the internet for third party plugins and select one which suits you best. Even better, without having to go searching in plugin directories, you can get a plugin simply by clicking on the Admin Panel of your WordPress website and then clicking plugins. In a box dubbed “add new,” type the desired functionality or plugin name and choose from the list that will be displayed.
Features Provided by Plugins
A plugin for WordPress will help you install a particular design that you desire through changing of layouts, designs, highlighting text, navigation and adding calendars among other functions
Plugins are useful when it comes to the admin panel as they can enable you to customise admin tools, tweak and pose some limitations.
WordPress websites need editing and formatting functions. Format plugins help do this by changing the default way of formatting and editing posts, and the linking process.
If you desire to record audio, add images and videos and integrate media from YouTube, then various plugins can help you out.
These types of plugins enable you to integrate Facebook, or link Twitter and Instagram profiles to your WordPress website.
Here is a quick video explaining WordPress plugins
Factors to Consider When Choosing WordPress Plugins
The plugin downloaded should be compatible with the WordPress version that you are using to create the website with.
While many people claim that once you install too many plugins, you will affect the speed of your site, that is a common misconception. As only a plugin that is not coded correctly will slow down your site.
Free vs. Premium
Free plugins while offering almost similar functionality as that of premium ones, do not provide support and in most cases, updates. A paid plugin for WordPress, on the other hand, will not only offer a warranty but also, full support to ensure it is running as it should.
When choosing a plugin for your WordPress website, ensure that the reviews are informative and give insight to its working. And how long it functions without needing an update if at all. WordPress Forum is a great place to start, and you can leave a query about the plugin in question and get the answers in a short amount of time.
The ratings can tell a lot about the quality of a plugin.
Since WordPress plugins are a critical part of all WordPress websites acquainting yourself with them is important.
They extend WordPress’ ability to perform as many functions as it can. Since they affect every aspect of your WordPress website, they provide a way for you to customise your website to its desired functionality.
Summary plugins for WordPress
As you can see owning a WordPress website offers you a wide range of choices. And it all comes down to what you want to achieve on your site. Business owners may need lead generation, and bloggers want email subscriptions. And restaurants take online bookings, this all adds function to your site to gain the end goal through the use of plugins.
Reviews play an important part of choosing a plugin, looking at reliability and compatibility for your theme in use on your WordPress site. But one thing to remember is, that once you have your perfect set up, maintenance of your software is vital. Plugin updates can all be handled from within your dashboard, under plugins update tab.
Before you do update any of your sites, I’d recommend that you back up your site first before hitting the update button. You can use a plugin for this too, Like Updraft to name but one.