Often beginner users want to know what the WordPress plugins are and how do they work? Plugins are the important part of WordPress ecosystem, and they are essential for building the great websites using the WordPress. In this article I will discuss about the WordPress plugins and how do they work?
What Are The WordPress Plugins?
WordPress plugins are the apps that allow you to add the new features and functionality to your WordPress site. Exactly the same ways as apps do for the smartphone.
There are the more than 49,000 free plugins available right now on the WordPress.org plugin directory. Thousands more are available from the third-party websites like the Github.
On the top of that, there are also thousands of the premium WordPress plugins that are sold by the individual developers and the companies like ourselves.
In the 2003, WordPress started as the simple tool to help you start the blog. Over the years, it has evolved into the powerful content management system (CMS) and the application framework, thanks primarily to the plugins.
WordPress Plugins Functionalities
The WordPress plugins are the small, simple software apps that integrate and run on the top of WordPress software. This allows you to create almost any kind of the website with the WordPress (not just the blogs).
For example, you can create following sites:
- Start the online store with the WordPress using WooCommerce plugin
- Create the job board with the WordPress using Job Manager plugin
- Build the business directory with the best directory plugins for the WordPress
- Start the coupon website like RetainMeNot
- Build the photography website using Envira Gallery Plugin
- Create the Wiki website using Knowledge base plugin
- Start the podcast website using the WordPress
- … And the tons more.
There is the popular saying in WordPress community, “There is a plugin for that”.
No the matter what you are trying to do on the WordPress site, it’s possible. If a feature is not available in the default WordPress, then there is certainly the plugin available for that.
There are the WordPress plugins to improve SEO, boost performance, add contact forms, social media buttons, create galleries, and the so much more.
Plugins can be simple, small and offer just the one tiny little feature. Or they can also be the quite large and act as their own platform as well.
The more feature rich plugins can have their own add-on plugins to extend them just like you would extend the WordPress.
Working Of WordPress Plugins
WordPress is written in the way so that the other developers can add their own code into it. The WordPress plugin API offers the robust set of hooks and filters which allow the developers to modify existing WordPress functionality or add the new functionality.
WordPress also allows the developers to store data in WordPress database. Plugins can utilize the WordPress content types, taxonomies, and custom fields which allow the users to store different types of the content not just post and pages.
Each WordPress plugin installed on your website is registered in the WordPress database. You can easily activate and deactivate them at any time you want.
Upon the each visit, WordPress connects to database, loads core software, and then loads your active plugins. All this code is processed on the server and then sent to the user’s browser.
WordPress Plugins Installation
You can find the free WordPress plugins by visiting the WordPress.org plugin directory or you can also find them directly from the WordPress admin area.
Simply head over to the Plugins » Add New page and search by typing the plugin name or functionality you want to add in your site.
The WordPress will search the plugin directory and display available plugins in the list. You need to review results, and click on install now button next to plugin you want to install on your site.
However, the search results inside WordPress admin area are not always the helpful because they are limited to the free plugins only. Most of the beginners find it difficult to decide which plugin is best for the job that you want to do.
Another approach is to look for the plugin recommendations and the tutorials on different sites.
Free VS Paid Plugins?
There are the thousands of free plugins and there is the good chance that you can find the free plugin offering the same functionality as the paid plugin. If it works good for you, then use it on your site.
Please keep in the mind that free plugins are offered as they are, with the no warranties, and no promise of the support. The plugin author can stop the working on the plugin at any time they want.
If you feel you will be needing lots of the support, and you want the regular updates, then paid plugins do the much better job at it.
I hope this article helped you to understand what the WordPress plugins are and what the working of it.
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