WP Plugins 101 : Customize Your Website the Way You Want!

WP Plugins 101 : Customize Your Website the Way You Want!

A WordPress plugin is simply a piece of code that “plugs in” to your WordPress self-hosted site. A WordPress plugin, in layman’s terms, is something that adds new capability to your WordPress site or expands current functionality.

One of the advantages of WordPress is that tens of thousands of plugins have been created by ambitious developers that you may use on your site. Plugins may modify your site in a variety of ways, from little adjustments to major overhauls. Some plugins, for example, may transform your WordPress site into a fully functioning eCommerce store, a social network, or a forum. Smaller features, such as an Instagram feed, can also be added. Some WordPress plugins don’t even have visible impacts on the front end. Installing plugins, for example, can help your site run better or rank higher in search engines like Google.

How Do Plugins Work?

All of this will be explained in greater depth further down. To begin utilizing WordPress plugins on your site, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Look for a WordPress plugin that interests you.
  • That plugin should be installed on your WordPress site.
  • Install the plugin and set it up in your WordPress dashboard.

Can You Use WordPress Plugins at WordPress.com?

The majority of users will respond with a resounding “No.” You can’t use WordPress plugins on WordPress.com; plugins are only available to those who utilize self-hosted WordPress, also known as WordPress.org.

Automatic recently changed its policy to allow users of the WordPress.com Business Plan to install third-party plugins. The ordinary WordPress.com user, however, is unable to install their own plugins.

Where to Find WordPress Plugins?

Depending on whether you want free or paid plugins, you may get them in a few different locations. You may install and utilize free plugins without paying anything, however certain functionality may be restricted until you pay money.

Premium plugins, on the other hand, are clearly more expensive, but they frequently come with more functionality as a consequence. Here are a few good sites to look for WordPress plugins:

  • WordPress Plugins Directory – one of the greatest sites to get free WordPress plugins is the official WordPress plugin directory.
  • Code Canyon – is a massive repository of only premium WordPress plugins.
  • Third-party developers – while many developers only offer plugins via their own websites, Google is an excellent place to start looking for plugins.

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By navigating to Plugins Add New in your WordPress dashboard, you may search the WordPress.org plugin directory directly.

What To Consider Before Installing WordPress Plugins?

Because installing a WordPress plugin includes introducing third-party code to your WordPress site, you must exercise caution when selecting plugins. If you use the wrong plugin, you risk:

  • Cause an error on your site
  • Open an unintentional vulnerability that hurts your WordPress site’s security
  • Slow down your site
  • Intentionally introduce malicious code

To avoid these issues, do the following steps:

  • Use plugins from respected developers or directories wherever possible (like WordPress.org or CodeCanyon)
  • Before you install a plugin, read reviews and see how popular it is.
  • To ensure that a plugin is still maintained, look for the last time it was updated.

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While this method isn’t completely failsafe, it does go a long way toward ensuring that you only install high-quality WordPress plugins.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin?

WordPress plugins may be installed in a variety of methods. We recommend reading a specialized manual for complete instructions on post on how to install WordPress plugins.

How to Update a WordPress Plugin?

It’s critical to maintain all of your plugins up to date in order to keep your site running smoothly and securely. You can generally update WordPress plugins straight from your WordPress dashboard, just like you can install them. Read a post on how to manually update WordPress plugins for more details.  There are alternative options to have your plugins automatically update, however it’s generally preferable to update them manually so that you have more control over when they happen.

How to Deactivate a WordPress Plugin?

Here is the suggestion page on  how you can deactivate and uninstall a WordPress plugin, similar to how to install and update a WordPress plugin. The procedure is straightforward and may be completed fully within your WordPress dashboard.

Why Should You Use WP Plugin?

Simply said, whatever you desire your website to perform, there is nearly definitely a plugin that can assist you. Here are a few of the most essential advantages of using plugins to manage your WordPress site.

There is a plugin for almost any requirement

The fact that WordPress is backed by a large community of competent developers is one of the most compelling arguments to choose it as your CMS. As a consequence, website owners now have access to an exceptionally diverse selection of top WordPress plugins. There are about 54,000 plugins in the official WordPress director listed.

As a result, there is always a plugin to suit every requirement. You can do the following with WordPress plugins:

  • Contact forms should be included.
  • Make your content SEO-friendly.
  • Automated email marketing that is integrated
  • Make sure your website is backed up on a regular basis.
  • Make a membership area
  • Include a live chat option.

Meet Your Changing Requirements!

When you’re having your website developed, it’s tough to anticipate all of your future requirements. Over time, business requirements will undoubtedly alter. When you initially launch your website, you might not be ready to add an email newsletter to your marketing mix. You may wish to integrate this marketing channel into your website in the future and make it simple for people to join up. Instead of hiring a developer to add this feature to your website, you can just locate a suitable email marketing plugin.

Free and low-cost options available

If you wish to add additional features to your website, you’ll need to employ a developer, as explained above. Hiring a skilled developer is not inexpensive, as most website owners already know!

Openly available information about the plugin

Having a developer extend the functionality of your website is not only more expensive, but it is also more difficult to anticipate the outcomes that will be produced. There are many great coders, but there are also others that are less skilled. It might be difficult to decide who to engage to build the solution you want.

Easy to add to your WordPress website

WordPress was built in such a way that any programmer may add their own code to it. The WordPress plugin has hooks and filters that allow developers to extend it with their own features. When you install a WordPress plugin on your site, it gets registered in the database. You may then choose to activate or disable that plugin from the admin panel.

How to Choose a Plugin?

Research, research, research. 

To locate plugin choices, go to the WordPress.org plugin library and search by name or keyword. There will be information about each plugin’s functionality, as well as support requests and technical details. You’ll want to choose with a respected plugin, so look at the user reviews and 5-star rating.

Check if your plugin is blacklisted. 

Some hosting companies have a list of plugins that they will not allow on their clients’ sites. This is often done with plugins that have been identified as posing a security concern. Your hosting provider is safeguarding your site and any other sites housed on your server by prohibiting you from installing these plugins on your site.

Free vs. Premium

Decide if you want the free or paid version of the plugin if it offers multiple levels of access. Learn more about the payment plan to determine if this is a one-time or yearly purchase. Our clients should pay for all of their plugins directly with the vendor so that they have complete control over them at all times.

Test the plugin first. 

Test a plugin on a staging site before committing to it to verify if it works as intended and if it clashes with other plugins you already have installed. This is an important stage that should not be overlooked. Although there should be no issues in most situations, you never know what may go wrong, so don’t take any chances.

Plugin Categories

In a wiki, we categorize plugins to make it easier for you to find and test whether the plugins are perfectly fit your website. Here are lists of plugins categories in our wiki website :

Content

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Backups

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Media Management

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Image Optimization

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Pros

  • They limit functionality
  • They help you save time.
  • They provide some versatility.
  • They may be quite dependable.

Cons

  • They have the potential to make your website insecure.
  • They impose restrictions on functioning.
  • They may be at odds with one another.
  • They have the ability to slow down the pace of the page.

Conclusion

WordPress plugins have transformed the way people create websites. Non-coders may now get the precise functionality and features they want from their website thanks to plugins. This feature can be introduced fast and for a reasonable cost. The flexibility that plugins provide is important for organizations working in a fast-changing business environment.

References 

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