In this article, we will discuss – What is a Plugin in WordPress ?
What is a WordPress Plugin ?
Plugins are a great way for web developers to quickly develop complex websites using the pool of free and paid plugins available in the market.
Using plugins can save time and money.
Lets, say you want to sell products on your website to do so you will need to write code to implement functionalities like – creating a product, updating it, creating a shop page, handling orders, payments and countless other intricacies needed to implement a comprehensive e-commerce website.
All this will require a team of developers working for a good period of time to get this implemented.
But with plugins this can be achieved in a matter of minutes if a plugin already exists for the given purpose.
And fortunately for WordPress users their are couple brilliant plugins available for e-commerce, WooCommerce being one of the best that enables/provides all the e-commerce functionalities on a WordPress website in a matter of minutes.
Plugins can be very powerful, but with power comes responsibility.
Which means it’s recommended to limit to installing couple plugins only per website.
Where to find Free WordPress Plugins ?
You can find some good free plugins at: https://wordpress.org/plugins/
Just search for the functionality you are looking for and their is good possibility their will be a couple options to choose from.
When choosing a plugin make sure to –
- check its ratings to see what other people are saying about it
- look at plugins active installs (higher the better)
- read its description to check what exactly it offers.
These checks will help you select a better plugin for your website.
Again you can search for a plugins review on google or experiment with it on a test website, to make sure you don’t break your main website in case the plugin is malicious, outdated or in-compatible with your theme.
Why you should not install too many plugins on WordPress ?
Plugins can be great, but too much of anything is not good.
Think of it in simple terms, if you eat too much healthy food you will still get overweight no matter if the food was healthy.
Similarly, when you install too many plugins on a website it becomes heavy because too many files need to be loaded which can make –
- the website slow leading to bad user experience
- as well as bad SEO results in search (especially google search doesn’t like slow websites).
So, whats the solution, its simple only use plugins for complex and big problems and avoid them for small problems like adding google analytics code to your website, you don’t need a plugin for that you can simply add it to your website without bloating it.
Steps to Install a WordPress Plugin
Follow the tutorial below –
How to Install WordPress Plugins ? Steps and Video Tutorial
Steps to Install a WordPress Plugin using a ZIP version of the plugin
Most of the times the above steps should be enough for you to install a plugin on your WordPress website, but their can be situations where you may need to install it manually using a zip file.
This usually happens when you buy a paid plugin the vendor may provide you the plugin in zip file.
Follow the tutorial below –
What is meant by zip file of a WordPress plugin, and why it’s used ?
A zip file is nothing but the all the files of the plugin compressed together in a folder, and this folder is called zip file.
Why people use zip ?
Zipping/Compressing files makes it easy to share multiple files easily and at once instead of sharing them individually, as well a zipped file can even contain many folders within it.