WordPress Plugin: What is it? | Your Beginner’s Tutorial

Creating a new website and using a WordPress plugin can be confusing. Understanding the jargon will help you learn how to make your website more efficient.

What is a WordPress Plugin?

A WordPress plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions (written in code) that can be installed on your WordPress website. They extend the functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites.

WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language.

You can find over 48,000 free plugins to help you expand the functionality or add a new feature to your site. Which helps you add features to your website without having to know how to code.

As a beginner, building your own website, you can install/uninstall plugins from the WordPress Dashboard area. You can also download and manually install them using an FTP client.

Even though a majority of plugins are free, they usually do not come with tech support. For this reason, it is important to be careful when choosing which ones you want to install on your site.

Choosing a WordPress Plugin

To help you choose the better quality ones, take a few minutes and look at the information for each of the plugins before you install:

  • When was the last update?
  • Is it compatible with your version of WordPress?
  • Are people getting their support question resolved?
  • What is the star rating?
  • Is it compatible with other plugins you already have installed?

Before you purchase a plugin, use the free version to verify it works with your WordPress software and is compatible with the other plugins already have installed.

Using too many and non-quality plugins will slow your website down. Use the bullet points above to help you sort through the plugins.

Also, you can also unknowingly install a plugin that has malicious code written in it. Because of this, do not install plugins from any source that is not reliable.

One Plugin – Multiple Uses

There are many great WordPress plugins that are created to do multiple functions. When looking to add functions for your website, try to find plugins that will go through multiple tasks for you to keep the number of plugins to a minimum.

So now you know what a WordPress Plugin is and used for.