WordPress plugins are helpful extensions that let you add extra functionality to your WordPress site. They can handle small things, like showing related posts to your visitors, as well as large things, like turning your WordPress site into a fully functioning social network or eCommerce store.
Pretty much every WordPress site uses at least some plugins. So if you’re using WordPress, learning the ins and outs of WordPress plugins is essential to your success.
In this guide, we’ll give you detailed information on everything that you need to know about WordPress plugins. By the end, you’ll know:
- Where to find WordPress plugins
- How to choose WordPress plugins that are safe and secure
- How to install WordPress plugins
- What to do if you’re having trouble with a plugin
- How to update WordPress plugins
Basically, when you finish reading, you’ll be a WordPress plugin wizard! Let’s get started.
Note – If you’re just interested in how to install WordPress plugins, click this link to jump straight to that section.
Installing Plugins Is Serious Business – Put Some Thought Into It
Each time you install a new plugin on your WordPress site, you’re adding new code to your site. That’s good because it allows you to add all kinds of cool functionality to WordPress.
But because these external code additions don’t undergo the same rigorous scrutiny as the code in the WordPress core, it’s also not something that you should take lightly.
Choosing poorly coded plugins can:
- Open your site up to security vulnerabilities, even if the plugin developer wasn’t intending to be malicious
- Make your site buggy and hard to use
- Crash your entire site until you disable the offending plugin
Now, we don’t want to scare you. Installing plugins is perfectly fine. Again, every single WordPress site uses plugins to add functionality. We’re not trying to scare you away from plugins.
Here’s what we do want to do, though:
Make sure you understand the importance of choosing plugins wisely.
In the following sections, we’ll tell you exactly where to find WordPress plugins and how to properly vet them before installing them on your site.
As long as you’re careful when choosing plugins, you’ll benefit from added functionality without exposing your site to unnecessary risks.
Are WordPress Plugins Free?
Many WordPress plugins are free, but you’ll also encounter plenty of paid plugin options.
General, WordPress plugin developers use one of these 4l different billing approaches:
- 100% free – generous developers create an entirely free plugin with no need to ever pay money.
- Freemium – the developers offer a limited free version, but you need to upgrade to Pro for all of the features.
This article was written by Colin Newcomer and originally published on WPKube.