WordPress Plugins: The Ultimate Guide

wordpress plugins

WordPress plugins are powerful tools that expand what you can do with your WordPress site, without having to know how to write or edit code. But with nearly 60,000 WordPress plugins available in the WordPress repository alone, and the growing list of premium and free plugins available from other online sources, how can you find the best WordPress plugins that can power your website?

In this beginner’s guide to WordPress plugins, we’ll take a look at everything related to the plugins that help power WordPress. Now, let’s take a look.

Since its inception 17 years ago, the WordPress platform has come a long way. Because of its ease-of-use and powerful website-building capabilities, more web developers are using WordPress to power their sites than ever before. The number of WordPress plugins available only continues to make WordPress more versatile.

Because of the popularity of WordPress as a content management system, the ecosystem of available WordPress plugins has grown to meet the development demands of WordPress users looking for highly flexible and customizable ways to build a unique website.

But what exactly are WordPress plugins and how do you use them? Where can you go to find the best WordPress plugin options for your individual site development needs? Let’s cover a few of these questions and more.

What is a Plugin In WordPress?

A WordPress plugin is essentially “add on” software that you can upload to your WordPress website to make it do more things. Essentially, a WordPress plugin is a string of code created by a developer that “plugs in” and interacts behind the scenes of your WordPress website.

In layman’s terms, a WordPress plugin adds new features and functionalities to your site. Some WordPress plugins extend the existing functionality of WordPress core or even other plugins.

Enterprising WordPress developers have written and deployed tens of thousands of plugins that you can quickly and easily add to your WordPress site. A WordPress plugin can do everything from make a minor site improvement to massive, all-encompassing changes that completely alter the way your website is displayed and used.

For example, you can easily find WordPress plugins that will turn your site into a fully-functioning social network, ecommerce store or user forum, just to name a few.

Conversely, a plugin can add a small feature to your site, such as displaying your Twitter feed on the homepage. Beyond that, many of the available WordPress plugins don’t have any front-facing impacts on your website. For example, you can find plugins that will help improve site performance or help you get better SEO rankings.

Are WordPress Plugins Free?

Yes! One of the amazing things about WordPress is the free WordPress.org plugin directory, also known as the WordPress repository. Here, you’ll find nearly 60,000 free WordPress plugins that you can download and add to your website.

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This article was written by Kristen Wright and originally published on WordPress News and Updates from iThemes – iThemes.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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