Do you want to grasp what’s WordPress plugin and how does it work?
A plugin is an extension that gives a selected function to your WordPress website. It’s a bit of software you’ll increase your website to form it better. They’re wont to add new features or extend the functionality of your WordPress website.
We’ll explain more about WordPress plugins, how they work, sorts of plugins, etc. during this article. So, read it till the top for full information.
1. What is a Plugin in WordPress? (Overview)
A plugin may be software that plugs into your WordPress site, which extends functionality or adds new features. Simply, plugins are WordPress extensions which add a replacement feature on your website as apps add in your smartphone. Plugins help to switch and improve WordPress functionality.
There are thousands of free plugins available in WordPress that you simply can install otherwise you also can purchase premium plugins i.e. paid plugin. you’ll simply get the free plugins by visiting the official WordPress plugins repository. you’ll choose the plugins suitable for your website and download accordingly.
Most of the WordPress plugins are available in the freemium model, offering both free and premium versions. Free offers basic functionalities, you would like to upgrade to a premium version for advanced features.
WordPress admin should carefully choose the plugins which one you would like to put in on your site, as different plugins accompany different quality and functions. For that, you’ll check the last update, rating for the plugin, and is it appropriate with the newest version of WordPress or the version you’ve got.
2. How do WordPress Plugins work?
WordPress is developed during a way that others can easily use and modify without having any knowledge in coding. And that’s made possible via plugins. Now let’s determine what a WordPress plugin does.
Plugins are small software apps that run over the WordPress software. they assist you to feature any sort of feature on a WordPress site. They’re designed during a way that they will overwrite an existing code and add or modify certain features in WordPress. And you don’t get to touch any code to use plugins.
For example, our plugin “Webinar Manager for Zoom Meetings” lets you manage Zoom videos via WordPress.
It’s a simple plugin that gives you the extensive functionality to manage Zoom Meetings, Webinars, Recordings, Users, Reports from your WordPress Dashboard.
Remote type of work requires powerful tools to make sure all the business processes correspond to the level and are done without any loss.
Similarly, there’s a plugin called Yoast SEO which helps you to enhance SEO (search engine optimization) of your site. The plugin improves your page quality and helps to rank higher within the program like Google.
3. Kinds of Plugins Available in WordPress
You can find various sorts of plugins available on the web. the most part is you would like to spot your needs and choose accordingly.
For beginners, you’ll choose the free plugin because it suits your budget otherwise you can buy premium plugins also. The WordPress.org plugin directory is crammed with 56,000+ plugins. So, you’ll choose the plugin that’s suitable for your website and download as many plugins that are required.
List of Some Plugin Categories & Best Plugins in Each Category
- WordPress Contact Forms – Contact Form 7, etc.
- WordPress SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO, RankMath, All in One SEO Pack, etc.
- eCommerce Plugins – WooCommerce, Customize My Account for WooCommerce, etc.
- Anti-Spam Filtering Plugin – Akismet, Antispam Bee, etc.
- Email Service Provider Plugin – MailChimp, Newsletter, etc.
- Lead Generating Forms Plugin – Everest Forms, User Registration, etc.
- Drag-and-Drop Page Builder – Elementor, Divi, Beaver Builder, etc.
- WordPress Security Plugin – Wordfence, Sucuri, iThemes Security, etc.
- Backup Plugin – UpdraftPlus, VaultPress (Jetpack Backup), etc.
- Image Optimization Tool – WP Smush, EWWW Image Optimizer, etc.
- Image Gallery – Envira Gallery, Modula, NextGEN Gallery, etc.
4. How to Choose the Best WordPress Plugins?
You might face some difficulties as a beginner to seek out suitable plugins for your website. Here we’ll give some list to settle on the proper plugin which can help you:
i) Make a list of the website’s requirements
Firstly, you would like to work out what quite a website you’re getting to build. Identify the features you would like to implement on your website and make an inventory.
But confirm to see the choices offered by your theme and web hosting before making a plugin list. That’s because some features you’ll be thinking to feature via plugins could also be already offered by your web host or theme.
ii) Search for Plugins
There are thousands of plugins available in WordPress for various features. And, we’ve already mentioned where you’ll find quality plugins above. altogether those plugin stores, you’ll find an inquiry option. Use the choice to seek out the simplest plugins for your site.
For example, attend the WordPress.org plugins page. then, navigate to the search box and enter what sort of plugin you would like. Let’s say you search ‘drag and drop contact form builder’. Here’s how the results will appear.
Now you can preview the plugins that appear. You can see the description of the plugin, rating, active number of installs, author name, and tested with WordPress version. You can go for those plugins which you think are relevant for your website.
iii) Analyze plugins for potential Security risks
You should always search for the plugins which are recently updated a minimum of two months prior and operating on the newest version of WordPress to make sure those are secured plugins.
WordPress also shows the last update and finds which version of WordPress can run that specific plugin under the outline tab. For example, you can see the screenshot of the Webinar Manager for the Zoom Meetings description page at WordPress.org. It shows the last updated date, and the WordPress version supported by the plugin.
You can also check all the previous updates that the developer has been updating under the Changelog tab.
While choosing any plugins pay close attention if a plugin is suitable together with your version of WordPress. If your WordPress doesn’t support a plugin, then it’s going to cause errors or maybe crash the whole website.
iv) Check the Reviews
Before installing any plugins to your website, you’ll thoroughly undergo the plugin rating within the sidebar of the plugin page. you’ll find the number of stars as ratings there, one being rock bottom and five being the very best.
For example, Everest Forms has a mean of 4.9 out of 5 stars ratings.
When a user rates a plugin, they also write a review for the rating. You can also go through the reviews by clicking on the rating bar. This will help to pick one for your site.
v) Check the Support Options
All the free plugins at WordPress.org have a support forum located within the support tab. If you’ll see the regular replies to users’ queries, then meaning the developer is actively working and solving the user issues.
Also, you’ll inspect the plugin’s official website for further queries regarding support options.
5. Top 10 Must-Have WordPress Plugins
There are more than thousands of plugins available in WordPress. Among those, the following plugins are highly recommended for beginners and advanced users.
- Yoast SEO
- MailChimp for WordPress
- Wordfence Security
- User Registration
6. WordPress Plugins vs Themes – What’s the Difference?
Most of us get confused between plugins and themes. Let’s clear out what’s the difference between them.
Understanding WordPress Themes
WordPress Theme is meant to vary your website’s appearance. It’s a face to your website. It includes layout and lots of other features to your content which styles your website. Every website inbuilt WordPress needs a topic without it no content is often displayed on the page.
Themes can do everything like add features and functionality to your site and may change the design of your website. Theme organizes and displays information on the location to the visitors.
WordPress installs and activates the default theme for you if you don’t install any theme of your own. Themes are often changed, as per your site’s requirement as many as you wish, but WordPress sites can only have one theme activate at a time.
While changing the theme of your website, only the theme will change the remainder of your functionality, and therefore the content of the location will remain there.
Similar to the plugins repository, WordPress.org also has an official directory of free WordPress themes. you’ll find over 7700 free themes within the repository.
Difference Between Plugins and Themes
A theme defines the planning of your website, whereas the plugin adds new functionalities and features to the location. Plugins add or remove some functions of the location.
You can use multiple plugins at a time; there’s no restriction thereon because the theme you’ve got to use one at a time. But installing numbers of plugins does affect the site’s speed. you would like to take care while choosing the plugin and install the sole you would like for your site.
7. How to install a WordPress Plugin?
Here we’ve explained two methods to install the plugin (free plugin and premium plugin) step by step:
Free Plugin installing method
- Login to your WordPress admin dashboard area, look for Plugins on your left-hand side.
- Inside the Plugins menu, click Add new, this will take you to the WordPress Plugin Directory.
- You can see all the free plugins available on the site.
- Find the plugin you are looking for or you can simply type Webinar Manager for Zoom Meetings on the search bar for example.
- When you find Everest Forms, click on the Install now button.
- Only installing is not enough, you need to Activate it to go live on your site.
- Once you click on the activate button, it will get activated.
- After installing the plugin click Activate.
From the above discussion of WordPress Plugin, now you recognize the importance of plugin for your WordPress.
A WordPress plugin is an app that adds more functionality to your website and improves your site’s functionalities.
An interesting thing about the plugin is, most of them are free and straightforward to put in which is sweet for beginners.0