What is a WordPress Plugin and why Do I Need One?

If you are someone new to the world of WordPress, you might have a common question in mind, “what exactly is a WordPress plugin?” Apart from being one of those new words in the WordPress vocabulary list, plugins form an essential building block for every WordPress site.

That said, did you know that it is possible to incorporate a new feature in a WordPress website without using coding? All you need is a plugin. But to begin with, you need to have an idea or know what a WordPress plugin is.

Introduction to WordPress Plugins

A plugin is basically a software housing a cluster of functions which can be incorporated within a WordPress site. It is a code that can be ‘plugged in’ to a self-hosted WordPress website. It enhances the functionality of a WordPress site or prolongs the existing functionalities on your website.

WordPress plugins can be used conveniently even if you are not acquainted with any of the programming languages. There are hardly any limitations to what can be done using code snippets. Developers make use of PHP programming language to write the plugins and seamlessly integrate it within WordPress. A common saying that goes around in the WordPress community is “there is a plugin for that”. This is exactly how easy and effective plugins can make your WordPress functionality look like. You can add features to your website with ease, without typing a single line of coding.

Plugins can take care of everything, ranging from minor tweaks to major changes for your site. For instance, did you know that a few plugins could transform your WordPress site into a completely functional social network, e-commerce store, or even a forum? Yes, that is true. One of the advantages of WordPress is that you have thousands of WordPress plugins created by enterprise developers that can be added to the site.

Where to Find Out Plugins

You can discover WordPress Plugins from various places. That said, it depends on the version you are looking for, i.e. premium or free. Premium plugins are the ones that are charged with a certain amount since they provide greater functionality and better support as compared to other free plugins. Similarly, you can install free plugins by downloading them without any money. Having said that, free plugins are the ones that cater to the majority of your requirements at times.

WordPress is a great directory resource for both free and premium plugins. Additionally, you might come across third-party developers who sell certain plugins via their own website.

Why Are Plugins Important For Your Website?

Many of you must be aware that the internet uses languages called codes to operate. The unfortunate part is that not many people know how to actually speak code. Though some people might have knowledge of some basic coding, that isn’t adequate for taking care of the complicated and advanced part of websites.

The WordPress content management process is mainly the platform from which your website has been created. However, it is not extremely advanced, nor does it offer a hell lot of functionality. To enhance this functionality, you can craft codes on your own or find someone to do it for you. Simply put, plugins have been designed to bridge this knowledge gap and allow you to improve the functionality and user experience of your site.

If you are managing a substantial amount of work manually, it’s best that you install and let the plugins do the work for you. Plugins are extremely important if you possess a website, especially one designed in WordPress or any other such platforms.

The tons of WordPress plugins available on the platform provide you with notable benefits like:

1. They Reduce Your Workload

Installing a WordPress plugin ensures that you do not need to do any coding. All you need to do is simply activate the plugins and acquire results.

2. Saves Money

We often tend to employ a professional when it comes to catering to the requirement of a specific section of your website. However, a certain amount of searching will introduce you to plugins designed to function according to your website’s requirement.

3. Effective Website Management

Plugins ensure that your website functions effectively in the long run.

4. Relieves you From Coding

When you have a WordPress site, there might be instances when you might want to make some changes to your WordPress theme. In that case, you really do not have any other option to do so apart from coding. Having the right kinds of plugins installed relieves you from coding and ensures that these changes are made with ease.

To sum it up, almost 50% of your work is taken care of by plugins.

How WordPress Plugins Work

WordPress is usually written in a manner that allows other developers to incorporate their own code within it. The API for WordPress plugin offers an impressive set of filters and hooks that let developers modify their existing WordPress functionality or include new functionalities.

Yet another benefit of WordPress is that it allows developers to store all their data within the WordPress database. Plugins can make use of taxonomies, custom fields, and content types, enabling users to store various kinds of content apart from pages and posts. Every WordPress plugin that is installed on your website is registered to your WordPress database. They can be activated as well as deactivated at any time, as required.

When you visit WordPress, it connects you to its database, loads in the core software, and loads all the active plugins to its. These codes are processed on the server and sent out to your user’s browser.

5 Examples of Great Plugins

Moving on, let us take a look at the 5 best WordPress plugins that you can make use of:

Jetpack

If you are looking for a plugin that keeps your site completely backed up during real-time, Jetpack is the option to opt for. With one-click restores and 0 storage limits, Jetpack helps you prevent unnecessary intrusions via brute force protection, spam filtering, and malware scanning. Additionally, it helps you serve your static files and images from the global network of the servers of the plugin and loads your pages considerably faster. You get guaranteed control of your SEO and improved site speed. Shorter page load times ensure happy users, higher page views, and greater sales.

WP Travel Engine

Searching for the best tour and travel booking WordPress plugin for tour operators and travel agencies? WP Travel Engine is your answer. This is a free travel and tour booking WordPress plugin that allows you to create tour and travel packages for travel agencies and tour operators. A complete management system for the purpose, WP Travel Engine comes with ample useful features. In fact, you can develop your travel booking website using this plugin within less than 5 minutes.

Woocommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source flexible e-commerce solution that is built on WordPress. It allows you to get started on taking an existing brick and mortar shop online, launching businesses, or designing sites for your clients. The way it ensures the development of the exact store that you want is pretty impressive. WooCommerce has been developed to let store managers run e-commerce sites by themselves without the need of a web developer.

Contact Form 7

If you require a plugin that allows you to create and manage several contact forms through reCaptcha verification in a seamless manner, Contact Form 7 is the best WordPress plugin to opt for. It ensures that all spam submissions are filtered effectively. This plugin lets you ignore all extra coding, enabling you to craft and publish flawless contact forms for users with ease.

Yoast SEO

Speaking of on-Page SEO, there are a few efficient plugins that enhance it the way Yoast SEO does. While you might already have conducted your basic keyword search, Yoast SEO guides you through the entire process of creating your content for search engines. Right from finding the density of your main keyword to your metadata needs, this plugin makes SEO a child’s play.

Plugins play a crucial role when it comes to easing down work related to your website, especially when it concerns coding. With a plethora of options available to people on WordPress, finding the right plugin is just a matter of research and time. So, now that you are acquainted with its benefits, it is time to implement it and reap the best of results.

One thought on “What is a WordPress Plugin and why Do I Need One?

Leave a Reply