If you are concerned with creating a WordPress website, you can not get around one or the other plug-in. But what exactly is that, a plug-in? What can you do with it? And which plug-in is suitable for which purpose?
The term derives from the English verb “to plug in”, which means “plug in” or “connect”. So a plug-in is something that is docked to something else. And a small program or program package that can be integrated into WordPress as a superordinate system. What for? To expand your own website with features that are not available in the basic version or in the selected theme.
More than +54,000 plug-ins leave nothing to be desired
The imagination knows no bounds, more than }54,000 plug-ins are now available for download on WordPress.org alone.
Whether it’s about connecting social networks, effective data protection, reduced spam volume, current weather information or spectacular sliders – everything is possible. Expansion of site navigation? No problem. Integration of an online shop? Let’s go. Increase the loading speed? Easy as pie. Yes, there is even a plug-in that lets it snow on its own website.
As few as possible, as many as necessary
However, despite the wide range of plug-ins, the motto is always: as few as possible, as many as necessary. Because the installation of too many plug-ins makes the website slow – and that pleases neither the visitors nor the search engines. There are also numerous free plug-ins on the web that contain malicious code. So, if you’re stumbling away from WordPress.org over attractive feature enhancements for free, you should exercise caution.
Premium plug-ins offer some advantages
However, there are also plug-ins that cost a bit – because the programmer, for example, has invested a lot of time in the development and tries to achieve something in return. Such plug-ins have some advantages: they are usually continually evolving, causing fewer problems over time. In addition, the developers of premium plug-ins often offer support for their users.
Find and install plug-ins
If you do not want to spend money or get an overview first, you can do so via WordPress.org or the back-end of WordPress. There you will find the menu item “Plugins” in the sidebar, where you will first see which plug-ins have already been installed. If the sub-item “Install” is selected, you will get to a user interface where you can search for plug-ins that you can upload or filter for various leaderboards like “Recommended”, “Popular” or “Newest”.
Always keep plug-ins up to date
In any case, it is important to always update the installed plug-ins. Those who act negligently, take security risks. For an update, there is usually a good reason – such as the removal of a bug, the addition of groundbreaking features or the adaptation to a new version of WordPress. If a plug-in comes from the official directory of WordPress, you will be informed in the administration area about available updates. If it does not, it is worth taking a regular look at the website of the creator.