Plugins are software components with different functions that can be incorporated into a WordPress website. They can expand functionality or include other features in your WordPress websites. Written in the PHP scripting language, WordPress plugins smoothly blend with WordPress. The saying "there's a plugin for that" is commonly heard in the WordPress community. They help users by simplifying the process of adding features to their site even if they do not know a single code. Thousands of them can be downloaded at no cost at the official WordPress directory.
Site administrators can install or uninstall plugins from the administration area. They can download them, as well as install them manually with an FTP client.
Most of the plugins are free so it is important to keep in mind that they often do not include technical support. That is the reason why it is crucial to be careful in choosing the ones to install on your website. While a lot of plugins can practically do anything, some have better quality than others. To choose the best one, consider asking yourself a number of questions like when it was last updated. Does it work with the latest WordPress version? Do people receive answers whenever they ask support questions? What is its rating?
Some people say that WordPress plugins slow down your site. This is certainly not true. Only poor quality ones will slow it down.
Premium versus Free
A multitude of WordPress plugins can be downloaded for free at the WordPress.org Directory. Premium/paid WordPress plugins are available as well, and there are many different reasons why some users opt for a paid one:
Though the plugin directory comes with thousands of plugins that are free to download, paid plugins come with developers and staff that provides full-time support and make sure that security is maintained and plugins are compatible with the latest WordPress version, plus other themes and plugins.
Usually, plugins work well with the core of WordPress as well as other plugins; however, at times, a plugin's code could block the way of another plugin, resulting to compatibility problems. It is a lot different with a paid plugin since there is a support staff that can provide assistance when something goes wrong.
Now, you may be wondering the types of things that plugins can achieve. Whatever you imagine, there is always a plugin for that purpose. You just need to go through the WordPress plugin directory to check all the possible ways that plugins can expand or improve your WordPress site.