All About Plugins – What You Need To Know About WordPress Plugins
We come across plugins all the time whilst visiting websites and surfing the net but as they are busy working in the background we are rarely aware of them – unless our computer pipes up and tells us that we need one. So time to tell you all about plugins or at least as much as we can squeeze in here.
Think of plugins as an early form of phone application. You use your computer for certain functions, and your computer needs certain kinds of plugins to make those functions happen. Just as your phone needs Apps to make certain things happen.
Think of the most common times you ever needed a plugin- usually while playing a video online. Your computer will ask you to download the Adobe Flash Player, Media Player or any similar item in order to read and play what the video is trying to show. Similarly, there are thousands of plugins that our computers use every day to function. They have different roles to play in the working of a computer, and they come in different formats.
Plugins work a lot like your phone applications. You can use your smart phone to do many things, but it is useless if you do not have any proper applications to make anything happen. Think of all the applications you have on your phone that are useful, such as the flashlight application, or the barcode scanner. Think of the calendar app you use, or perhaps a sticky note widget for you to remember all the important things you need to do.
A plugin works in a similar fashion. You are not really upgrading your phone or getting a new one, you are simply allowing various companies and third parties to access certain information from your phone so that you can have different functions added to your phone and make your smartphone more useful than before.
Now, why would you consider adding additional plugins to your computer? The most obvious answer would be that it helps add new features to your computer, making it more useful and easier to use. You can add various kinds of plugins to your internet browser to make it more useful and helpful for your use, for example you can search directly from the task bar of your browser if you have a certain plugin, so you do not have to open a new window or tab every time you need to search for something in the internet.
How does this happen? Plugins give third parties a certain level of ability to create different services so you can have a better experience using computers. This does not mean that your security is at risk, rather you can enjoy a larger variety of uses from using the same computer and software. Another reason why plugins are so useful is that it helps reduce the size of an application, so you can fit in more information and items in a limited space, thus making the amount of space you have available more useful than it originally would have been had there been no plugins involved in the storing process.
Now that you know what a plugin is, you may wonder what a WordPress plugin is, and why it is so useful. First of all, WordPress is a hosting site for thousands of websites. If you ever want to make a website of any sort, WordPress is the place to go. Whether you want to make your website from scratch or use template, or even customize templates to your taste, WordPress allows you to expand your imagination and do whatever you like with your website, in a domain of your choice (domain being the name of the website).
As you can imagine, WordPress has been a popular option for people who are interested in making websites or blogs. You can make a website for free, or pay to enjoy certain privileges along with your website. Now we come back to the big question: what is a WordPress plugin? While making a website, you will realize there are a lot of things you would like to incorporate into your website. Perhaps you want your website title to be animated, of you simply want to put in a video into the body of one of your website pages.
If you can imagine something for your website, there is always a plugin for that! You can use plugins for the appearance of your website or to check if the comments coming in your blog posts are spam or not. There are literally thousands of different kinds of plugins that you can use to make your website the way you imagined, and possibly even better.
You can search for your desired plugin at the WordPress.org Plugin Directory or simply scroll through to see if there are any that you may find useful. You will find the Plugin Directory in the WordPress.org website, if you click the “Plugins” tab at the top of the website.
Some plugins are free, and there are also some plugins which you have to pay for. While of course there are thousands of free plugins, you may wonder why anyone would to use a paid plugin. Paid plugins have a 24 hour support call system where you can ask for any assistance regarding using your plugin. Sometimes using many plugins together can be confusing, and one plugin code may clash with another.
A help line is very useful in times such as these to help you get the most out of your website. Another reason to use paid plugins because they are more reliable and offer a higher security while being used than any free plugins out there.
Of course, that does not necessarily mean all free plugins are bad. Perhaps while using a function which involve a certain level of security, it is better to opt for a paid plugin rather than a free one. Having said that you will find numerous reviews on the plugins and can soon work out for yourself if a free one is good enough for the job in hand.
Plugins are a great way to maximize the potential your blog or website has. Discover new plugins and find new ways to use your computer. Don’t be afraid to have a little play once you have set up your own website. As long as you have a backup process in place (yes there is a plugin for this too!) you won’t lose or break anything! Who knows? Maybe you can create the next big thing using one of the thousands of plugins available.