What are WordPress plug-ins?
If you are a beginner at Web Design or at just owning a website, You are probably wondering “what the heck is a plug-in?” lol. In this article I’m going to explain it to you in the simplest, dumbest way possible. I’m also going to give you an easy to follow guide on choosing and installing the right plug-ins so your website doesn’t break!
A plug-in is an extra piece of software that you install to add extra features and functionality to your wordpress website.
Think about it like this, When you buy a new phone,
you can’t tweet yet,
you can’t post a picture on instagram yet,
you can’t read your emails yet.
So you will install the Twitter app, the Instagram app and the Gmail app. Now you can send out tweets, post pictures on Instagram and see all your emails.
Plug-ins for websites are like apps for phones.
In order to do certain things with your website (collect emails, book meetings, receive payments etc) You gotta install certain plug-ins that give you the options to do these things.
Fun Fact: There are over 57,000 WordPress plug-ins.
Let me give you more examples to help you understand this better. There are plug-ins that will collect payments through PayPal and Stripe. There are plug-ins that can turn your website into a web shop (e-commerce). There are plug-ins that will make your website get higher scores on Google Page INsights. You can even use plug-ins to add dark mode to your website or add a different language option.
Starting to make sense? Good! Now you know all you need to know about plug-ins.
Let me give you a quick guide on choosing plug-ins for your website:
1.) When looking for a free plug-in, only install plug-ins that you find through the WordPress Dashboard Plugin tab.
2.) Only install plug-ins that have good reviews and alot of downloads. This is what you need to look at before deciding to buy a paid/premium plug-in.
3.) Plug-ins can slow down your website so don’t install a plug-in that a lot of people complain about.
4.) Generally only install a plug-in that offers customer support.
5.) Update your plug-ins every 4 months, Just like phone apps, plug-ins can be updated to newer versions. Try to keep your plug-ins updated to avoid any security issues.
6.) Before updating a plug-in, look at reviews to see if the latest version has any bugs. Updating plug-ins with bugs can “break” your website.
Understand this, Plug-ins slow down your website significantly! So don’t install plug-ins that don’t help you achieve what you want the website to do for your business. Your goal for every website should be to use as little plug-ins as possible.
On small websites I use 2 – 5 plug-ins and on big websites I use 8-16 plug-ins.
A plug-in is a piece of software that adds more functions to your WordPress website. Plug-ins for websites are like apps for your phone. You install plug-ins on your website because it opens up new possibilities to what you can do.
There are over 57,000 plug-ins so it can be hard to know which ones to choose. When deciding which ones to choose, look at the reviews on YouTube and Facebook communities. Try to keep your plug-ins updated every 4-6 months to avoid any security issues. Every website should have as little plug-ins as possible since plug-ins slow down your website.