What are WordPress Plugins & Why to Use Them?

wordpress pluginsI love WordPress and I love WordPress plugins!  Plugins are these amazing little widgets that help your website be more efficient at doing the things you want your website to do.

You will generally hear plugins referred to as “Add-ons”.  Add-ons is often considered the general term comprising snap-ins, plug-ins, extensions, and themes.

In a broader sense of the term plugin, Wikipedia defines plugins as “a set of software components that adds specific capabilities to a larger software application.  Plug-ins enable customizing the functionality of an application. For example, plug-ins are commonly used in web browsers to play video, scan for viruses, and display new file types. Well-known plug-ins examples include Adobe Flash Player and QuickTime.”

However WordPress plugins are specific to the WordPress platform which is the platform we build almost every website from.  Simly put, WordPress plugins allow the easy modification, customization, and enhancement to a WordPress website. So instead of changing the core programming of WordPress, you can add functionality by adding WordPress Plugins.

WordPress.org defines their plugins as “WordPress Plugin: A WordPress Plugin is a program, or a set of one or more functions, written in the PHP scripting language, that adds a specific set of features or services to the WordPress weblog, which can be seamlessly integrated with the weblog using access points and methods provided by the WordPress Plugin Application Program Interface (API).” [Read more…]

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