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WordPress – What is a plugin?

WordPress is a pretty good blogging platform right out of the (free) box. But that isn’t all it can do. With a little work it can also be:

  • A magazine website
  • A membership website
  • A property sales website
  • A survey tool
  • Digital signage system
  • Calendar and booking system
  • A support system
  • A video sharing site
  • A CV

In fact, more or less anything you can think of! And how does it achieve these things?

Through the use of plugins!

Plugins work seamlessly with your WordPress installation and expand your sites abilities. They can add functions such as additional security, caching, media management, SEO improvement and so many more! 

Where does a plugin live?

A plugin is a set of files that sit within the file structure of your WordPress installation, they can be active, which is when they are working and doing what you need them to, deactivated (when they are still installed but not working) or deleted (when they are gone!) You should always try to minimise the number of plugins on your site where possible and the number of deactivated plugins as they can still represent a risk to your website, especially if they aren’t kept up to date.

How to pick the right plugin?

It can be hard work picking the right plugin so always make sure that you research the plugins feedback from actual users, when it was last updated and if it is a paid or free plugin. Try to google alternatives and when you are ready, install the plugin on a staging copy of your site (and make sure you take a backup first!) and remember to read all of the setup information and watch any videos. Plugins all work slightly differently so it is worth getting familiar with the one you have picked!

Where can I get them from?

You can install plugins directly from your plugin entry on your website menu, or, take a look at the WordPress repository to start hunting down the right one!

If you need any help with plugins, let us know and we will do our best to help you!