What are WordPress Plugins?

If you are beginner at WordPress, you might be wondering “what is WordPress plugin?”. After you complete your first WordPress installation, you may find the “plugin” word on your dashboard, while installing it or while reading or watching some basic guide. This is obvious to emphasize on WordPress plugin as they are capable of performing most advance tasks and functions.

What is WordPress Plugin?

WordPress plugin is additional codes that plugs into WordPress CMS and as a result add, modify or hide some feature(s). In general, a properly compiled code files which can add extra functionalities when uploaded together with WordPress CMS is WordPress plugin.

The change in function depends upon what plugin you are going to install on WordPress. For example, wooCommerce can change your site to an competitive ecommerce site, Elementor can be used to design the pages, WP form can be used to collect email from visitors, etc.

Plugin can make any kind of changes to your site. Some can add function, design, etc while some will help to load the site fast or rank the site higher on search engines.

Use of WordPress Plugins

The use of the plugin depends upon purpose of the site. If the purpose is making an ecommerce site, you may want to install billing plugin. But, if you are making a blogging site, the preference of plugin changes.

However, there are some plugins which can be used by any kind of sites. And some are very essential for everyone to have it installed.

Commonly Used WordPress Plugins

  • Classic Editor – A simple to use plugin that helps to write contents with flexibility of formatting. This is helpful while writing simple blogs with minimal design.
  • Akismet Spam Protection – It is used to block spam comments and bruteforce login attack. This plugin integrates with JetPack when installed together.
  • JetPack – Jetpack is provides multiple features such as site online/offline status report, image lazy-loading, social media share/comment ability, connecting site to WordPress.com and it’s app.
  • RankMath/All in One SEO/Yoast – For better search engine optimization. They do not rank your site, but provide better on page SEO optimization guidelines.
  • UpdraftPlus – This is free backup plugin. You can Backup WordPress site on Google Drive and other Remote storage.
  • Caching Plugins – caching plugins are used to create cache files and serve them as fast as possible from nearest server. The best free caching plugin for WordPress site is W3 Total Cache.
  • Image Compression – Website page speed should be fast enough. Image with large file size can affect page speed. Therefore, image compression plugin helps to reduce the image size with minimal reduction on quality. You can use Imagify which can compress image to unbelievably lower size with best quality.
  • Forms – You may want to collect emails from visitors. The best way to collect them is using a fill up form. I recommend using JetPack forms for email collection. However, there are many other form plugins offering better customisation.
  • CookieYes GDPR Cookie Consent & Compliance Notice Plugin: The plugin will assist you in making your website GDPR( RGPD, DSVGO) & CCPA compliant.

How to Find WordPress Plugins?

Plugins that are available for free or having free plan are available from Plugin section of your WordPress dashboard. And other premium plugins can be found from their respective site or other sellers.

If you are not satisfied with any of the plugins, you may also create your own, if you can and use an your site by uploading it.

How to Install WordPress Plugins?

There are multiple ways to install WordPress plugins. The simplest way is to install it from plugin section on WordPress dashboard. You can search for required plugin with the name or keyword and click on install and click on the Activate button to enable it after installation.

Install Wordpress Plugin

If the plugin is not available on wordpress.org meaning not listed on dashboard, you may download the zip file from provider and upload it using the upload option available on the add plugin page. This is useful while buying premium plugin.

Upload Wordpress Plugin

The next method is uploading the zip to WordPress files on your hosting server. To upload plugin like this, go to your site’s WordPress installation directory. Under wp-content folder you will find plugins folder.

Upload the zip inside plugins folder, extract it on the same directory and delete the zip file. After uploading it, you can activate it from your WordPress dashboard.

You Might be Asking

Can I Use WordPress Plugins on wordpress.com?

For most of the users, No. You can not use WordPress plugins on site made on wordpress.com. The plugins are specially designed for self hosted WordPress users.

However, if you are using business plan, you can also use WordPress plugins on site made on wordpress.com.

How many WordPress plugins can I install?

There is no any limitations regarding plugin Installation. You can install as many as you need.

The only thing you need to consider is the capacity of your hosting server and the features that worth providing.
Having too many plugin may also affect on your site’s performance as they may be using a large resources.

Should I install multiple plugins of same category?

Installing multiple plugins with same function may cause unexpected error due to conflict of functions or double effect.

So, it is not recommended to install and activate multiple SEO plugins, Caching plugins and image compression plugins.

How Many WordPress Plugins are Best?

There is no exact number. But considering the must have plugins, your should be using around 10-15 plugins which is generally enough for most of the sites.

For advance sites such as eCommerce and news you may need more plugins to appear professional with all basic features.
Since eCommerce and news sites are generally made on fast and managed servers, it should not be problem to have 20 or even more plugins.

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