Since you are now reading this article, It is for sure that you will soon start to work on WordPress CMS and will need to install the basic or a lot of plugins in order to get started.
So let us see what is a Plugin and what are WordPress plugins.
What is a Plugin?
In simple words, a Plugin is a ready-made software which once installed, enhances or upgrades the features of your website, in order to do a particular task without any coding knowledge.
Yes, you are correct. You do not need to have any coding knowledge in order to run a plugin.
I am from a commerce background, and I have zero knowledge of coding.
Still, I am able to run this website and all is because of these plugins
If you are planning to run your website without the help of plugins then it can be a bad idea.
No matter, how simple you want to keep your website, you will definitely need to install at least one plugin to your website, at least for the security of your WordPress.
What are WordPress Plugins?
If you are unable to see the plugin option in your WordPress, You are probably using wordpress.com.
You will only be able to see the option of the plugin if you have wordpress.org
As mentioned before, Plugins give you support to manage your website.
This will, in addition, help you to handle your website precisely.
How can a plugin help you in WordPress?
Let’s take this example, If you are new to WordPress or to this Blogging era, you will definitely need to build a contact form, Isn’t it?
And in order to build this, you will need to paste, generate or manage some codes and you will build a contact form.
How about installing a piece of software or code, with just one click.
And this will eventually help you to make your contact form with total control over it.
Just imaging, the plugin section of WordPress as a play store of any Android Device(where you only get apps).
You just search, and you get what you want.
Sounds amazing, Isn’t it?
Well, this is what Plugin does.
In order to install and manage a plugin, it is not necessary for you to have any coding skill.
What kind of plugins does WordPress have?
Well, WordPress has a huge collection of plugins within the WordPress directory. You ask for the plugin and you get them all.
If you want to manage your SEO: Yoast
Forms: wp forms
Ecommerce website: woo-commerce
Website builder: elementor, beaver etc..
Want to manage your google ads: advances ads
Want to install a piece of code in your header or footer: Insert header and footer
Improve the speed of your website: W3 total cache
And the list goes on and on
So in short, you have a lot of plugins as per your need
How to Install a plugin in WordPress:
Installing a plugin in WordPress is just like installing an app in your mobile device,
All you need to do is log in to your WordPress admin.
After that, on the left-hand side, you will see a Plugin option
Go to add new and install the plugin you want.
I have already written a blog on how to install a plugin in WordPress with images
How to make sure that you have the right plugin installed.
Well, the first answer to this question is research.
Well, you need to do some research for this and find which is the best plugin for you as per your requirement.
There are many online blogs who can give you the best suggestions or you can even go to WordPress forums to find the right plugin for you.
The second way to find out the best wordpress plugin is.
Search in the search box for the plugin that you need.
WordPress will show you the list of plugins that it has.
Before you install any plugin, check for the below details of the particular plugin
Stars/Ratings: Best plugins are rated higher
Number of Installations: The more installation a particular plugin has, it means that it is more trending than the other
Last updated: It plays an important role, having a recent last update date is very important, since it ensures that the plugin is always up to date and doesn’t have any issues within
Compatible with your WordPress version: Most of the plugins still run on the old version of WordPress(especially when you have recently upgraded or updated your WordPress)
If you still have any doubts or questions about the particular plugin, you can choose to go to the review area of a particular plugin and you will see all the reviews by people about that plugin.
After you have done this self-analysis, you should be able to make a decision on which plugins suites well for you.
Are WP plugins for free?
You know what, I like free things, be it a plugin or a theme.
The answers to this question is yes, as well as no.
I will explain this to you this.
Almost all the plugins on WordPress are Free to use, but they reveal the extra feature after you upgrade them.
Well, I think, most free plugins get all the job done, hence, even I never bothered to upgrade any plugin.
Should you upgrade your WP plugin?
It depends on how serious are you with your company or your site,
If you really think that a particular plugin needs to upgraded to run your business or website, you should definitely get it without any hesitation
However, as I mentioned earlier, most of the plugins are for free and you do not need to upgrade or update it.
Can I get a plugin or theme from a third party?
Yes, you can.
WordPress allows you to upload and install a third party to your website.
There are many third-party websites out there, which allows you to download a plugin or even a theme for your website.