If you’re new to WordPress, you might feel skeptical, “what is a WordPress plugin?”. It’s a fairly common question to ask because, in addition to being one of the many new terms that WordPress will introduce to your vocabulary, plugins are also an essential building block of every single WordPress site.
Plugins are ways to extend and add to the functionality that already exists in WordPress.
The core of WordPress is designed to be lean and lightweight, to maximize flexibility and minimize code bloat. Plugins then offer custom functions and features so that each user can tailor their site to their specific needs.
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).
- Find a WordPress plugin that you’re interested in.
- Install that plugin on your WordPress site
- Configure the plugin inside your WordPress dashboard
What To Consider Before Installing WordPress Plugins
Because installing a WordPress plugin entails adding third-party code to your WordPress site, you need to be careful about which plugins you install.
Installing a wrong plugin can cause:
- Cause an error on your site
- Open an unintentional vulnerability that hurts your WordPress site’s security
- Slow down your site
- Intentionally introduce malicious code
To avoid these problems:
- Try to use plugins from reputable developers or directories (like WordPress.org or Code Canyon)
- Read reviews and check how popular a plugin is before installing it
- Slow down your site
- Check for the last time a plugin was updated to make sure it’s still maintained
How Many WordPress Plugins Is Too Many Plugins…?
It’s more about quality than quantity. Provided you do your due diligence and keep a close eye on your site, especially when updating plugins, the WordPress core, and even themes, you shouldn’t run into any problems you can’t resolve quickly in one way or another – whether that’s removing the plugin, contacting a WordPress support service, or restoring a backup. When it comes to the maximum number of plugins you can install on a WordPress website, all that really matters is that your site is able to attract and retain visitors while still actually working.