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What Is a Plugin (And Why Do I Need Them)?

When you are building your website you want it to do all of these amazing things. Book appointments on the website, accept payments, show your live social media feed…the options go on forever. But how do you make your website do these fantastic things? Well you could be super skilled and code all of that into your site. For the more average person, or even less skilled than that, there are plugins. Let’s dive into what a plugin actually is and what they are good for.

What is a Plugin and What Can They Do?

According to WP Beginner, “A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. In the WordPress community, there is a saying that goes around: “there’s a plugin for that”. They makes it easy for users to add features to their website without knowing a single line of code.(http://www.wpbeginner.com/glossary/plugin/)”  

So let’s break that down into layman’s terms. Basically a plugin is a patch of coding that is already done for you. This allows you to install this bit of code to make your website do amazing things without you having to know how to code.  Plugin make adding elements to your website easy and the choices are limitless. Many are free plugins and a good site to find the free plugins is WordPress.org. There are other companies that you can purchase plugins from but the majority of plugins are free. Some have free versions and still offer a paid version with many more options of things plugins can do.  Even if you are knowledgeable in coding, they are a great time-saver as it sets up the base code and you are able to edit and change the code how you want. 

Program code on a monitor

So there you have it.  Plugins are nifty tools designed to help make your site stand out above the crowd without you having to know anything about coding.  They are easy to install (see our post on How to Install a Plugin for instructions) and many have different settings options to customize your experience.  Use plugins and make your website the talk of the town.

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