Like a mobile device which has apps to enhance its functionality.
A website editor like WordPress has its own version of these apps called plugins.
These plugins help to provide additional functionality to the web editor, making it more functionally rich and improving its usefulness.
To date, there are more than 50,000+ plugins within WordPress itself. This number is set to continue growing.
Do I really need to use Plugins?
The founders of WordPress has decided earlier on that they can’t be doing everything on their own, otherwise, it would take forever to get the platform off the ground. So its founders have found it more meaningful to allow the community to develop plugins on their behalf.
As the platform relies on plugins to give it added functionality, the chance of you using plugins for your website is pretty high.
In fact, there is a good chance you would not only be using one plugin but several of them.
So I will just install what I need
Yes installing a plugin is the easy part.
Too many choices
However for every functionality, you might wish to add on, there are several duplicate plugins to choose from.
Thus, selecting the most suitable plugin is a challenge in itself.
Another complexity is the issue of compatibility.
Plugins are usually packed with dynamic coding. It may cause a conflict with other elements within your website. It may also increase website load time. In some extreme cases, it might just break your website totally. This is a huge problem when the plugin is not well supported.
In most cases, plugins have been tested against the latest version of WordPress before it is released for general use.
However, issues arise when these plugins deployed have not been tested against other incumbent plugins which might have been similarly been deployed on the website.
A conflict might result because of it.
The reality of things is that the plugin developers would not have the time and resource to do all these compatibility testing. The work involved in plugins to plugin compatibility testing is formidable.
In some cases, pre-conditions are required before a plugin can be downloaded. It has to be done in the right sequence, otherwise, issues will surface.
In short, while plugins are useful, they themselves could be problematic themselves.
Hence knowing and having the ability to manage these impacts is key for an optimal functioning website.