Plugins – love them or hate them you can’t live without them

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WordPress is a popular plugin. Currently, WordPress dominates the content management system (CMS) space with over 30% market share – a number that has steadily risen over the years.  Most of the major websites in the world are currently running on WordPress.

One of the strengths of WordPress is its openness.  This allows developers to contribute and add to the application. These addons are small programs. They are similar to the small programs we download on our mobile phones to improve the phone’s capabilities. On the phones, the programs are called “Apps”. In the WordPress environment, they are called “plugins”.

A plugin in WordPress helps to add additional functionality that is not on the core WordPress. Currently, there are more than 50,000+ plugins for WordPress. This makes WordPress a very feature-rich and functionality powerful CMS.

Do I really need to use Plugins?

Yes, you inadvertently would.

While most of the core base functions are already in WordPress to get you going, however, based on your specific needs, there is a good chance you would need something outside of the core WordPress functions.

With over 50,000 plugins, for whatever function or issue you want to fix, you will have several options. As such, you would have to spend some time to evaluate,  consider, and finally narrow down a suitable plugin to install. The selection process is a time-consuming activity in itself

Not all plugins are created equal

Before downloading them, It is best to look at the number of downloads and whether it is compatible with your current WordPress version. Once you have narrowed down to a few plugins, you want to read the reviews, especially the negative ones.  

Downloading a plugin is easy. In most cases, the plugin developers would provide some guidance. However, you want to be a bit more careful when activating them. Plugins are usually packed with dynamic coding. The coding may cause a conflict with other elements (i.e., WordPress itself, other themes, and plugins already installed) within your website.

Some plugins, like security or performance related plugins, need additional care. As they interact with some important files within WordPress, there might be some impact.

In some instances, for a specific function, you might even need more than one plugin; this is in case one of them doesn’t do the job it was supposed to do.

If you use a plugin that is buggy and not well supported, you will be in a lot of trouble when the plugin malfunctions of your website.

Whatever the case, we always recommend that the webmaster backups the entire website before installing or updating anything on the site. Alternatively, you can deploy a staging server to do all the installation and updates. Only after the website on the staging server is fully tested and all is functioning well, then do you port the entire website to the production website.

If all the above seems confusing to you and you are trying to build a website, do drop us a note, and we can see how we can work something out.

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