Benefits of WordPress Plugins
Traditionally a bare WordPress installation comes with limited features out of the box. You can add pages and blog posts to your site. If you require specific features that are not included you will need to brush up on your coding skills or if you prefer, you can choose to add a plugin. Plugins in WordPress are an excellent way to add complicated features without having to code them yourself.
What functionality does it add?
There is no limit to the functionality that can be added through plugins on WordPress. As a plugin essentially adds programming into your WordPress site. Features that can be added include but are not limited to, Anti-Spam, Backup, Caching, Search Engine Optimization, social media, and Analytics. You can also add e-commerce functionality using the WooCommerce plugin. Generally, if you need to add a feature chances are someone has made a plugin for it.
How to add a plugin in WordPress?
Adding a plugin is extremely simple, and can be done in two ways. Regardless of how you choose to add a plugin you first need to enter into the backend of your WordPress installation and in your right sidebar hover over the tab labeled “Plugins” and click on “Add New”. Now you can either upload a plugin via a zip file directly by clicking the “Upload Plugin” button. Or you can search for a plugin using the search button which will search for plugins within the WordPress Plugin Directory. Once you have chosen the plugin your require click “Install Now” then go to the Installed plugins page and activate it.
Premium vs Free
There are two categories of plugins in WordPress, premium, and free. A lot of work goes into maintaining and developing these plugins therefore sometimes the more complex ones come with a price tag. Understandably these premium plugins will add more functionality than their free counterparts. Often free plugins might come with a ‘pro’ option that unlocks even more features. Depending on your requirements you may want to consider a premium plugin is the free version does not do the trick.
Should you use plugins on your WordPress site?
Generally, as a rule of thumb, you should add as much functionality as you can to your website. Increasing the features available on your website has the potential to improve the user’s experience when visiting your website. If you are not sure which plugins you must install, do check out ZedPro’s blog post where he lists the must-have plugins for your WordPress installation. Remember if you don’t like a plugin you can always remove it later, so feel free to experiment and find the plugins that best suit your needs.