If you’re a blogger using WordPress, chances are you’ve come across the term “plugin” before. Plugins are one of the best things about WordPress. But what are WordPress plugins, and how do you use them?
In this post, we’ll explore what WordPress plugins are, how they work, and some of the most popular plugins to take your website to the next level.
Let’s dive in!
First, What Are WordPress Plugins?
At their core, WordPress plugins are simply pieces of code that extend the functionality of your WordPress site without you having to write a single line of code.
Think of it as software that “plugs into” your WordPress site.
Plugins allow you to do almost anything from adding new features to integrating third-party services. There are plugins for just about everything you can think of! This is one of the main reasons WordPress is so popular.
Your website is your oyster when it comes to plugins. 🙂
How WordPress Plugins Work
WordPress plugins are written in PHP and use the WordPress API (Application Programming Interface). When you install a plugin on your site, it is automatically added to your source code.
Once a plugin is active, it will start doing its thing whenever someone visits your site. This could be anything from loading query libraries to making an AJAX call to a third-party service.
10 Most Popular WordPress Plugins
Now that we know what WordPress plugins are and how they work let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones out there:
► Here are my top picks for 5 of the best WordPress plugins to use that are FREE.
Gravity Forms is a plugin that allows you to create, manage, and publish forms on your WordPress website. This plugin makes creating complex forms with multiple fields and validation rules easy.
It’s available in a free and premium version. The premium version includes advanced form customization, auto-responders, payment integration, and more.
Link Whisper is a plugin that helps you add internal links to your articles. It’s powered by AI (artificial intelligence), so it can suggest links based on your writing content.
This can help keep your site organized and provide readers with more information about related topics.
LuckyWP Table of Contents
Have you read a blog post and scrolled to “meat and potatoes” to save time? That’s the glorious thing about having a table of contents.
The LuckyWP Table of Contents plugin creates an SEO-friendly experience for your posts, pages, or custom post types. It has a customizable appearance, so you can match your website’s look and feel.
The PDF Embedder plugin is a nifty little plugin that allows you to embed PDF files directly into your posts and pages. It’s simple to use; add the PDF like any other image!
The plugin automatically resizes the PDF to its natural dimensions to make it look great on any device.
UpdraftPlus is a plugin to help save your website from server crashes, hacks, security flaws, bad plugin or theme updates, and insecure web hosts. It’s an essential plugin to have installed on your website to ensure that your website is safe and secure. Plus, you can schedule automatic website backups, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Back everything into the Cloud to your choice of Dropbox, Google Drive, OpenStack Swift, Email, and more. The paid version allows you to back up your data to more platforms like Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, Backblaze B2, SFTP, SCP, and WebDAV.
W3 Total Cache
Plus, this plugin is available as a free or premium version. The premium version includes features like Cloudflare integration and debugging options.
The WordPress WooCommerce plugin is a free eCommerce plugin that turns your WordPress site into an online store. It enables you to sell products and services from your website and includes features like customer accounts, shipping options, and tax settings.
WPBakery Page Builder
WPBakery Page Builder is a drag-and-drop page builder plugin that lets you create custom pages and posts without writing code. It comes with a library of pre-built templates, and you can also create your templates from scratch.
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is a caching plugin that speeds up your website’s loading by caching static files. Cached files are served to visitors instead of dynamic files, which must be generated each time a page is loaded. This can significantly reduce the load time of your pages, especially if you have a lot of traffic.
WP Super Cache is available as a free and premium version. The premium version includes features like CDN support and advanced caching options.
Yoast SEO is a plugin that allows you to optimize your website for search engines. It includes keyword analysis, title and meta tag optimization, XML sitemaps, and more.
Yoast SEO is available as a free and premium version.
These are just a few of the most popular plugins available for WordPress. There are literally hundreds of others to choose from, which is one of the things that makes WordPress so powerful and versatile! Narrow down what works best for you and your site.
To Wrap It Up
WordPress plugins are a great way to add new features and functionality to your site without you having to be a coding guru. With so many great options, you can get super creative and tailor your website to how you want!
If you want to add some new bells and whistles to your site, check out some of the most popular plugins listed above.
Until the next post, wishing you much blogging success!
Do you have anything to add about WordPress plugins? Let me know in the comments below. Your input means a lot and helps other fellow bloggers who read this post!
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About The Author
Linds is the proud mom of two little miracles, Mono Mono twin girls, and one AMAZING older brother! She is the founder and content creator of Mono Mono Twins, Intensive Therapy for Kids, and Co-Founder of The LENN Foundation, a 510c3 that helps children with cerebral palsy receive grants for intensive therapies to thrive. ♥
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