Home > Guide > What are Wordpress Plugins?

What are Wordpress Plugins?

Published on 2/27/2011 by

Wordpress plugins are applications that essentially plug in to the core functionality of Wordpress and extend its capabilities.  Plugins are installed on your web hosting server or account through the Wordpress administration panel in the dashboard area of your Wordpress install. 

With thousands of Wordpress plugins available online, some written by the Wordpress team and some by third party developers, plugins can do almost anything you can image.

  • Create visual change:  Add custom comment smiley packs, elements to your header and footer, or a listing of popular posts in the sidebar of your blog.
  • Add functionality:  Turn your domain into a social networking or ecommerce website or add Google AdSense advertisements and contact forms.
  • Keep track of stats:  View your latest visitors, find out what pages of your blog are most well received and where your traffic is coming from.
  • Tighten security:  Lockdown your Wordpress login, test your blog for security holes, and password protect pages.
  • Optimize:  Automate your SEO, add an XML sitemap, or optimize databases and scripts to help your website load faster.
  • Organize:  Add the ability to organize posts by date, subject or author or change how people are able to navigate your website.
  • Inspire community:  Install social networking share buttons, comment karma, and applications that will work to promote your fellow bloggers.

There is no end to what Wordpress plugins can do! 

Wordpress plugins are available in free, paid and premium forms and can add an unlimited amount of power and functionality to your Wordpress installation.