Resource Guide — What are Plugins and Widgets?

Wordpress plugins and widgets

Similar to WordPress themes, you know widgets and plugins are important elements to the WordPress experience. However, you may not know exactly what they are and why they are used. 

So, what are plugins and widgets and why do we need them? 

The open-source nature of WordPress allows for the complete customization and scalability of your website. However, not all users can or want to add custom code to their WordPress site. With plugins and widgets, you can easily customize your website, adding complex functionality and interactive elements, without the fuss of code. 

Continuing reading to learn:

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What is a Plugin? 

Plugins are third-party pieces of software you are able to search for and install via your WordPress dashboard. Plugins are developed to improve performance or add additional functionality to your website that is not included in the standard installation of WordPress. For example, you can install security, caching and SEO plugins to help protect, speed up, and optimize your site for your users. You can install form plugins to capture end-user information or a gallery plugin to create a better layout for your images. Below is a list of recommended plugins to consider for your WordPress website.

What are Widgets?

Widgets are interactive elements that are both included with WordPress or can be downloaded from third-parties. They allow you to add additional interactive functionality like social icons or a search bar to the header, footer, sidebar or other widget areas. Widgets, similar to plugins, can be searched for and installed via your WordPress dashboard. Of note, your available widgets are determined by your active WordPress theme. Below is a list of recommended widgets to consider for your WordPress website.

Check out WordPress Education Channel for more tips and tricks on plugins and widgets!

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