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What Are WordPress Plugins and How Do You Use Them?

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 out there to take your website 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 a piece of software that “plugs into” your WordPress site.

Plugins allow you to do almost anything from adding new features to integrating with 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.

Basically, your website is your oyster when it comes to plugins. 🙂

How Do WordPress Plugins Work?


WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language 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.

how-do-wordpress-plugins-work

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

Gravity Forms is a plugin that allows you to create, manage, and publish forms on your WordPress website. This plugin makes it easy to create complex forms with multiple fields and validation rules.

It’s available in a free and premium version. The premium version includes features like advanced form customization, auto-responders, payment integration, and more.

Link Whisper

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 the content you’re writing.

This can be really helpful for keeping your site organized and for providing readers with more information about related topics.

Link-Whisper-Plugin

LuckyWP Table of Contents

Have you ever 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 make it match the look and feel of your website.

PDF Embedder

The PDF Embedder plugin is a nifty little plugin that allows you to embed PDF files directly into your posts and pages. It’s really simple to use, just add the PDF as you would any other image!

Plus, the plugin automatically resizes the PDF to its natural dimensions to make it look great on any device.

pdf-embedder-plugin

UpdraftPlus

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 in order to ensure that your website is safe and secure. Plus, you can schedule automatic backups of your website so you don’t have to worry about it.

Back up 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

W3 Total Cache is another caching plugin that can speed up the loading of your website by caching static files. It optimizes other aspects of your website including minifying CSS and JavaScript files and reducing HTTP requests.

Plus, this plugin is available as a free or premium version. The premium version includes features like Cloudflare integration and debugging options.

WooCommerce

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 having to write any code. It comes with a library of pre-built templates, and you can also create your own templates from scratch.

WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache is a caching plugin that speeds up the loading of your website by caching static files. Cached files are served to visitors instead of dynamic files which have to 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

Yoast SEO is a plugin that allows you to optimize your website for search engines. It includes features like 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 to choose from, you can get super creative and tailor your website to how you want!

If you’re looking to add some new bells and whistles to your site, be sure to check out some of the most popular plugins listed above.

Until the next post, wishing you much blogging success!

xo

Lindsey

Thank You


Thank you for being here today!

Do you have anything to add about WordPress plugins? Let me know in the comments below.

Was this post helpful? If so, I’d love your support by sharing it. 🙂

About The Author


Lindsey is a mom of two little miracles, MoMo twin girls, Lily Mae and Lua, plus one amazing older bro, Cody.

“Consider me a ‘blog super nerd’ at heart.  I love helping busy parents learn how to blog because it has personally been life-changing for me and my family.  Plus, sharing my experience to help otheron their twinhood journey is so rewarding!”

She is the founder of Twin Mom Blog Nerd, Content Creator/Co-Founder of the blog Intensive Therapy for Kids, and Co-Founder of The LENN Foundation 501(c)(3) charity that helps children with cerebral palsy (like her sweet nephew, Lenny) receive grants for intensive therapies to thrive. ♥

lindsey

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. I only recommend deals or items I love because I think you might like them too! With my affiliate relationships, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting Twin Mom Blog Nerd! 🙂

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