Introduction to WordPress Plugins

49 472 WordPress Plugins available on the official repository. That’s a huge number! And they are just the Plugins available on wordpress.org. They are much more, for example think about vendors that sell their own Plugins on their platforms or the thousands of Plugins loaded on GitHub, but never submitted to the official repository.

For many people Plugins are surrounded by mystery. It seems that WordPress provides us with a powerful magic wand to get anything we want. To turn WordPress into whatever we want.

What is a Plugin?

The shortest answer is: a package of code. More specifically, a package of PHP code. That’s it.

The simplest Plugin is made up of a single unique PHP file. For example Hello Dolly, a Plugin that you’ve probably never used, but you have seen it at least once, since it is delivered together with WordPress.

It’s important to understand how Plugins are related to WordPress itself. There are three major components: Core, Themes and Plugins. The Core is the application itself. Themes allow to display some data to users and to choose the look and presentation of your website. Finally we have Plugins.

Plugins are used to extend WordPress functionalities or to add new ones. At this point you can ask why not to directly modify the WordPress Core. Continue reading “Introduction to WordPress Plugins”