If you want to add an events calender to your website or you want a contact form or you want to integrate your site with MailChimp, the chances are you will want a plugin. Plugins are packaged code that adds functionality to WordPress. Whatever it is you are trying to do with your site, there is probably a plugin already written that will do it. When you install a plugin the code is placed into a folder with the plugin name within /www/wordpress/wp-content/.

The plugin folder contains all its php, css, and JavaScript code as well as any required images, fonts, language files, etc., arranged in its own folder structure.

There are many thousands of plugins available for WordPress many of which can be seen in the WordPress plugin directory. Many plugins are free, others you pay for. Some provide a free functional version but to get the full functionality, require you to pay to upgrade to the premium version. When choosing a plugin you should consider the following:

  • Does it do what you want it to or close enough?
  • Is it premium or free? Premium plugins might offer better support but at a cost.
  • When was the plugin last updated? Some plugins get abandoned and become obsolete.
  • Is the plugin compatible with the current version of WordPress?
  • What user rating does it have and what are the review comments?

Occasionally you will come across a situation when there is no plugin for what you want. You can either decide to change what you want by adopting a different approach or write your own plugin.