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/.
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.