Internet Business

WordPress Plugins

by Doug Samuel on 5 May, 2009

WordPress plugins: what do they do?

When you first install WordPress, it has a limited range of behaviors.

You can write posts and pages, allow visitors to leave comments, add a list of links to the sidebar of your blog … quite a few things actually. WordPress is quite capable out of the box.

WordPress can do quite a few other things as well. The basic version is really pretty good.

But it does not do enough for most people’s needs. And there are many plugins that take care of things, like search engine optimization, so that you will rank higher in search engine results, even if you know very little about search engine optimization.

There is nothing wrong with WordPress being less capable than it might be in the basic version. If WordPress was all things to all people, it would be a big, bloated piece of software, taking lots of disk space, and probably full of bugs.

Different websites have different needs. Why include everything, when most websites won’t use every possible feature.

There is another important feature of plugins. It has to do with how they are developed and who develops them.

The WordPress core, that is, the basic installation, is developed by Automattic Inc. and provided for free to the internet community.

Plugins are developed, well, by developers. By anyone inspired to extend what WordPress can do, by anyone inspired to write the code and make it available to the WordPress community.

Most plugins are free. There are also plugins you can buy. Why buy a plugin if you can get them for free? It depends on your needs. Most of the plugins I use are free. So far, I have just two that I bought. I’ll tell you about those as well.

Plugins allow flexibility. They provide flexibility in the way additional functionality is invented, and flexibility in how you, the blog owner, go about shaping your website.

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