WordPress Words: Plugins

WordPress Plugin: A WordPress Plugin is a program, or a set of one or more functions, written in the PHP scripting language, that adds a specific set of features or services to the WordPress weblog, which can be seamlessly integrated with the weblog using access points and methods provided by the WordPress Plugin Application Program Interface (API).
Writing a WordPress Plugin – WordPress Codex

WordPress Plugins are a set of files that have to be installed and activated in order to work. Don’t confuse WordPress Plugins with plug-ins for light bulbs or electronic devices. WordPress Plugins extend the functionality of WordPress, allowing it do do more.

These are bits of extra code that literally plug into the WordPress system and they provide additional functionality, from letting people rate the content on your site to automatically creating tweets on Twitter.
George Plumley in “WordPress The 24-Hour Trainer”

BuddyPress
BuddyPress
Plugins extend WordPress into almost anything you can imagine. The WordPress Plugin Directory lists many WordPress Plugins including BuddyPress (social networking the WordPress way), Theme Check (a free theme validation service), and bbPress (forum software for WordPress).

Theme CheckWordPress Plugins can help you display a map or suggest a site to a visitor. The WordPress community has many to choose from and some have been cited and reviewed in ClarkWP WordPress Magazine category for “WordPress Plugins.”

WordPress.com lists the WordPress Plugins they use on their hosting service, most of which are rolled into a single WordPress Plugin for use on self-hosted versions of WordPress called the Jetpack WordPress Plugin.

WordPress Plugin Installation

WordPress Plugins are easily installed through the one-click install for self-hosted versions of WordPress on the Plugins screen on the Administration Screens. Simply search for the Plugin you are interested in and install it. Click activate to turn it on, and deactivate to turn it off. To remove it, click uninstall if the feature is available for that Plugin.

Plugins may also be manually installed onto the server using an FTP Client.

If there is something you are trying to get accomplished in WordPress, there may be a Plugin available to download, install, and activate to match your need. Just do a search using the sites listed to find a solution to enhance your site.

Writing a WordPress Plugin

WordPress Plugins are written in PHP and JavaScript and may use template tags, functions, and hooks to extend the functionality of WordPress.

A knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and basic web programming languages and skills is essential, but many current WordPress developers got their start learning to code by experimenting with WordPress Plugin writing.

The following are educational articles and resources to learn more about writing a WordPress Plugin.

More Information About WordPress Plugins

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