Plug-ins came to exist in a time where the world wide web was not able to stand on its own two feet. The first versions of HTML could not support fancier content like videos but only texts, images, and links. Plug-ins were invented to elevate the browser experience by breaking the existing HTML barriers and creating a means to deliver more interactive content. Essentially, a plug-in is an additional and optional software component that specializes in processing a particular type of content.
Take for instance the plug-in Adobe Flash Player used to view webpage with video or interactive game content. Adobe is an additive software that facilitates a user to be able to interact with video content. In addition to promoting working with different types of content, plug-ins are used to reduce the size of an application. What this means is instead of having a large amount of content on your website, possibly causing the site to run slower because of it, plugins allow external connectivity to your site. In addition, many plugins are free of cost, thus being able to cater to a myriad of audiences, both consumer and business based.
They best way to make use of plugins is to implement them only from credible sources and only when necessary. WordPress, a commonly used free and open content management system (CMS), has nearly 25,000 plugins available on their website alone. With such a large among of plugins available, it is important to be able to decipher how much a user should rely on such plugins and whether or not the feature should be done internally on the website or externally. Websites such as WPBeginner have been created that offer an analysis of the relevant parts for a website.
To better hone in on the big picture, you must understand the thought process any time you contemplate using a plug-in on your website. Be sure to ask yourself the following:
By downloading this plugin, am I solving a present issue and or the functionality I’m aiming to provide necessary at best?
If there is an issue, do I need plugin help to achieve the best solution?
Does my platform have a built-in way to provide a solution for the said problem?
If you find that your answers to the first two questions are “Yes” and to the last is a “No” then go on ahead, download the best plugin out there. But, be sure to do your homework, find the best plugin and make sure you know how to use it well!