Plug-in, also called add-on or extension, computer software that adds new functions to a host program without altering the host program itself. Widely used in digital audio, video, and Web browsing, plug-ins enable programmers to update a host program while keeping the user within the program’s environment.

Plug-ins first gained popularity in the 1990s as software and microprocessors became more powerful. One of the first programs to make extensive use of plug-ins was Adobe Photoshop, an image-processing and editing program. Early plug-ins provided enhanced functions such as special effects, filters, and other options for manipulating images within Photoshop.

Types of Plugin

There are two major types of Plugins you would come across as a WordPress user. The Web browser Plugin and WordPress Plugins.

  1. Web browser Plugin

What is a browser Plugin? These are developed exclusively to give additional features to a web browser.

A few popular ones include:

  • AdBlocker Ultimate – designed to remove ads while you surf the World Wide Web.
  • Adobe Flash Player – this flash player enables the browser to read file formats it couldn’t read by default. 
  • Awesome Screenshot – helps you take screenshots of your web pages.

Every browser plugin is designed for a specific kind of browser. For instance, one designed for Google chrome won’t function well with Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

  • WordPress Plugin

What is a WordPress Plugin? They are tools meant to add new features to WordPress blogs and websites. They are one of the most celebrated technology trends in the WordPress community.

Currently, there are 54,561 plugins available for download at the WordPress Plugin Directory. This number excludes those developed by third-party developers. 

Think of just about anything you need on your WordPress blog – there is a WordPress Plugin for it. 

For instance, you can;

  • start an eCommerce website
  • create contact forms 
  • add social media buttons 
  • customize the look of your website
  • enhance SEO
  • create booking systems for hotels, bed and breakfast, etc
  • add a Learning Management System to your site

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