What are Plugins and Widgets?

Basically, wordpress plugins are small individual programs that add specific functions to your blog/website.  Plugins give you the ability to completely customize your site with only what you need and nothing more.  Plugins are diverse and continually being added and updated to provide wordpress users more expandability.  Plugins are managed and added through the Plugins tab of your wordpress dashboard.  Once activated many plugins will create  it’s own admin area that may be added to the left column in the dashboard or under one of the existing tabs in the left column – sometime you just have to look around for it.

Examples of plugins include:

  • Photo Galleries
  • Contact Forms
  • Printing
  • Calendars
  • Twitter Feeds
  • Paypal
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Counters and statistics
  • and the list goes on (I think you get the idea)


Widgets are extensions of these programs that can be directly added to the sidebars of your theme (if you have sidebars).  WordPress comes with several standard widgets (ie.  calendar,  categories, blogroll, recent posts etc..)  many plugins add their own widget that can be placed in your sidebars.  Widgets are added and managed under the Appearance Tab in the dashboard.


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