A WordPress plugin is program set of one or more functions that adds a specific set of features or services to the WordPress website.

Widgets display content and features in sidebars, footers and added to areas with page builders.

Plugins are the parents, they have jobs that are responsible for functions either in the frontend or backend, being seen or working behind the scenes undetected.  Many plugins have widgets that perform. Widgets are the kids that get your attention on the page in the sidebar and footer telling you the most recent posts and to subscribe to join the tribe.  A great example is the JetPack plugin that is like the octagon mom with multiple widgets to show off your content, connect with your audience and create an engaging user experience.

Before installing plugins, check a few things:

  • When was the plugin last updated?
  • Is it running with your version of WordPress?
  • Read the comments on the WordPress plugin website.
  • Don’t install any new plugins “just for fun” on a live website; try it out on a test site (where downtime doesn’t matter).
  • Plugins can slow down your site. Only activate plugins that you are really using and constantly watch performance.