Plugins or Modules are small applications you can install on your website to extend its functionalities. When building a website, eCommerce or software, we sometimes need extra features to accomplish some tasks quickly. A plugin is sometimes dissociated from the main design and enables to save some time during the development process. This small guide explains what plugins are and how to use them. Moreover, we will discuss all the different types of plugins and things to consider when choosing one for your projects.
What are Plugins or Modules?
As we explained in the introductions, plugins are small applications that extend your website’s features or applications. In most CMS or Frameworks, you will see a section to install plugins. Usually, it is entirely independent of the design of your website. Moreover, you can easily import them into any template you intend to use for your projects. For example, let’s say you are building your website with WordPress and require a contact form or a tool for SEO. Then, to save some time in your development process, you may consider downloading a plugin like Yoast or Contact Form 7.
Most modules use the same technology as the language of the current framework or CMS. So, for example, a plugin on WordPress would use PHP as the programming language.
Why should you use a plugin for your project?
There are many advantages of using plugins or modules for your web development projects:
- You save time and money. It takes time to build all the components of a website. For example, if you want to make an online store, you must add a contact form, a payment processing tool, email marketing features and much more. Taking time to develop from scratch all those features may double or triple the development cost. However, if you opt for plugins, you will save time and money.
- You can easily switch from one template to another. Because plugins or modules are usually independent of the main template, switching to another template may not make you lose all the features of your website.
- A plugin is easily portable. Using the same plugin on various websites is effortless without having to rebuild a new one is common. If you have a module for Drupal, you can use it for as many websites as you want. And hence, it may cost you some money for the first module but nothing for the subsequent projects.
What are some disadvantages of a plugin?
Using plugins can come with some disadvantages. We provide some main disadvantages of a plugin below.
- High risk of cyberattack. Most plugins or third-party resources connect with external websites that some hackers can exploit to attack your website. Most solutions like WordPress are known as tools with a high risk of being attacked due to how easily you can get plugins.
- You may affect The load time and performance of your website or online store if you rely too much on plugins. Unfortunately, most people overcharge their website with plugins, and as a result, they face many problems with the load time of their web.
If you don’t abuse the use of plugins, it may help a lot in achieving your goal.