In this article, we will study what are themes and plugins in WordPress and some of the commonly used themes and plugins.
Before moving ahead in WordPress themes and plugins, we should know about what is WordPress! WordPress is a free and open-source Content Management System(CMS) framework. It is the most widely used CMS framework of recent times.
WordPress themes: In WordPress, a theme is a collection of templates and stylesheets used to define the appearance and display of a WordPress powered website. It can be also referred to as the skin of the website. They can be changed, managed, and added from the WordPress admin area under Appearance » Themes. Then search the theme of your choice and the Install and activate the theme.
The main thing to remember is there are plenty of themes available in WordPress according to the demand of the user. Each one comes with a different design, layout, and features. A user needs to choose the one that suits their taste and requirements for their website. If you are a beginner in WordPress, then start with the themes that are much flexible to use. Certain options may appear or disappear because of the selection of themes. There are other themes also available such as e-commerce, blogs, etc.
Mostly used themes:
- Twenty Nineteen
- Twenty Seventeen
There are many themes available on the WordPress website but the most used themes are Astra Theme, Divi By ElegantThemes, Ultra, Spencer, and many more.
WordPress plugins: Plugins are a piece of software that increases the functionality of the WordPress dashboard. Over 50, 000+ plugins are available in WordPress. However, it is suggested to use 15-20 plugins on a single website. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. They make it easier for users to add features to their website without knowing a single line of code. Although there are plugins that can do the task you want them to do, some are much higher quality than others. In order to choose the perfect ones, you should ask yourself a couple of questions. The most used plugin is Elementor. It’s actually a page builder plugin.
Mostly used plugins:
- For contact forms:Ninja forms, WP forms, Contact forms 7
- For chat: Tawk.to, WhatsApp., Messenger
- For backup: All in One WP Migration
- Other plugins: Top bar, Popup builder, Yoast SEO
- Form dashboard(available on the left side), Go to plugins, right-click on it and select Add New.
- From there select the plugin to be used.
- Add install and activate.
- Your plugin is ready to use and it will be displayed in the dashboard
Difference between themes and plugins: It is common to find cross-over between features found in themes and plugins. However, best practices are:
- A theme controls the presentation of content. A theme is basically about the overall appearance of the website. Your theme decides about what your website will look like. There is a default theme installed in WordPress. Also, the themes are available according to your use. Some themes are called “multipurpose” and some are called “Niche” themes. The point to remember is that we can only use one theme at a time. So, you need to decide carefully that which theme you want.
- Any theme you create should not add critical functionality. Doing so means that when a user changes their theme, they lose access to that functionality. For example, say you build a theme with a portfolio feature. Users who build their portfolio with your feature will lose it when they change themes.
- A plugin is used to control the behavior and features of your WordPress site. You can use as many plugins as you want to use on a single website. In the above article, the difference is clear.
- By moving critical features to plugins, you make it possible for the design of your website to change, while the functionality remains the same.
Conclusion: The difference between the themes and plugins is pretty much clear now. Themes alter your site’s overall layout whereas the plugins add functionality to it. You need to choose which theme looks best on your site and which plugins can enhance the features of it. The most effective way to learn themes and plugins is to use them all or use most of them so that you know