How WordPress Plugins and Widgets are distinct

How WordPress Plugins and Widgets are distinct

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In this online world, different CMS are available for the website owners to use and give their business website a pretty look. However, the type of products and services that you are offering creates a big difference. Evaluate your business requisites and then make a choice. Although WordPress is the most preferred CMS in the web development, the other names in a list also deserve a place as per the specific need of different business models.

Themes and plugins are the pillars of any WordPress website and add beauty and interactive feature into it. Without them, the entire layout will be a void page with no functionality. When it comes to discussing functionality and features which this open source CMS possess, the most important names are plugins and widgets. Although they do similar kind of work, still are two different terms. Technically, we can say that the widgets are some sort of plugins.

Let’s shower some light over the below facts which make you clearer about these two major components of the WordPress platform.

Plugins VS Widgets: A thin layer to separate

Extend WordPress functionalities and add content

Plugins can be simply used to extend the WordPress website by enhancing the functionality, while the widgets have the major use to display content apart from the posts and pages. Like for say, you can install the Yoast Plugin from the dashboard area to give SEO functionality to your website. Whereas, with the text widget, you can add text to a widget area, or get the list of most recent posts with the Recent posts widget.

Different kind of installation

A plugin can be treated as a software which you can download and install to your dashboard. It can be customized as per the bunch of settings available. Unlike, a widget is a sort of small plugin which can be added to the front-end of a website. It is derived from a plugin and comes integrated with WordPress.


Plugins are rarely visible to the users, unlike the widgets which are placed anywhere on the site and visible to everyone. Logically plugins work for the back-end to improve the site’s interface, whereas the widgets have the responsibility for better representation of elements.

Different management

Widgets can be found in the Appearance section in the dashboard, while the plugins have a separate section from where they can be added by going to Add New button. Here, they can be searched by typing the name and then uploaded.

Plugins are the small downloadable elements, like non-autonomous pieces of script. This can be attached to the blog to add some sort of extra functionality if needed. A widget is an interactive media and acts to be a part of user interface. They can be mostly seen in the form of buttons comprising logos and small icons. Moreover, widgets have the drag and drop functionality that allows them to be placed in a preferred location. Most often, the sidebar is the best place. A live example of these widgets are the common social media buttons used in blogs and articles. You can also see the same scenario in your mobile phones for a date, time and weather.

Different approach

If we talk technically, plugins are basically meant to offer functionality, while the Widgets come into existence for visuality. They both can be co-related here, as the widgets cannot provide any kind of functionality on their own. They are the face of your plugin.

Different type of coding

Plugins can be treated as the coding. For each specific purpose, there is a different plugin to use. For widgets, there is some base code, and you can make changes in the sidebar (that can be publicly viewable). In simpler form, the widget is an extension.

Easy to use

If we talk of WordPress, widgets come by default with the WordPress, and with its relevant theme. Here, most of them are offered with the plugins itself. So, when you install the plugin, you will get the widgets enabled to the widgets area. The entire setup is quite easy.
Widgets appear in few clicks and do not require any installation. Likewise, a successful website cannot run without plugins.

In a nutshell

As this era is highly passionate for creativity, people only love those elements which seem out of the box and grab their attention. WordPress, being a powerful CMS, offers the organizations with a fully optimized website and diverse functionality. This open source platform has a bunch of elements, including themes, plugins, and widgets. All of them have a different kind of work to perform, which prompts their individual existence. When it has been discussed to showcase the usage of widgets and plugins, there is a long list to explore. You can follow the above points to remove your dilemma up to some extent.

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