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What Are Plugins?

What Are Plugins

Plugins are software extensions that can be loaded on a program to improve its functionality. For instance, you may require a plugin if you want to watch videos. Your browser will be unable to grasp how to play the video without plugins. Another example, a Photoshop plug-in like Eye Candy helps you to manipulate images with extra filters. Plugins allow you to customize website content, as well as computer programmes, web browsers, and apps in general. The browser plug-in like Apple QuickTime or Macromedia Flash provides users the ability to play particular multimedia files within their Internet browser.

There are also plugins like VST, which help to add effects for sequencing programs and audio recording. In favor of using browser extensions, the use of plugins in web browsers has decreased; however, their use is still continuing to add-ons to customize programs and apps. As plug-ins are an appropriate way to enhance the capabilities of the program; therefore, in modern times, plug-ins are used by most audio programs and graphics. Although most plug-ins are developed by third parties, and some may be shipped with the program. Also, they are sold separately.

Usually, these plug-ins can be downloaded as free from the Internet, as companies that make browser plug-ins are competing for a standard, like QuickTime and Flash. Additionally, plugins optimize the content you put out as an online creator. In terms of making more than big blocks of text, plugins also help websites and web pages. They also assist you with displaying YouTube and Vimeo videos on your website, improving the ranking of your blog entries, and customising the fonts on your website.

Some good Plugins

The use of once widely used web browser plugins are decreasing due to popular internet browsers are no longer supporting them and even replacing plugins with browser extensions. There are still few plugins that offer users the benefit in terms of providing customization of the content of websites as well as customization of computer programs, web browsers, and apps. Also, they can be used everyday computing and browsing. Few good plugins are given below:

Adobe Acrobat Reader: In modern times, people are more common to view PDF files. Also, the PDF format is ideal for the document. Therefore, this plugin enables the users to open and view those important documents.

Bukkit Plugins: Bukkit plugins are a kind of plugin that is more appropriate for people into Minecraft, as these types of plugins provide a lot of ways to customize how the sandbox video game can be played.

HP Print Service: From an Android device, these plugins allow the users to send to an HP printer. You can download this plugin from the Google Play Store like an app.

Samsung Print Service: This kind of plugin enables the users to print a document from Samsung mobile devices, including other Android devices. Also, with the help of this plugin, print jobs can be sent to different types of printers, which include Xerox, Lexmark, Canon, Brother, and Sharp. And, this plugin can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

WordPress Plugins: These plugins allow you to customize the content and look of your website if you are a blogger on WordPress.

Where can I get plugins for my browser?

There are different official websites for each web browser where you can download multiple plugins as well as install them. These plugins are also known as "add-ons" or "extensions." Furthermore, like Google, Apple, Mozilla, the web browser publisher first checks the plugins before downloading or installing that they are not harmful. There is a need to concentrate that downloading plugins directly from the browser's official website will be better for you. Below is a table that contains the name of web browsers as well as links for downloading plugins for them.

Browser Where to get plugins
Mozilla Firefox
Google Chrome
Microsoft Edge
Apple Safari

Brave and Vivaldi browsers also use Chrome extensions because they are based on Chromium. Therefore, you can download extensions for these browsers from the Chrome Web Store.

Why are Plugins used?

Plugins are software additions that are used to add or extend functionality to your website. For instance, you have required a plugin to handle everything if you are going to take donations or sell products on our site. There are also some other plugins that are mainly useful for WordPress websites, such as a WordPress SEO plugin, a WordPress forms plugin, a WordPress security plugin, a WordPress backup plugin.

WordPress provides power to 37% of all websites on the internet as it is an outstanding Content Management System (CMS) for websites. But WordPress has no potential to do everything on its own, even if it offers more power for websites on the internet. That's why plugins come in the use that helps you out to enhance functionality to your website.

Examples of browser plugins

There are several types of Internet browser plugins, which will be detailed further below, that can be put in a browser to improve its capabilities.

  • RealPlayer: RealPlayer provides users the ability to listen to live audio on the internet, which is originally known as RealAudio. As it allows you to listen to audio life; therefore, it saves your downloading time. Additionally, over the internet, it was considered one of the first widely available streaming audio players. It also allows you to listen to streaming audio as well as watch streaming video because RealPlayer compresses the functionality of RealAudio due to the popularity of RealAudio.
  • QuickTime: QuickTime is software that makes it capable of computer users to play video files. Apple developed this software and released it on 2 December 1991. This software can be used on Apple and IBM compatible computers running Microsoft Windows or any Macintosh operating system. QuickTime is also extensively used for playback. Files with the MOV extension can be played on IBM-compatible systems
  • Shockwave: Developed by Adobe, Shockwave is similar to Adobe Flash that allows the users to view interactive, animated content in the browser window. Generally, it is a multimedia file format and application platform, which provides the developer more freedom in order to create kinds of applications.
  • VRML: Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) is a programming language that allows users to create a three-dimensional virtual environment on the Internet. If a user uses the proper VRML plug-in, he is able to view or enhance a virtual space or object with the help of VRML on the web.
  • X3D: X3D is a royalty-free open standard file format, which is considered by many to be the next generation of VRML. It makes use of XML to show 3D scenes and objects.
  • Silverlight: Microsoft Silverlight is similar to an Adobe Flash file, which is responsible for delivering. Users can access NET-based media and rich application experiences via the Internet. It's a cross-platform, cross-browser, and cross-device plug-in with files compressed into a XAP (pronounced like zap) file.
  • Adobe Acrobat: Developed by Adobe, PDF allows users to capture the local appearance of a document. It is a file extension and file format, stands for Portable Document Format. It enables users to view and print the documents in the same format on any device. The use of PDF is very common in forms that need the user to fill in data and legal documents like bank statements, tax papers.
  • Adobe Flash: Flash, a popular authoring software that allows users to create animated works that are saved as .FLV. It was originally released by Macromedia in 1996, which is used to create vector graphics-based animation programs. Over the next decade, it gained many new features such as full-screen navigation interfaces, resizable file format, simple interactivity in an antialiased, graphic illustrations.
  • Java: Java was initially known as oak when it was created by James Gosling and colleagues at Sun Microsystems. It's an object-oriented programming language that's frequently used to create web apps and other software. It was first made publicly available in 1995, and Oracle now manages and owns it. When Java is used on the Internet, it enables the browser to perform features that are not normally available because it allows applets to be downloaded through the browser.

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