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What is the difference between a plugin and a script?



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What is the difference between a plugin and a script?

Ok at the risk of sounding really stupid I just had to ask some questions.

I am looking into something specific I need for my website but I am going to get something tweaked. I found something that is close but not exactly what I need.

It is a script and the developers said they will make some custom changes for me.

Firstly I don't understand what the difference is between a plugin and a script, if someone can please explain it to me, simple like you are telling a child LOL.

Then my next thing is that I wouldn't have a clue how to put a script on my website, what would the process be?

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idealmike

Plugins rock over standalone scripts. They're much safer and easier to install and use. Usually. Since WP plugins are built to work within your WP dashboard and after installing and activating them they add a control panel or options/settings page you can use with them to set all the settings up that that plugin comes with such as Yoast plugin, Caching plugin etc.

Scripts are useful too and there are some scripts out there that add features and functionality to your site which you can't get as a plugin. But they can also be made into a plugin quite easily. Well, not that easily. But you can do it and learn the basics of how to make a script a plugin. All installing and activating a plugin does is insert that code in your WP sites theme files, the header.php or something. And that's likely what you'd have to do when wanting to use some other 3rd party standalone script on your site by inserting it into your files, header.php, index.php or footer.php or something.

Both, whether using a plugin or needing to use a script can actually get quite technical and can be a bit of a steep learning curve. I mean, just checkout the WordPress Codex tutorial on creating a plugin and before you even get half way down the page your head might explode! LOL What is the difference between a plugin and a script?



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Lynne

Oh Mike my head will explode long before I get even half way down a page of code LOL.

Ok you have all convinced me why I want a plugin and not a script.



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Cristian

A plugin can be installed by everyone, may not work for everyone the same but nevertheless, it's basically just a script that has a user-friendly installation to it. A script you usually write and adapt just for one website, at least this is the way I see it, mike and razzy explained it better.

I personally love using custom scripts developed by our own programmers, they're light weight and once tested will never create any conflicting problems, some plugins will use just to many recourses and can even cause other plugins to stop working which makes everything way more frustrating.



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Lynne

Yes but you are more clever than me and you have your own developers so a script would be awesome for you. For me not so cool LOL.

Everything that I have read here and all the answers given make it very clear that I need to work with a plugin.



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TommyCarey

Well they're both code in the end.

But the differences basically revolve around how user friendly it is.

A script is something that is coded up and you're given the files to upload to your server or hosting account and you need to cofigure it or have someone configure it in order to work well with your other code. A lot of people will buy a script and not have any knowledge of how it works exactly. They'll see the demo and want that feature on their website, so they'll buy the script and then get mad because they don't know a thing about programming What is the difference between a plugin and a script? Normally the programmer who wrote the script will be happy to install it and configure it since it only takes them a few minutes to do it. If you don't have the knowledge and try to install it yourself you could just be creating headaches for yourself What is the difference between a plugin and a script?

A plugin for wordpress is something that is coded up and you can't really get it customized without paying someone to go in and tweak the code. Plugins are more user friendly since they are set up as a type of package that you just have to download and activate. After that it's ready to go and you sometimes have to just add some short code to a page so the plugin shows up and functions. Plugins are normally coded with a nice dashboard option that allows you to edit any feature within the plugin and you don't have to go in the code itself. It's similar to a script, but it's extremely user friendly and you don't need to know any type of coding or programming.


I actually use both and prefer plugins because I suck at coding and programming What is the difference between a plugin and a script? I have a good programmer who can help me out here and there, but he's got a full schedule and can't always help me with scripts if I have problems What is the difference between a plugin and a script?



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Lynne

Thanks Razzy, geez I love the way explain it so simply that even I can understand what the difference is.

Ok so then I think I am not interested in a plugin because I don't understand coding and I don't like coding and quite frankly when I see a lot of code on a page I start to sweat and panic a little bit.

I don't like the idea of having something on my website I can't manage myself or even install myself.



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clara1993

Razzy You said it all!! I was expecting a different end like you got a PhD in programming but then you said you are not a programmer And I was like!! where did hou get this knowledge lol mahbe you read ablot or you use them every day and you've got to know how to differentiate the two, And thanks for sharing this with us :-)



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procoder

Razzy has explained very good the difference between them. I would like to add a few things too..Basically a script could be a part or full code that can be integrated to any existing code or platforms.

For example, let's say you're running wordpress and you need to install a custom script to your website, so in order to do that you'll need to modify your website files and implement that code to your website manually, now it depend what scripts are we talking about, and some of them can be installed very easily, but in such cases coding knowledge is needed.

Even if you don't have to write codes, you need to know what are you doing because a small script configured incorrectly can cause a lot of problems.

Now with plugins is a bit different because you can download , install and manage them without modifying, or coding knowledge.



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Lynne

Yes Razzy explained that so nicely. I asked the guy who was trying to sell me the script the same question and I was more confused than before I asked him.

Anyway I think the best option is to go with a plugin but there is nothing that I can use that fits the bill... ok so back to the drawing board for me!



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overcast

There is a lot of difference in between the plugin and script. You can see that plugins are integral part of the software. And the scripts are going to be standalone. For example plugins made for Wordpress that extends it's functionality. And then there are scripts that count the bandwidth on powershell. So you can see each of them are designed for specific task. Some extend the existing work and some do standalone work.



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itommy

In my personal opinion then a script can do a specific task and it is wider than a plugin, a plugin used to do some function on you site while a script can work as a website.



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overcast

With that definition it may not be accurate for the cloud software. As in let's say python script that monitors the traffic can't be website. And website made out of the python can't be called script because it is more of less a plugin. So the thing is that plugin is more less built on top of the extension. And script is basically set of instruction designed to execute specific tasks.



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augusta

Plugin are installed to help modify the features of a site and it can be very user friendly because one can easily download to use while script needs a little of expert input especially if one is a totally novice. The codes with script needs to be properly installed.



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