In a recent post highlighting an awesome plugin which provides an amazing amount of flexibility in terms of displaying widgets on a WordPress powered blog, one of the comments I received was a question asking what the difference is between a plugin and a widget. This post is aimed at answering that question.
Instead of coming up with my own definition, I’ll publish what the WordPress Codex has to say regarding each term.
Plugins are tools to extend the functionality of WordPress.
WordPress Widgets are also known as “sidebar accessories” which are WordPress Plugins or add-ons to your WordPress blog sidebar.
So there you have it. WordPress plugins and WordPress widgets are one in the same but used differently. I can see how one could confuse the two but think of it this way, you have to install a plugin in order to use a widget. Reminds me of the question, which came first, the chicken or the egg? I’ll take answers to that question in the comments.