In the context of WordPress, “external” typically refers to resources or files that are located outside of your WordPress installation. These can include scripts, stylesheets, images, and other types of media.
External resources can be included in your WordPress site in a variety of ways, such as by using a plugin, a custom theme, or by manually adding the code to your site. These resources are often used to add additional functionality or styling to a WordPress site, and can be hosted either on your own server, or on a third-party server.
Using external resources can provide a number of benefits for WordPress developers and users. For example:
Increased functionality: By using external resources, you can add additional functionality to your site, such as social media widgets, forms, and custom graphics.
Improved styling: External resources, such as custom fonts and icons, can be used to improve the overall styling of your site, making it look more professional and visually appealing.
Improved performance: By hosting certain types of resources externally, such as videos or images, you can reduce the amount of data that needs to be loaded on your own server, which can improve the overall performance of your site.
However, there are also potential drawbacks to using external resources, such as:
Security risks: When you include external resources in your site, you are relying on third-party servers to maintain the security of those resources. If the third-party server is hacked, or if the resource is not properly maintained, your site may become vulnerable to security threats.
Reduced control: By relying on external resources, you may be limited in your ability to customize or modify those resources, as you are not directly in control of the code.
Increased complexity: Incorporating external resources into your site can sometimes be complex and time-consuming, requiring additional technical expertise.
When considering whether to use external resources in your WordPress site, it’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks, and to carefully evaluate the security and reliability of any third-party servers that you may be relying on. By doing so, you can ensure that you are using external resources in a responsible and secure manner, and that you are getting the most out of your WordPress site.