3.4 3.3
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Plugins are independent modules that can be enabled and disabled to modify the application.

This chapter describes how to load plugins in the main application. Read the Plugin Guide to learn how to build your own plugins.

Load Plugins #

Plugins are divided into categories and loaded when that category is needed. For example, Block Plugins provide sidebar blocks and are only loaded on the reader-facing site.

Load all enabled plugins of the block category.

$blockPlugins = PluginRegistry::loadCategory('blocks', true);

Loading plugins is resource intensive and should not be done more than once in a request. If a plugin category has been loaded, get the plugins from cache.

$blockPlugins = PluginRegistry::getPlugins('blocks');

In rare cases, you may want to retrieve all installed plugins even if they are not enabled.

$blockPlugins = PluginRegistry::loadCategory('blocks', false);

You can get a specific plugin.

$submissionBlockPlugin = PluginRegistry::getPlugin('blocks', 'makeSubmission');

If the plugin hasn’t been loaded, you must load it first.

$submissionBlockPlugin = PluginRegistry::loadPlugin('blocks', 'makeSubmission');

Plugins in the Generic category are loaded with every request and do not need to be loaded before use.

Hooks #

Generic plugins use Hooks to modify the application behavior. Care should be taken to ensure that hooks are available at key parts of the Request Lifecycle to ensure that the application can be modified safely by third-party plugins.

The next section moves on to the application frontend. Learn how to deliver HTML to the browser and build interactive interfaces.