18 responses

  1. mady
    June 11, 2010

    After reading this,, i have an idea about plugins and addons.!


  2. C.Karthik
    July 29, 2010

    Nice article


  3. Mangas Head
    August 30, 2010

    Firefox is confusing with extensions add ons and plug ins, but I can see a difference being what “the browser would have put in if they owned it” vs “just tools that you add to your browser that server more personal needs, or tools that aren’t required to surf the net”.

    Cool website.


  4. jani
    October 27, 2010

    Nice, thanks.
    Now next level :), what about difference between
    Add-in x Add-on x Snap-in x Plug-in

    Is it only different name for same thing in different applications..?


  5. ravikiran
    January 28, 2011

    Nice article 🙂 Thanks


  6. Dimitri
    October 6, 2011

    You generally interact with a “plugin-in” INSIDE a web page (e.g., a Flash plugin for playing videos).

    You generally interact with an “extension” OUTSIDE a web page (e.g., a toolbar or button in the browser’s navigation menu).

    Mozilla considers plug-ins and extensions to be types of “add-ons”.

    It’s a little confusing, I admit. Hope this helped.


  7. jawad
    January 18, 2012

    very well written, all my confusion is lost in the wilderness


  8. omar
    April 4, 2012

    thanks for these information


  9. JayaPrakash.A
    August 20, 2012

    After reading this article i have an idea about plug-in and add-on…thanks for your valuable information….


  10. dnyanada
    September 14, 2013

    thank you
    v good article


  11. Mary Mann
    February 5, 2014

    “Add on’s and plugin’s are pieces of code to modify the interface.”


  12. Nords
    February 14, 2014

    Thanks a lot 🙂


  13. Mohammad
    August 31, 2014

    It is really useful for me
    Thanks a lot


  14. Sumit
    January 10, 2015

    Am agree with you but my question is Add-on and Plugins are different in all aspects and field if we compare in Mozilla firefox but rather from it, is this process is applicable for different browser like Google Chrome and Safari.
    Thanks in Advance.


  15. Marsha
    January 22, 2016

    Thank you for this brief and precise explanation of plugins and add-ons. Nice!



  16. Lou
    October 22, 2016

    Really the firefox explanation from Dimitri cleared it up for me.
    Plugins (in a web page) versus Extensions (outside a webpage) and both are considered add-ons. Thanks for making it clear.


  17. Tommy Taraldsvik
    October 30, 2016

    Thank you! This cleared up some confusion, but I still am trying to find out why my browser tells me my there is no plug-in for java. And what is the difference between javascript and java plug-ins. All of this because of this message on my browser:

    Java Plug-in is not supported by this browser. More info

    (Both Opera and Chrome tells me, Firefox sends me directly to Oracle to download, but I have both jre 8 v.111 and jdk 8 v.111 installed)


  18. Rory
    April 20, 2017

    This is a poor explanation, suggesting that plugins act on a certain application, while add-ons also act on a certain application – making unclear what the difference is. It is also too focused on web-browsers which have their own definitions for what plugins, add-ons, and extensions are. Plug-ins shouldn’t be considered as a necessity or otherwise – they are merely augmentations of a program’s functionality.

    In my opinion, and at a more abstract level, a plug-in is written for a program that is designed to receive it. In the sense that it “plugs in” to an existing socket or interface.

    If “add-on” is supposed to have a different definition, then one might assume that it is a type of extension that might not necessarily be expected by the program. Perhaps programs that modify the host program operation through memory injection (e.g. game trainers/cheats), or by modifying program files operation (e.g. game content mods or themes for software GUIs).

    A personal example: I wrote a lyric extension for Spotify once they removed the in-built feature that added the ability to bring up a pretty “smoked” transparent pane over the central area of the Spotify window with the lyrics for the currently playing song and the album art. The feature was toggled using a little green button in the title bar of the window – however the extension was not written using any Spotify interface or API, it merely tracked the window location and the currently playing song and sat on top of it, appearing to be part of the host program. It did not “plug-in” to a waiting socket, it was more “added on” top of the existing system. This is why I think the original explanation is a bit off, but maybe I am too. Either way there are extensions for software that are both expected and not expected by the developers and this for me is a better way to differentiate between the two types – add-ons and plugins.


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