Mods and plugins are amazing tools that help spice up your gameplay. As they each require what can pretty much be called different server launchers, it is not possible to add both of these types of addons by simply using Forge, or Bukkit. The difference in coding and purpose of Bukkit and Forge did not allow the possibility of merging them.
To use mods and plugins together, thanks to the wonders brought by Minecraft’s modding community, for up to Minecraft 1.7.10 custom server launchers were created which have this capability, such as MCPC+ for 1.5.2, Cauldron for 1.6.4, or Thermos for 1.7.10. These allow plugins to be added and used on modded servers such as Attack of The B-Team, Tekkit, Infinity Evolved and more.
It is important to note that not all mods and plugins are compatible with these launchers, even those that are compatible could have some bugs caused by incompatibility, and the risk of world corruption is much higher. Several mods might have to be removed in order for such a server to work.
For 1.10.2 and up, SpongeForge is used for this functionality. However, SpongeForge cannot use any Bukkit plugins, it can only use plugins made for itself.
By using both mods and plugins at once on a Minecraft server you can include additional features and content by using a modpack, and have better control and security over your server through plugins. You could use plot plugins to make sure nobody builds on specific areas other than the owner and people allowed to, the Essentials plugin which offers over 100 commands that will help manage your server better, and many more.
For MCPC, Cauldron and Thermos, the setup is, more or less, the same as forge, as these are mod loaders made from forge to allow plugins to work on the server.
Connecting to a server with MCPC, Cauldron, Thermos or Sponge installed requires no extra change from the side of the joining players. They are able to connect as if no change has been made on the server, but they will still be able to use all the functionalities of the plugins provided.
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