What are WordPress Plugins?
Plugins are tools to extend the functionality of WordPress.
WordPress Codex http://codex.WordPress.org/Plugins
Most WordPress plugins are available from the WordPress Repository http://WordPress.org/extend/plugins/
The vast majority of WordPress plugins are free:
Please Donate in any amount to the Developer of your WordPress plugin (you will see a ‘Donate' link after installing most plugins). This helps the plugin developer – which helps to keep all plugins free.
How to Find and Install a WordPress Plugin
When logged into your WordPress website:
1. Go to the ‘Plugins' section of the WordPress left sidebar.
2. Choose ‘Add New'. You will be able to search for plugins here.
3. Or if you know the plugin that you want, just type the plugin name into ‘Search'.
4. After pressing Search, a list of plugins matching your search terms will appear.
5. You can click on two links under the plugin name: ‘Details' or ‘Install Now'.
(‘How to Choose a Plugin' will be in a later tutorial)
6. After installing your plugin, press the ‘Activate' link to activate the plugin.
7. You will find your plugin listed in the left sidebar of your WordPress site (logged in view).
8. Most plugins will be listed/linked under ‘Settings' in the left sidebar. However some plugins may be listed under other headings in the left sidebar.
9. Plugins that are also Widgets will usually not be listed in the left sidebar and will only appear on the Widgets admin page (‘Widgets' link, under the Appearance header in the left sidebar).
10. Premium Plugins are usually not listed in the WordPress Repository. Premium or paid WordPress plugins are offered for purchase individually by the plugin developer. Premium pluguins require much more coding than the average plugins.
WordPress Premium plugins usually have at least a minimum level – to high levels – of tech support available.
WordPress CMS Websites Use 5+ Plugins
WordPress is a framework and WordPress plugins extend the functionality of WordPress. Many of the websites we design have 10+ plugins. (Although plugins need to be chosen carefully for code ‘weight' and functionality. Plugins can conflict with each other in some cases.)
Think of your WordPress website install as a car. The basic automobile (WordPress) has no options or extras. It is simply a functioning car. [NOTE: It is accurate to think of WordPress as a high performance and highly rated car.]
For example, a WordPress plugin provides the Contact Form functionality in a WordPress website.
The basic WordPress plugins installed on almost every WordPress as a CMS website are Contact Form, SEO plugin, Google Analytics and Website Backups. There are 100's or 1000's of plugins in each of these categories.
Every WordPress designer has their favorite plugins. (‘How to Choose a Plugin' will be in a later tutorial.)
Stay Tuned – More WordPress Tutorials coming your way!
If you are confused and need help –
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