In recent years, WordPress has become extremely popular as blogging and content management software for websites. However, once WordPress is set up, the webmaster might wonder how to increase the capabilities of the core program. Here is where plugins come into play.
WordPress plugins are pieces of software that extend the functionality of WordPress in various ways. You can find a vast array of plugins that will help you do such things as interact with site visitors via social media, place ads in specific locations on your site, and change the look and feel of your blog posts.
Two of the best ways you can go about searching for and installing safe WordPress plugins are described below.
Through the WordPress Plugin Directory
1. Go to the WordPress Plugin Directory, located at wordpress.org/extend/plugins/. Here, you can search for plugins by category and by name. Once you find a plugin you would like to try, click the Download button to save it to your computer.
2. If you haven’t done so already, sign in to your WordPress administration screen by entering [your URL]/wp-admin in your address bar and then typing in your username and password.
3. On the left-hand side of your WordPress administration screen, click on Appearance and then on Plugins. Click the Add New button at the top of the Plugins page, or the Add New link under Plugins on the left side of the screen.
Figure 2. The Plugins section of the WordPress administration screen.
4. Click on Upload, and then click Browse to locate the new plugin you’ve downloaded. Once you’ve selected it, click Install Now. Once the plugin has been installed, remember to click Activate to begin using it right away.
Through Your Administration Screen
1. Log into your WordPress administration screen, click on Plugins and then click on the Add New link, as described above.
2. Here, you will be able to search for plugins by name or browse through the newest, most popular, featured, or most recently updated plugins. Choose one of those options, click on a plugin you’re interested in, and then either click Details to learn more about it or Install Now to install it. Click Activate to start using the new plugin.
A list of all installed plugins can be accessed under the Plugins tab on the left side of the administration screen. From there, you can activate or deactivate plugins and manage their individual settings.
It’s that simple to start utilizing the power of WordPress plugins. Happy searching!