WordPress Plugins Make Your Web Site, Work, and Life Easier!
If you’re new to WordPress you might have noticed in your Dashboard (your administration area) a plugin icon (looks like an electrical plug) and the word Plugins – and you just might be scratching your head wondering what the heck WordPress Plugins are and why you need them.
What are WordPress Plugins?
- In simple terms a WordPress Plugin is a “mini” software program, if you will, that someone wrote to make your web site, work, and life easier.
- WordPress plugins are added (installed) into your WordPress application (your WordPress site).
- WordPress Plugins can add customization, features, and services to your WordPress site; such as adding video, adding an events calendar, adding rotating images/text, adding a shopping cart, an email list, and the list goes on and on!
- Some WordPress plugins have settings and some don’t.
- Some WordPress plugins are free and some are for a fee, referred to as Premium Plugin’s.
- Some WordPress plugins are used in the editing area of a page or a post and some are used in the widget area of your WordPress site.
- Some WordPress plugins will appear, after installing, in your Settings in the Dashboard that will have their own “clickable” area in the Dashboard under Settings or somewhere else on the left of the Dashboard.
- Currently the WordPress.org depository has over 18,330 plugins to assist you in almost anything you can imagine or need for your WordPress web site.
How to Find WordPress Plugins
You can find WordPress Plugins in the Administration Panel (Your Dashboard) > Plugins > Add New panel, or directly via the Official WordPress Plugins Directory and download them, and then FTP them up to your site.
Tips BEFORE You Install a WordPress Plugin
- Know the version of WordPress you have installed on your web site. You can find this out by logging into your Dashboard and on the home page it will tell you what version of WordPress you have installed.
- Before installing a WordPress plugin make SURE it is compatible with your version of WordPress. When you find the WordPress plugin you want or “think” you want read the details FIRST before clicking Install Now! You’ll see something like this – generally on the right side of Plugin Details: Requires: 3.1 or higher (This means your WordPress version MUST be above 3.1), Compatible up to: 3.3.1 (This means it will work fine with WordPress versions up to 3.3.1), Last Updated: 2011-12-5 Downloads: 947,083
- When you click on Details read this stuff or take a look at the plugins: 1) Description, 2) Installation, 3) FAQ, 4) Screenshots, and 5) Changelog.
- Also check out the ratings that people have given the WordPress plugin and any reviews you might find.
- BACKUP Your WordPress Site!
I Can’t Find a WordPress Plugin for My Needs!
You’re in luck! You can write your own WordPress plugin if you know how!
Updating WordPress Plugins or Updating WordPress – Warning Tips
- Do a full backup FIRST before you update a WordPress Plugin!
- Do a full backup FIRST before you update WordPress! Before you update your WordPress version FIRST Deactivate (turn off) ALL your WordPress Plugins!! Once your WordPress version is updated activate (turn on) ONE plugin at a time, check your site in a new tab in your browser and make sure it WORKS! Why? Because if you update WordPress and a plugin you have installed is NOT up to date or compatible with the newest version of WordPress you will BREAK your SITE!!! I know – this has happened to me – thank goodness I had a backup to restore the site!!!!
- I HIGHLY recommend you purchase BackupBuddy by PluginBuddy. BackupBuddy is a premium plugin that not only backs up your WordPress site (and will send it to S3, Dropbox, FTP, your email, or Rackspace Cloud) BUT has a built in Malware Scan.
Some WordPress Plugin Questions for You:
- What else do you need to know or learn about WordPress Plugins?
- Do you use WordPress Plugins?
- What are your favorite WordPress Plugins?
- Is there a WordPress Plugin that you need some instructions on how to use? (Which ones?) I’ll do my best to make a how-to video for you!!
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