WordPress Plugins is composed of PHP scripts that extend the functionality of WordPress.
WordPress offers new additions to your blog that either enhance features that were already available or add otherwise unavailable new features to your site that’s where WordPress Plugins come to play.
The majority of WordPress users don’t require Plugins or only require a few, such as Plugins dealing with comment spam or customized post listings.
Other users enjoy the varied options Plugins provide such as frequently updated weather reports, post word counts, rating systems, and more. WordPress Plugins are optional, based on the needs of the user, and thus they are not incorporated into the core of WordPress.
Plugins available via the WordPress Plugins Directory site are designed by volunteers and are usually free to the public. WordPress Plugins hosted in the WordPress Plugins Directory are considered thoroughly tested and “safe.” Remember, WordPress Plugins are the responsibility of the author and the user, and they are typically works-in-progress as WordPress grows and expands.
If you want to develop your own Plugins, there is a comprehensive list of resources at Plugin Resources.
Plugin Compatibility and Updates
If a WordPress Plugin update is available, it will be shown on the Dashboard screen, an alert on the Plugin’s menu title, and on the Plugin List. Follow the instructions to update the Plugin.
If a WordPress Plugin is not compatible or updated for the next release of WordPress, contact the Plugin author directly for information on the next update and compatibility issues.
To add a WordPress Plugin using the built-in plugin installer:
- Go to Plugins > Add New.
- Type in the name of the WordPress Plugin or descriptive keyword, author, or tag in Search Plugins box or click a tag link below the screen.
- Find the WordPress Plugin you wish to install.
- Click Details for more information about the Plugin and instructions you may wish to print or save to help set up the Plugin.
- Click Install Now to install the WordPress Plugin.
- The resulting installation screen will list the installation as successful or note any problems during the install.
- If successful, click Activate Plugin to activate it or Return to Plugin Installer for further actions.
Some WordPress Plugins require more steps to customize them. The Details ReadMe file should contain step-by-step instructions. After installation, this information is available on the Plugins Screen for each Plugin. If you are having problems with a WordPress Plugin, see the Troubleshooting section.
For information on how to install a WordPress Plugin manually, see our manual installation guide.
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