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What is a plugin and how to install it in WordPress?

What is a plugin and how to install it in WordPress_ ZEESMM

WordPress Plugins are PHP scripts that extend the functionality of WordPress. They enhance the features of WordPress, or add entirely new features to your site. Plugins are often developed by volunteers, and are usually free to the public. Plugins are available via the WordPress Plugin Directory.

You have made the decision to begin blogging, have chosen WordPress as your blogging platform. You have chosen a domain name, intstalled WordPress on your hosting account. You have chosen a theme and of course know which niche your blog will be about. Now what to do to make it a more friendly as well as professional site.

Install some plugins. Using plugins in WordPress is going to make your site more professional. Plugins will also help your site be found by the search engines.

Many plugins are available. Some are standard or “needed.” Others are the preference of individuals.

The needed plugins are Askimet, All In One SEO Pack, and Google XML Sitemap. Others that will help your site are Contact Form, Ping Optimizer, AdSense Ads, Privacy Policy, and so many more.

The question becomes, how do I install these plugins? That is very simple.

Begin by signing in to your admin or Dashboard. On the left you will see an option to click for Plugins. Once you click that, all of your plugins will be visible. Now you can click the “add new” and a screen will come up for you to search for a plugin.

If you know the exact name of the plugin you are searching, you can type that into the search box and WordPress will find it for you. If it is a WordPress plugin, it will be found immediately. You may also find some additional choices. For example, if your type in Privacy Policy, you may find several options. Pick the one you want and then click on “Install” on the right side of the page.

WordPress will automatically install this plugin on your blog. You are then given the option of activating that plugin or returning to the install page again. See how easy that is?

Other pluging are also available. These are created by others outside of WordPress. Sometimes there is a charge for these – sometimes not. If you are looking for some particular addition to your blog, you can Google what you are looking for. Once you find it, you download it to your computer – saving it on the desktop is the simplest. Keep it in the Zip format. Then, when you are on the add new page for the plugins, simply click the “upload” button at the top, then browse, find your file and finish with “Install Now.”

All newly installed plugins need to be activated, so be sure to do that. All you need do is click “activate” and it is done for you. Most plugins just begin working but some will need to have settings adjusted. This will be visible under the plugin on the plugin page. However, for some you will have to look under “settings” or “tools” in order to be able to set them up before they are activated.

Plugins make a huge difference in your site. They make you site safe from spam, create a searchable environment for the search engines, and give a very professional look to your WordPress blog. The best part of all? You can do it yourself!