Plugins are very similar to themes (templates) as far as their installation goes.
Plugins are tools to extend the functionality of WordPress. The core of WordPress is designed to be lean, to maximize flexibility and minimize code bloat. Plugins offer custom functions and features so that each user can tailor their site to their specific needs.
When you find a plugin simply read through the instructions and download to a folder on your hard drive. Many are zipped so use a zip program to unzip into a separate folder. 7 Zip is a great free unzip product. http://www.7-zip.org/
I create a folder called blogs and then a subfolder called plugins and one called zipped. I save the zip file into the plugins/zipped folder and then unzip it into the plugins folder. I also have another folder called extras where I put plugins that I may not use all the time or didn’t work out. Someone may want it in the future.
This means when you set up a blog you can just drag all the plugin from your plugin folder and your done. Saves looking all over the place for them.
Here are the most common plugins you will need. I have given you the site as there may be new upgrades. You will download a zip file and then extract it into a plugins folder on your computer ( Remember be organized) then upload that folder to your web host as detailed in this tutorial.
|All in One SEO Pack||For SEO Optimization|
|1 Pixel For Audio||To embed streaming audio|
|Cryptograph||To protect your comments and forms from spammers|
|Embedit||Add just about anything you want with this one.|
|Google Site Map||Again helps with SEO|
|Social Bookmarks||Web 2 traffic generation|
|Data Base Back up||Backup in case something bad happens|
|WP Slimstats||Lets you get stats from your blog|
|Spam Free Contact Form||Lets people contact you via email|
|Search||What are people searching for on your blog.|
Tip: If you are uploading the same themes and plugins to a number of different sites create a folder called wp-content and copy the different themes and plugins into that folder and over write the existing folder.
Firstly you ftp (upload) the plugin to the plugin folder on your server and then go to the plugins menu in your wordpress administration area and activate them.
Once activated many will add a systems folder to your options menu however some create their own like the contact form and gallery plugins. Some page management plugins add a systems menu to the manage menu. Just read the instructions to see what is required.
If you click on plugins in the menu over there on the right we go through each of the plugins we suggest you use. You don’t have to install them all just the ones you think you want to use.
We have given you the main ones plus the ones that most businesses have asked us to install for them.
We have also tried to give and example of how each one works if applicable.
You can find heaps more by searching for WordPress plugins.
While Plugins are very useful, some Plugins just don’t meet your needs, or you’ve stopped using them for some reason, or they just don’t work. After deactivating the Plugin stops the Plugin’s behavior, they tend to pile up in your Plugins panel, making your plugin list long and cumbersome to scroll through. If left there long enough, they might become obsolete with the new WordPress versions and cause problems if you decide to use them in the future.
Begin your Plugins housekeeping by visiting the plugin author’s site to see if there are instructions on how to uninstall the plugin via the Plugins panel on the left side of the screen. Some plugins require adding tags and code to your Template files while others require modification of the WordPress administration files.
Be sure and read through the plugin’s uninstall instructions to remove each of these modifications so your site will not have errors when the plugin is turned off. If no specific instructions for uninstalling exist, then read through the installation instructions to check for modifications, if applicable, and reverse their changes, if implemented. If it has been a long time since you used this plugin, you still might have left its modifications in your template files and forgotten them. Carefully remove them.
To remove a plugin, make sure the plugin is deactivated from the Plugins panel. Go to your website’s wp-content/plugins folder (usually with an FTP program) and look for the file name of the plugin you want to remove. Select the file name and delete it.
If have your WordPress site on your hard drive, open the wp-content/plugins folder on your site and find the file name of the plugin you want to delete, select it and delete it. This way, if you have to restore or copy your Plugin folder to your website, you won’t restore the unwanted plugin on your site.
Developing Your Own Plugins
Once you start using WordPress Plugins, you sometimes wonder how you ever got along without them. If you have knowledge of PHP, you can develop your own plugins, and there is a comprehensive list of resources at Plugin Resources to get you started.