WordPress has a lot of functionality built-in, but occasionally you might find a specific need that isn’t a part of the default software. To accomplish this, WordPress has a plugin architecture where developers can create plugins that add additional functionality to your site. From simple photo galleries to site statistics, to automatic Twitter and Facebook sharing of posts, there is practically a plugin for whatever you need for your site. To start using and installing plugins just follow these simple instructions:
While viewing your WordPress dashboard, click on the Plugins menu item.
You will be given a list of all your currently installed plugins.
From this menu you are able to activate and disable specified plugins by using either the single plugin options located under each plugin name. Or you may use the bulk action drop down menu to simultaneously activate/disable multiple plugins by checking desired plugins
Additionally you may also view the Active or Inactive plugins using the sorting options above the bulk action menu.
- To install a new plugin click the Add New button at the top of the Plugins page or from the sidebar plugin menu. You will then be redirected to the WordPress Plugin Repository where you can search for additional plugins. – For example searching “photo gallery” brings up various plugins from different developers.
- Once you find your desired plugin, click the Install Now button, which will automatically install the plugin and prompt you if you would like to activate it now or return to the menu.
After installing your plugin, be sure to visit the developers’ website if you have any additional questions about how the plugin works, as some plugins may require certain codes or other actions to be used properly.
Some plugins will have their own settings page located under the Settings menu, other plugins will break out their own menu item on the Dashboard. The best way to understand how to use a plugin is to make sure you’ve read the documentation available on the plugin’s website as every plugin behaves differently and sometimes it won’t be explicit how the plugin interacts with your website.