Wordpress online training course

Wordpress lesson 6, Plugins

About plugins

If you did everything properly your Wordpress installation is running very smooth right now. So now is the time to add some nice functions. In Wordpress you can use plugins. These are small pieces of software which help you to add certain extras to your website. Installing a plugin is basicly very simple. In most cases you can upload them activate it and your done. In some cases it can be a bit more complicated and you it will require you to paste some code in the source files to call the plugin. The instructions for how you need to do this can be found on the website of the plugin.

Another term which is just as important is the widget. If you want to call a plugin in your sidebar then you can do this by using a widget. In the mainmenu of your Wordpress installation you can find your widgets by clicking Appearance followed by widgets. Widgets offer you the possibility to add plugins in your sidebar without to much code altering. The only thing you need to do is install a plugin, go to your widgets menu and adding the plugin to your sidebar and click "Add" behind the widgets name. In some cases you need to fill in some details and in others the widget will work instantly. By draging you can change the order in which the widgets are being shown. It all sounds a bit complicated when you are reading all this i know, but just try and experiment and you will find its less complicated then you think.

Like i said installing a plugin is very easy. In the newest version of Wordpress you can do this in three ways:

Upload through FTP

Download the plugin and upload the files to your own server in the folder "wp-content" and next "plugins". In your admin panel go to "Plugins" and next "Installed" Here you can activate your new plugin. If your plugin has extra things you need to set you can usually change them at "Settings". Open that menu and search the name of your plugin. Another option i have to admit is that you can find your plugin back under "Tools", on the Dashboard or sometimes will make its own menu in the main menu. In other words sometimes it can be quite a hassle to find your plugin.

Within Wordpress

A much easier option which was implented since Wordpress version 2.7 is downloading and installing plugins through your admin panel. The disadvantage of this is that you can only download plugins which can be found on www.wordpress.org ( The website of Wordpress ). Alot can be found here actually but certainly not all.

In your admin panel go to "Plugins" and next "Add new". Here you can enter a keyword to find a plugin or by clicking on "most popular" or "newest" plugins. When you found one you want to have, just click it and in the new window that will open click "Download" to directly download the plugin and after that immediatly activate it. The disadvantage of this is is that when you click install the popup window will disappear along with the instructions of that specific plugin.

Within Wordpress (part 2)

When you go to "Plugins" and next "Add new" in your dashboard you can also upload a zipfile and install your plugin. This way its not neccesairy to open your ftp software.