A WordPress plugin is a program or group of programs you can download to sit within your WordPress.org blog and increase its functionality. There are plugins for better SEO, forums, galleries, social media… a whole bunch of useful stuff. Plugins are for WordPress.org only, so if you are wondering where they are on your WordPress.com site they nowhere. Apparently they are not permitted because WordPress.com tightly control the platform’s security. So there you go.
Let’s assume you are working on WordPress.org. You can find your WordPress plugins (and upload more!) in the Dashboard of WordPress.org. Just scroll down to Plugins! WordPress shows you how.
Remember to go carefully when you are installing plugins, making sure they work with your version of WordPress (it will say in the plugin information box if it doesn’t!) and that they are compatible with other plugins you have installed. Only download plugins from reputable developers. They should have heaps of positive reviews and installations. Remember, you are installing this piece of software on your precious site, you want to make sure it’s of high quality.
If you download a plugin that causes problems like glitchy behaviour or super slow loading time, deactivate and delete it.
If a plugin crashes your blog, contact your blog host and ask them for help, they may be able to fix the problem on their end. (This happened to me!) If they can’t, you can think about asking a developer for help. It’s also a good idea to run regular backups to keep your blog’s data protected and up to date. Then you’ve got things covered if you get a surly plugin.
Keep your plugins updated and current.
Generally though, plugins work well and they will be a great addition to your blog. Just don’t overload your blog with them. Less is more.
Some useful plugins (got to : Plugins > Add New > and use the search box to find these!)
Yoast for SEO
Jetpack for blog stats (may slow your blog down, so keep an eye on that!)
BBPress for forums
Disqus for commenting
Shareaholic for share and print buttons
Akismet for spam prevention
BackupBuddy for backing up
I Recommend This for a clickable ‘I like this’ heart (perfect for lurkers!)
Instapress for your Instagram feed
Wordpress Editorial Calendar for staying organised
Google Analytics for in dashboard stats