WordPress plugins are additional software tools created by third parties. These tools extend the functionality and capabilities of WordPress. These plugins can enable WordPress to do almost anything with your website. The tools offer a way to customize, edit and tailor your website to your specific needs. They can enhance already existing features to your website, or add new features altogether. Plugins are constantly being created and updated all the time, and many are compatible with each other and work together to make things easier and simpler.
Uses of Plugins
You may not even need plugins, or you may need only one or two, but when there are thousands of plugins, and using these tools is so easy, there is no reason not to use them to enhance your website, especially when they can do things like protect your site from comment spam, improve your site’s search engine optimization, build complete site backups and create web forms.
Adding plugins to WordPress
From your WordPress Dashboard, go to Plugins>Add New. Here is where you search for and install plugins from. You also have the option to upload plugins you have downloaded from another site. These downloaded files are usually zip files. Once you have found the plugin and downloaded it into WordPress, or uploaded a plugin of your choice, all you have to do is activate it. Once activated, the plugin will install itself into WordPress.
Deactivating and Deleting an installed Plugin
If you want to deactivate a plugin, go to Plugins>Installed Plugins. Choose the plugin you want to deactivate, and click “deactivate.” Note that this does not uninstall the plugin, it just deactivates it until you wish to activate it again. If you want to delete the plugin completely, then click on “delete.”
Examples of three useful plugins:
The All in one SEO Plugin:
This plugin sets up your website for search engine optimization, helping your site rank higher on search engine search results, and drawing the right people to your website.
My Custom CSS
This plugin lets you enter CSS code for your website without having to edit the theme’s own CSS. This way, if a theme is upgraded and you have made changes to it, like switching colours, the changes will remain intact, as the code is contained in this plugin.
Contact Form 7
This plugin makes it easy to create custom or standard forms for your website. You can create forms for newsletter subscriptions, customer queries, or just standard contact forms.