WordPress Plugins are composed of PHP scripts that extend the functionality of WordPress. They can add new additions to your website that enhance features that were already available or add new features.
There are literally thousands of WordPress plugins available. Some free and some paid.
Take a stroll through the WordPress.org Plugin Directory to see all the possible ways plugins can extend or enhance your WordPress site. They list over 58,000 plugins.
The majority of WordPress Websites will not require Plugins, or only require a few, such as Plugins dealing with comments, spam or customized post listings. Others use the varied options Plugins provide such as weather reports, word count, rating systems, and more. WordPress Plugins are optional, based upon the needs of the user, and thus they are not incorporated into the core of WordPress.
You can find WordPress Plugins in the Administration Screens > Plugins > Add New screen, or directly via the WordPress Plugins Directory.
Installing WordPress plugins on your site is normally a very simple process
Log into your WordPress website
Go to Plugins - Add New
Type in the name of the WordPress Plugin or descriptive keyword, author, or tag in Search Plugins box or click a tag link below the screen
Find the WordPress Plugin you wish to install.
Click Details for more information about the Plugin and instructions you may wish to print or save to help setup the Plugin.
Click Install Now to install the WordPress Plugin.
To upload a new plugin, click the Add New link. From this page, you have the option to search for plugins to install from the WordPress.org Plugin Directory. You can also click these links to see featured, popular, newest and plugins you’ve marked as favorites.
To upload a plugin to your site, click the Choose file button, locate your plugin zip file and then click Install Now. Then, click Activate.
The last menu item beneath Plugins in the WordPress Dashboard is the Editor. The built-in WordPress plugin editor can be used to make changes to any of your plugins individual PHP files. Just be aware that if you make changes, plugins updates will overwrite your customizations. So, unless you know PHP, you probably won’t want to edit any of your plugin’s PHP code.
Further reading on WordPress Plugins
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