Plugins are additions to your WordPress site or blog to extend it’s functionality in a lot of ways, and adding them can achieve a lot of things without the need to change any code yourself.
What makes plugins so popular?
- Plugins are very easy to install( explained below)
- They can let you do a lot of extras with your site, like create membership sites, accept Paypal payments, add social media icons, and a lot more.
- Most of them are FREE!
How to install a plugin?
- You can make use of the built-in installer now available into WP to search for your plugin , choose it, and simply click Install.
- Or you can do that manually by downloading the plugin folder to your computer, unzipping it, and uploading the folder into your site here /wp-content/plugins/
And then all you need is to go to Plugins tab into the dashboard to activate it.
- A lot of plugins have their own settings page, so after installing go to that page and adjust settings to your needs.
How to choose a particular plugin?
That’s not an easy question, and doesn’t have a one-fits-all answer but here are some tips to make this process easier for you.
- Start by looking into Popular plugins, which are ones people download and use a lot and this is most often a sign of quality and ease of use.
- When you like a specific plugin, check four things: when was it last updated by it’s author, user ratings for it, is it compatible with your version of WP, and number of downloads. These usually can be a good judgment.
- Check plugin review sites, and articles to find out more details and insight.
How to prevent plugins from causing problems to your site?
Plugins can often hurt of even damage your site, so you need to be careful using them, and here are some useful tips:
- First of all backup your database before installing new plugins
- After properly choosing your plugins, install them one by one and check that your site is working properly before installing the other ones.
- Read the plugin documentation to prevent any known bugs or problems before then happen to you
- Whenever an upgrade is available for your plugin, do upgrade to keep yours up-to-date and fix any bugs the author might have discovered along the way.( automatic upgrades, make this task very simple in most cases!).
- If problems happen, try deactivating plugins one by one and check if the problem gets solved to figure out which one is causing them.
I hope that proves helpful to you, and please, share your comments or suggestions below.