All About WordPress Plugins

All About WordPress Plugins

If you’ve ever spent time on WordPress, you’ve probably learned a bit about plugins. Today, I’m answering the most common questions about plugins and explaining what they can do for your site.

Plugins are simply software that is installed on your WordPress website that increases or advances the functionality of your site.

Some plugins will give your site the option to offer e-commerce, membership, or social sharing icons, among others. Other plugins help advance the design aesthetic of your site with a page builder, subscribe forms and more.

If you’re wondering how many is too many…

Keep the least amount of plugins to achieve what you need. Make sure the plugins you’re using are purposeful and serving your site. If you have too many plugins, they can slow down your site. If you’re not updating your plugins, it could be a potential security risk.

There are some plugins that aren’t as reputable as others.

Other times, there may be plugins that work great on one persons site but crashes another.

My gauge is looking at the number of downloads and reviews. When these are high, chances are it’s a good plugin. But I also like to ask around to get the good ol’ word of mouth recommendations, too.

It’s also important to remember to update your plugins on a regular basis.

You might have noticed every time WordPress releases a major update, plugins begin releasing updates, too.

This is because there are likely changes that have to be made in the code of the software for the security, performance, and functionality of the plugin. Updates make the plugin work better, faster, and with better quality.

Learn how to properly update your plugins here.

Curious where to find your plugins?

Once you log into WordPress follow these steps:

  1. WordPress Dashboard > Plugins
  2. You will see all the installed plugins, but only keep the plugins you’re using.

Need to delete a plugin? Simple!

  1. WordPress Dashboard > Plugins
  2. First, deactivate the plugin.
  3. Check your site for any crazy-business.
  4. Once all is well, go back to Plugins and click the Delete link.

If you’re looking to install a new plugin, you can do so in one of two ways.

If it’s a paid plugin in, go to the developer’s website and purchase. Then you’ll need to upload the zip files accordingly and follow the developer’s install instructions. If it’s a free plugin, you can go to:

  1. WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Add New
  2. Search for the desired plugin, taking special note of high install numbers and good reviews.
  3. By clicking on the title, you can view screenshots from other users and view more information about where the plugin comes from and what it does.
  4. Lastly, click Install and then Activate.

Keep in mind when adding new plugins, just because everybody else is using it, doesn’t mean you need it, too.

Always keep things simple and purposeful.

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