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WordPress Plugins

This guide is designed to provide you with an insight to the Plugins section of the WordPress dashboard.

Plugins are arguably one of the best features of using WordPress over any other content management system (CMS). Plugins make it easy to enhance and develop a website quickly and easily. Not only are most WordPress plugins free to use, but there are thousands to choose from. It’s almost at the stage where you know there will be a plugin already built to fulfill your any requirements you might have.

There are plugins for all types of purposes, from additional font options to full-blown hotel management systems. The plugin market place truly is that broad.

Before plugins, all features and functions would have been created manually, this would have led to the requirement of a high quality developer and a whopping fee to follow. Thankfully in most instances this is no longer the case. Please note that we are not saying the art of developing advanced systems and code is extinct, in fact far from it. The marketplace has changed, developers are mostly used to expand upon or fix other developers plugins as well as continue the traditional requests of standard website development that are non-WordPress based.

Nowadays a developer can hit the big time if they create and market their plugin effectively.

Most plugins are free to download, but more advanced solutions are likely to cost you anything from £15 to £150. Considering £150 is less than what most developers would charge for one days work, it puts it into perspective as to just how cost effective WordPress plugins are.

You have two options when it comes to sourcing plugins for your WordPress website. You can either look for a free solution within the WordPress marketplace or you can use an online plugin retailer such as Code Canyon or WPMUDEV.

To source a free plugin, select the plugins tab on the left hand side of the WordPress dashboard, followed by the ‘Add New’ button. This will lead you to the page where you can source or upload a plugin.

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As you can see, there are multiple options in how you conduct a plugin search. The most effective way to source a plugin is to use the search bar provided, enter the keywords that are relevant to your requirements and hit the ‘Search Plugins’ button. You will soon find a list of various results related to your search request. Flick through the results but keep your eye open for plugins with positive reviews, quality descriptions and screenshots are certainly preferable.

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Select the ‘Details’ text link to view further information regarding a plugin, such as how the plugin will appear on your website once it is installed and what the plugins capabilities are.

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Once you are happy with the capabilities of the plugin, take a look at the screenshots to see how the plugin will appear on your website before any customisations are applied.

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Once you are happy with what you have read and seen, select the ‘Install Now’ button. There is no need to procrastinate over which plugin to install, as it’s just as easy to deactivate and un-install a plugin as it is to set one up.

You will need to activate the plugin once the plugin is installed, this will allow you to use the plugins features as you so choose.

If you ever wish to see which plugins have been installed and which ones are active, select the Installed Plugins text link located just below the Plugins tab.

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In some instances there may not be a free plugin to install and you will be required to purchase one from a market place such as the ones suggested.

Ordering through a plugin marketplace and installing a plugin through the WordPress dashboard is just as simple a process. Rather than using the ‘Search’ function within the Install Plugins page, select the ‘Upload’ option. This will present you with a dedicated page to upload your plugin.

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Select your file, click upload and activate, wolah, your plugin is ready to use within your WordPress website.

Each plugin will include it’s own unique features and functions, at times you will be required to set these up manually and other plugins will sort all of this out for you automatically.

Some plugins add a tab to your WordPress dashboard with further functionality options, some add a widget to your widgets page and others add an icon to your posts and pages kitchen sink to make it easy for you to add the plugins functions. Either way, do not be alarmed if you cannot find the plugins options as these will be displayed somewhere within the WordPress dashboard. You can always refer to the plugins documentation if you require further guidance.

As stated previously, deleting a plugin is just as easy. Simply select the ‘Deactivate’ text link located below the plugin title.

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Once the plugin is deactivated, it’s ready to delete.

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