Getting Started with WordPress Plugins
By: Michelle S. Loyd
If you are a new WordPress user or simply looking to add more functionality to your website, then this is the article for you! This article walks you through the basic steps of installing and activating a WordPress plugin on your self-hosted WordPress website.
Keep reading to learn the basics of how to get started with using WordPress plugins.
WordPress Plugins Defined
A WordPress plugin is an independently operating software package that is able to “plug in” to your website. The purpose of a WordPress plugin is to add or take away functionalities from your self-hosted WordPress website.
For example, if you are creating a website and would like to add e-commerce functionality or a shopping cart, you can install a plugin like WooCommerce, Ecwid or Shopify to turn your website into a fully functioning online store!
Using WordPress plugins is as easy as adding apps to your phone. There are no special coding skills required to install and activate a plugin.
There are thousands of free and premium plugins available to add functionality to your website.
Examples of plugins that can be added to improve the function of your business website:
Step-by-Step Instructions for Installing and Activating a Plugin
1) Locate the desired plugin by completing a search within the WordPress platform under the “Plugins” tab.
2) Once you find the plugin that meets your needs, install the plugin and wait for it to finish downloading. Once the plugin has installed you will then see the option to “activate” the plugin.
3) After you’ve activated the plugin, the next step is to customize the plugin settings.
4) Now that you’ve customized your plugin to meet your website’s needs, now you’re ready to begin using your new plugin to add or remove functionality from your site.
***In order to begin customizing your plugin settings, you will need to locate the plugin by name on the WordPress dashboard or in the Plugins list where all of your plugins are saved.
How to Use Your New WordPress Plugin
If you aren’t sure how to use your new plugin you can refer to the “documentation” section that is included with all plugins that link to instructions, faqs, and directly to the plugin developer.
It’s that simple!
Now that you understand the basics of how to locate, install, activate, and configure a WordPress plugin, you’re on your way to creating a dynamically functioning website that is uniquely your own.
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