There’s Probably a Plugin for That!
With 17,833 plugins and counting there is a plugin for just about every feature, customization, enhancement, optimization and security measure you can think of.
Here’s the easiest way to add a plugin and some tips on plugins to choose (choose wisely):
- First, Back it Up!.
- I strongly recommend becoming familiar with FTP as a safety measure. Should you get a white screen of death you’ll want to immediately delete the plugin you just installed out of the plugins folder, wp-content/plugins. If you’re unfamiliar of how to connect to your files and folders with FTP please check with your host.
- Inside your WP admin, go to Plugins > Add New > Enter a Keyword or Two and Search Plugins.
- Before installing, click on Details and check that it’s compatible with the latest WordPress version. Check that it has a popular rating and that people generally agree that it works well. Note, sometimes plugins are abandoned, but are still fully compatible with all WordPress versions so if for example it says it’s only compatible up to WP 2.9 it could still work without any issues.
- When you’ve found a promising plugin Click Install Now > Click OK > Then Click Activate.
- Depending on the plugin, it may now need to be configured further within it’s own settings page. This will usually be found under Settings, Plugins or Tools.
Not all plugins play nice together or with our themes. There are any number of possible issues.
Some Plugins I Recommend
W3 Total Cache – Minifies and caches your code and pages for quicker loading.
Warning: This is a very advanced plugin that required fine tuning and often does not play nice with other plugins. If ever you’re adding CSS or other updates to your site and they don’t seem to be taking effect you need to clear the W3 Total Cache.
All in One SEO Pack – Automates the most basic of SEO optimizations.
Google XML Sitemaps – Creates and submits a sitemap.xml file to search engines.
Bad Behavior – Block bad bots, spam and other junk from your site.
Secure WordPress – Some basic security measures to harden your WordPress install.
Contact Form 7 – Add a contact form to your contact page.
Theme My Login – Incorporate user registration and sign in into your theme.
bbPress – Add a forum to your site.
Widget Logic – Let’s you control what widgets show on what pages.
WP Touch – Make sure your site looks good on mobile devices.