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How WordPress Plugins Work

Posted by Mariana Morales

Website Development, WordPress

Plugins are a major part of why WordPress has become one of the most used website platforms in the world. We like to think of them as solutions for your website, software that adds functionality to your website and enhances your website.

From the WordPress plugins directory you can search and choose between over 40,000 website enhancing products and if somehow you cannot find a plugin to suit your needs then you can have one built.

What are WordPress plugins?

Plugins are downloadable, installable bits of software that increase the functionality of your website and are offered exclusively on the WordPress platform. If you can think of a functionality you require for your website, there will be a plugin available for that. Plugins are both free and paid, and are scripts or programs created by developers who work to maintain the compatibility of the plugin in relation to the latest version of WordPress.


How do you install WordPress plugins?

Your WordPress website will have a Plugins menu in the left hand side function menu. This is where you can manage your plugins and also add new plugins. To install a new plugin, click the Add New link located at the top left corner of the plugins page. This will bring you to the plugin directory, where you can search and download your plugin. For those new to WordPress the directory offers a curated selection of popular, recommended and favourited programs. Click here to learn about some of the plugins we recommend.

Once a plugin is downloaded you manage that plugin; activate, deactivate, delete or upgrade from the plugins manage page.

There may be additional steps to the activation of your plugin. Every plugin that you choose to download will have their own page that features plugin descriptions, installation steps, screenshots and FAQs.


Configuring your WordPress Plugin

Some plugins like those used for Google Analytics will require additional configuration. When a plugin is downloaded and does require this, it will create a menu tab under Administration on your back-end WordPress panel. The plugin may also appear under options, or it may create it's own menu listing on your panel. 

You may be required to provide information or choose settings to enable the functionality of that plugin. If you get lost or if the plugin is not functioning correctly, the plugins author should provide clear instructions, often step-by-step on how to configure your plugin. If you need to manipulate coding to ensure that your plugin functions with your needs, you may require the support of someone familiar with coding. 


What if I can’t find a WordPress plugin that meets my needs?

When you cannot find a WordPress plugin to meet you needs, you can have your own WordPress plugin built. Search out a WordPress developer that has experience creating plugins and can give you examples or their work and how they have enhanced the functionality of other WordPress website, here's a good place to start. 

Just getting started with WordPress? Connect with Computan's team of WordPress development experts to discover the world of possibility available to your website on the WordPress platform. 

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Mariana Morales

Written by Mariana Morales

Mariana's a internet marketing enthusiast and a blogger. She loves Digital Marketing tendencies.