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WordPressing with style Part 2: Plug-ins

What is a plug-in? Where do they go? What are the essential ones? And where do I find them all in one file? Let the Information Handyman guide you through this three-step process for adding functionality to your WordPress installation…

You may have noticed something new around here. That’s the funky theme. But behind it there is a whole bunch of fancy-pants functionality that turns web-publishing from a geek-only-zone into typing your content then clicking ‘publish’. It’s a walk off the plank for writing a separate RSS feed, away with the manual spam filtering, ahoy there easy SEO, embedded videos and more statistics than you can wave a jolly roger at. Blogging has become the art of writing English, not XML, HTML or any other programming language.

This post will take you through the most useful builders of functionality the WordPress community provides. Those builders are called ‘plug-ins’, and in order to add them to your site, you need to (1) find, download and extract them into the yoursite/wp-content/plugins folder then (2) upload them to your server. Finally, (3) head to your WordPress admin and click ‘Plugins’, then click on ‘activate’ to set that functionality in motion. Let’s go through those steps in a bit more detail….

Adding plugins

There are over 10,000 plugins available, so it can be difficult sorting out which ones you need. I’ve compiled a list of the ones I’ve found incredibly useful and packed them all together in a zip file for easy extraction:

Google analytics
Database Backup

Want more? The internet can be scoured for suitable WordPress plugins via search, or from these compendiums:

WordPress Plugin Database
Plugin Directory

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