• Introducing WordPress Plugins
  • Introducing WordPress Plugins

Video:

 

 

Transcript:

In this video, we're going to take a look at WordPress plugins. Now plugins are extra code that you 
can add to your site to add extra features. Unfortunately, plugins are packaged very nicely so that 
it makes it super easy to add and remove plugins. First let's go to wordpress.org and see what kinds 
of things are available. This is "wordpress.org/plugins" and we're here on the featured page. You'll 
note at the top that it says there are 47,624 plugins available. On the featured page, we can see 
Beebe press which is forum software and buddypress which can help turn your entire site into 
something like Facebook.
Jetpack is actually a meta plugin. It contains a whole bunch of other plugins. Akismet helps keep 
spam off your site, theme check make sure that your theme is actually up to snuff and WP super cache 
can help make your site go extra fast. But if we click popular we can see that there are at least 34 
pages of them.
Google Analytics by monster insights helps integrate Google Analytics with your site. All-in-one SEO 
is for SEO just like Yoast - their competitors - and they do things a little bit differently but 
they're both excellent. Google XML sitemaps WooCommerce is for e-commerce. Contact form 7 ads 
contact forms to your site. The list goes on and on and on. So how do you get these, you ask? Well, 
actually what we want to do is go back to our site and under plugins I'm just going to click install 
plugins. You'll see that we already have three. I have one called akismet which is to keep spam off 
the site but it is not active at the moment it's just sitting there.
Hello Dolly is kind of a toy. It was written Matt Mullenweg and was one of the very first plugins, 
and it's sort of a demonstration.
Lastly, I have here the WordPress beta tester which allows me to get beta versions of WordPress if I 
want them. So now I want to add a new one. I can either click add new on the left or add new at the 
top - they do the same thing.
Now I can see a bunch of plugins that are just suggested, featured, popular and you'll note that 
these are all the same plugins that were on the other site. That's because they are just recommended 
and then if you have an account at wordpress.org you can get your own favorites. I have an account 
so I'm going to put in my name and click get favorites and these are my favorites.
So to install one, all you have to do is click the Install Now button. Then what I want is down the 
page here a little bit and it's called simple page ordering. So now I'm going to click install now 
and it is installed but it's not working yet. I need to activate it. Fortunately, I can do that 
right here and now it is active you can see it in the list and you can tell it's active because it's 
a light blue color and there's deactivate now.
What does this plug-in do you might ask? Well in the video about making pages, I pointed out that 
you could order them by changing that number in the little box. Well this plugin allows us to simply 
grab them and reorder them, this way. So by dragging aquarium under civics, I made it a child of 
civics. I move it up, it's not anymore. If I move it below home safety then it's still its own 
parent but it is below civics. Now this is only useful if the theme uses that number but if your 
theme does use that number then dragging and dropping these is way better than going into every one 
of them and changing that number, trying to get them all in the right order. Now when a new version 
of a plug-in comes out, WordPress will tell you there will be a little indicator up here by the 
comments bubble. They're leaning the cater here next to plugins and if you click it you'll be able 
to click update.
Right here there's a bulk actions option so if you click both of these you can activate and now 
Akismet is active. It put up this alert and Hello Dolly is active. All it does is put lyrics to the 
songs Hello Dolly right up here. So I don't want either one of them active anymore so I'm going to 
deactivate something.
That's important to remember. Is that not all plugins are equal in quality. Some of them are written 
quite poorly and can actually slow down your site quite a lot. Some of them haven't been updated in 
quite a while. Let's take a look at how we can tell some of those things.
If I click add new (we'll just pick this one just arbitrarily), there's a more details link. It says 
warning this plug-in has not been tested with your current version of WordPress. Now since I'm 
running a beta version of WordPress, that doesn't surprise me but over here on the right I can see 
it's compatible with up to 4.4.5. It's probably compatible with the latest version but you can't be 
sure. You can see there are three hundred plus active installs; you can see who the author is and 
when it was last updated. This one was last updated just two weeks ago, so we know that George is 
keeping it up to snuff. We have six ratings and the average rating is five stars so it's probably 
pretty good.
Once you've spent a little time in the WordPress community, you'll start recognising more and more 
contributors. I recognise almost all of these people and they're quite excellent developers so I can 
tell that this is a good plugin, also by the people developing it. If you go to other notes it tells 
you where you can get together with the developers to help work on this plug-in, maybe ask questions, 
etc. All of the plugins have this. More details link here. It has features, active installs, 
compatible up to 4.7. Here are the reviews. If you click reviews, you can actually see the reviews 
so before installing a plugin make sure you read the more details. Make sure it does what you want.
If you find that you don't want a plug-in you can simply deactivate it and then delete it from your 
site. I also recommend that you delete any plugins that you don't have active.
WordPress plugins that are not active can still be accessed from the web and if there's a security 
hole then it can still be abused so it's common for people to deactivate a plug-in but leave it, 
thinking that it's not hurting anything and never look at it again. Years later it's still sitting 
there and it might have a security flaw that has been patched but you haven't updated because it's 
deactivated.
So, to reiterate, if you're not using a plug-in please delete it. You can get it back any time you 
want as you build your site think carefully about what you need your site to do and look for plugins 
that do, that don't just install plug-ins that are neato or fun because they can slow your site down. 
That said, if it's your own personal blog and you're having a wonderful time, go for it.

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