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Supercharge your WordPress Blog with Plugins

Quickly and Easily add Unlimited Functionality

wordpress plugins tutorial

Plugins are tools to extend the functionality of WordPress. This article contains a list of plugins by category, and links to other plugin repositories. The core of WordPress is designed to be lean, to maximize flexibility and minimize code bloat. Plugins offer custom functions and features so that each user can tailor their site to their specific needs.

Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine.

Managing WordPress Plugins

You can manage your blog’s plugins from the Plugin menu via the Dashboard.

From the Dashboard, click the Plugins heading on the left side of the page.

The Plugins Management panel will open.

wordpress plugins tutorial

You will see all of the plugins that are installed on your blog. There are only two that are installed by default:

Askimet: Eliminates spam from your blog’s comments. Probably the most useful plugin you can have.

Hello Dolly: Displays lyrics from the stupid song “Hello Dolly” on the top of your Admin pages. It is useless and must be deleted at once.

You can perform the following actions from the Plugin menu:

  • Activate Plugins: Turn on plugins that are already installed.
  • Deactivated Plugins: Turn off plugins that are installed and activated.
  • Delete Plugins: Remove all the plugins files from your server.
  • Add New Plugins: Load the files that power a plugin onto your server.

wordpress plugins tutorial

Let’s see how to perform each of these tasks.

Activating Plugins

When you open the Plugins Panel, you will see all of the plugins that are installed on your blog. There is an Activate link next to any plugins that are not already activated.

Click the Activate link to turn on a plugin.

Deactivating Plugins

When you activate a plugin, you may decide that you want to turn it off. This is simple. Any plugins that are activated will have a Deactivate link next to them on the Plugins Panel.

wordpress plugins tutorial

Click the Deactivate link to turn off a plugin.

Adding Plugins to Your Site

The two plugins that are installed on your site by default won’t get you very far. There are literally thousands of plugins available that will add just about any functionality imaginable to your blog. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can add new plugins to your site.

Adding Plugins from the WordPress Plugin Directory

WordPress.org has a massive directory of plugins that you can search, install, and research.


The best thing is, you can search and install them right from your WordPress Admin Panel.

Click Plugins> Add New

This will open the Install Plugins page.

wordpress plugins tutorial

You can search or browse WordPress’ massive directory using the following methods:

Search for a plugin by name, description, or keyword.

Browse by Featured, Popular, Newest, Recently Updated, or Tagged criteria.

Once you find a plugin that you want to install, just click the Install link to the right of the plugin’s description.

wordpress plugins tutorial

A popup window will open displaying information and instructions about the plugin.

wordpress plugins tutorial

Click the OK button to complete the plugin’s installation.

Now you can Activate and Configure the plugin on your site.

wordpress plugins tutorial

Click the Activate Plugin link.


The plugin will be activated.

wordpress plugins tutorial

Adding Plugins from Other Web Sites

You can also find plugins on numerous developers’ sites. You can download these plugins to your computer as zip files.

Once you download a plugin, click the Browse button on the Install Plugins page.

wordpress plugins tutorial

Navigate to the zip file on your computer and click the Install Now button.

The plugin will by uploaded, unzipped, and installed on your site. Now you can Activate and Configure the plugin on your site.

Adding Multiple Plugins using FTP Software

You can also upload multiple plugins to your site from your computer in one step. Let’s say you have a bunch of plugins that you test on a local server. Once you determine the ones that you want to use on your web server, you can upload them all using your FTP site.

Plugin files are located in the following location on your Web server: Site Root> wp-content> plugins

Open your FTP client

Navigate to the Plugins directory on your web server

Select the desired plugins on your computer

Drag the plugins to your web server

If you are setting up more than one WordPress site or relocating an existing one, this can save you a lot of time.

Removing Unwanted Plugins

If you install a plugin, but no longer have any use for it, you can remove it in a few simple clicks.

Go to the Plugins Panel

wordpress plugins tutorial

Deactivate the unwanted plugin

There will be a Delete link next to the Activate link.

Click the Delete link.

A window will ask you to confirm your intention to delete the plugin.

wordpress plugins tutorial

Click the Yes Delete the Files button.

The plugin and all of its files will be deleted from your server.

See it in Action

The following video shows all of the steps in the process of Using Plugins to Extend the Functionality of your WordPress Blog.

See the Rest of This Series


This is the 5th article in a 7 part series of tutorials on Creating a WordPress Blog. View the rest of the series:

  1. How To Set Up a WordPress Blog
  2. Configure the Settings on a WordPress Blog
  3. Writing a Blog Aritcle Using the WordPress Web Interface
  4. Controlling the Look of a WordPress Blog Using Themes
  5. Adding Extra Features to a WordPress Blog with Widgets
  6. Extending WordPress Functionality with Plugins
  7. Publishing WordPress Articles Using Third Party Applications

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