Word Press plugins overview

So themes change the look of WordPress without affecting its functionality. But what if you want to change or add functionality? WordPress plugins allow easy modification, customization, and enhancement to a WordPress site. Instead of having to dig in to the main files and change the core programming of WordPress, you can add functionality by installing and activating WordPress plugins.

The WordPress development team took great care to make it easy to create plugins using access points and methods provided by the WordPress' Plugin API (Application Program Interface). The best place to search for plugins is:

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/. The following is a screenshot of the WordPress plugin directory's main page:

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Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine. In the directory you can find, download, rate, and comment on all the best plugins the WordPress community has to offer.

8,303 PLUGINS, 74,728,147 DOWNLOADS, AND COUNTING

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Featured Plugins

Pol I Daddy Polls & Ratings

Create and manage PollDaddy polls and ratings from within WordPress. Download

WP Su per Cache

A very fast caching engine for WordPress that produces static html files. Downed

IntenseDebate Comments

IntenseDebate comments enhance and encourage conversation on your biog. Download Build your reader community, increase your comments, & boost pageviews.

Most Popular »

1 All in One SE0 Pack Downloaded 4.393.623 times

1 WP-PageNavi Downloaded 539,303 times

1 Google XML Sitemaps Downloaded 3.153.558 times

1 Contact Form 7 Downloaded 1,452,505 times

1 WP 5jper Cache Downloaded 1,026,612 times

1 WPtouch ¡Phone Theme Downloaded 47B.796 times

Newest Plugins »

■ Silverlight Gallery Added February 11

■ Customer Manager Added February 1L

■ Thumbshots Added February 11

■ Articles Protection Added February 11

■ Flash CountDown Plugin Added February II

■ Extended Admin Post Filter Added February 11

Once you have a plugin, it's a simple matter of decompressing the file (usually just unzipping it) and reading the included readme.txt file for installation and activation instructions. For most WordPress plugins, this is simply a matter of uploading the file or directory to your WordPress installation's wp-content/ plugins directory and then navigating to the Administration | Plugins | Installed panel to activate it. The next screenshot shows the Plugins admin panel with the activation screen for the default Askimet, Hello Dolly, and new WordPress Importer plugins:

1 WordPress and jQueiy Search Engines Blocked install Plugins

& Pests Posts Add New Categories Post Tags % Media Links ® Pages Pages Add New Comments

HI Appearance Themes Widgets

Plugins a

All (3) I Active (1) | Inactive (2} Bulk Actions Apply

Howdy, admin Log Out

Screen Options Help

Search Installed Plugins

Plugin

Description

Akismet

Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need an API key to use It. You can review the spam it catches under "Comments." To show off your Akismet stats just put <?php akismet_counterO; ?> in your template. 5ee also: WP Stats plugin.

Activate I Edit I Delete

Version 2.3.0 1 By Automatic 1 Visit plugin site

Hello Dolly

This is not just a plugin, it symbolizes the hope and enthusiasm of an entire generation summed up in two words sung most famously by Louis Armstrong: Hello, Dolly. When activated you will randomly see a lyric from Hello, Dolly in the upper right of your admin screen on every page.

Activate | Edit | Delete

Version 1.5.1 1 By Matt Mullenweg | Visit plugin site

WordPress Importer

Import posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, and tags from a WordPress export file.

Deactivate | Edit

Version 0.2 | By wordpressdotorg | Visit plugin site

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So how does a WordPress plugin differ from a jQuery plugin? In theory and intent, not that much, but in practice, there are quite a few differences. Let's take a look at jQuery plugins.

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