As with themes, the easiest way to find and install WordPress plug-ins is through the Add New page in the Administration page Plug-ins section of your WordPress blog. This page integrates the WordPress Plugin Directory into your WordPress installation. As of this writing, the Plugin Directory hosts over 7,000 plugins. From the Dashboard, click Plug-ins and then click Add New. The screen offers many ways of discovering plug-ins (as shown in Figure 13.1):
■ Standard search, by Term (keyword), Author, or Tag
■ Click an item in the tag cloud below the Search window to see plug-ins tagged with the term. As with the Tag Cloud sidebar widget, the bigger the text, the more frequent the appearance. Thus, in Figure 13.2, the Post and Widget tags have the most available plug-ins.
■ Browse among the Featured, Popular, Newest, and Recently Updated plug-ins in the directory by using the links at the top of the screen.
Unlike the Free Themes Directory, the Featured and Popular plug-ins do not track each other quite so consistently. This, perhaps, reflects a possible divide between the development team and the users over which plug-ins are the most valuable, but more likely that users better know what they want. Defining a valuable theme is a much more subjective process than looking for software that can help you reach your goals.
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Are You Ready to Start Writing? Times are very hard, and there is no reason to assume or imagine that things are going to improve any time soon. The world as a whole has undergone some very traumatic changes over the last few years, and the financial situation in most countries seems grim.