WordPress Dashboard – Plugins
WordPress Plugins are extra features (they can also be thought of as “Apps”) that you can install on your WordPress Website / WordPress Blog. Plugins can be something as simple as a Contact Form to something as complex as a WordPress Statistics Tracking Program, or even a WordPress Search Engine Optimization tool with multiple features to help you get your WordPress Website / Blog to rank well in Google Search Results. This section will start by explaining the different dashboard menu items for the Plugins section, then we will cover a list of Suggested WordPress Plugins that will work well no mater what type of website or blog you are building.
► Installed Plugins
Installed Plugins will show you the list of the plugins you currently have installed. Along with being able to view the currently installed plugins, you will be able to activate, deactivate, update and delete plugins from this screen. If you wish to edit multiple plugins, you can mass-select multiple plugins and use the Bulk Actions drop down list to take the appropriate action by selecting the option that you would like to apply to the selected plugins and then clicking Apply.
Also, if you would like to view ONLY the active/inactive/update-available plugins, you can do so by selecting the choices at the top. This will show you only the respective plugins (active, inactive, or those that have an update available for them).
If you would like to search for new Plugins, you can click the add new next to the title “Plugins” and this will take you to a Search-Like screen where you can search for additional plugins.
► Add New
If you’d like to search for new plugins, type in your search term (or author or Tag, you can select this from the drop down menu next to the Search field). Alternatively, instead of searching for a plugin by search term, you can also select a tag at the bottom (in this screenshot, it’s admin, ajax, buddypress, etc) or select from the top menu (Featured, Popular, Newest, Recently Updated) and this will show you a list of the respective plugins.
Also, if you have purchased a plugin online and would like to install that, you will need to use the “upload” feature and upload the plugin in .zip format.
If you know some PHP, you can also EDIT your installed plugins. This is not suggested because you can cause some irreversible damage to your plugins and would have to go back and re-install them. I, myself, rarely edit my plugins because there is almost never a need to, however, sometimes, Developers will put Ads in the plugins and Ads bug me, so I go in and take them out. I have no problem ‘tipping’ the developers via PayPal or Recommendations / Referrals, but I do NOT want Ads popping out at me when I’m trying to write a post.
Below, I will link to my Recommended Plugins:
Recommended WordPress Plugins as of August 2012 (in progress of writing this post)
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