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Manage WordPress Plugins

Plugins extend and expand the functionality that already exists in WordPress. They are collection of PHP functions that integrate seamlessly with WordPress core.

Official WordPress Plugins Repository

WordPress Plugins are available from several sources. The most popular and official source for WordPress Plugins is the WordPress.org repo.

Manage Plugins

Plugins management include activating, deactivating, updating, editing, and deleting plugins that are installed.

To manage plugins go to Administration > Plugins:

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To start this article in a clean Plugins screen we deleted the default WordPress plugins Akismet and Hello, Dolly.

Click on Add New button:

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You can use different filters to find appropriate plugins more easily. For example if you select Popular you can choose from 42,197 items, if you select Recommended9,999 items to choose from.

To use Favorites you must follow the instructions below:

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You can click on Popular tags:

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or use through the Search field.

We'll install Hello, Dolly plugin and enter hello in the search field:

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Click Install Now button.

After installation the button changes to Activate and if you click it the plugin will be activated. We'll leave it as is for now.

We want to install one more plugin and enter template keyword in the search field:

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Again click on Install Now button:

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You can activate the plugin by clicking the Activate button, but we want to show you another way to do it.

You can also click More Details link to get additional information about the plugin:

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Click again Plugin link in the Dashboard:

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The installed plugins are listed in the Plugins screen. Select both plugins, from the dropdown menu select Activate option and click Aplly button:

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Both plugins are successfuly activated.

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Let's see what are these plugins doing?

Hello, Dolly plugin shows randomly a lyric from Hello, Dolly famous song in the upper right of your admin screen on every page:

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Show current template is very useful if you are developing or editing themes – it shows the current template file name, the current theme name and included template files' name in the tool bar:

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Our activated plugins works fine.

Delete Plugins

Let's try to delete an active plugin – select the plugin, select Delete option and click Apply button:

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Nothing changes.

WordPress does not allow to delete an active plugin.

You must deactivate the plugin first and then click the delete link:

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А short message confirms the deletion:

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Install plugin from a ZIP archive

Visit WordPress plugin repository and enter current keyword in the search field:

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Click on the thumbnail, on the next screen click Download button:

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Click Plugins > Add New button again, then click on Upload plugin button.

Choose the plugin archive from your computer and click Install Now:

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When installation is finished click Activate Plugin:

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Most plugins will require additional customizations to start working properly. That's why they install their own settings menu in different places within the Dashboard.

We installed one popular mail plugin for example:

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Click on Settings link to:

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Upgrading Plugins

If a Plugin is hosted at the WordPress Plugins Directory upgrade notices will be displayed, when appropriate, for a given plugin. When a Plugin has an upgrade available, under each Plugin row in the Table, a message similar to this will display:

There is a new version of Plugin Name available. View version 1.2.3 Details or upgrade automatically.

If the Plugin is hosted elsewhere, such as the Plugin author's site, it is your responsibility to check regularly for available updates for those Plugins.

Summary

Plugins provides excellent opportunities to add additional and useful functionality to your WordPress site.

Few words of caution.

Do not use too many plugins – stick to what is necessary indeed. Be cautious about plugins that are offered for download (especially for free) outside official WordPress repository. Be cautious about plugins that are not upgraded constantly.

The WordPress core is updated every four months, so if a plugin is not upgraded at least once in six months you'd better search for additional information or search for more suitable alternatives.

#wordpress #plugins

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