Tutorial Overview

Topics covered in this tutorial (click link to jump to topic):

1. Introduction
2. Can I install a Plugin myself?
3. That broke my site
4. Plugin Support
5. FAQs
6. Other resources


Plugins are little helper programs. They do a discrete function inside WordPress such as a calendar, form, table, search box or newsletter. Some are small and simple while others are run complex function such as ecommerce. There are many, many free plugins waiting for you to explore and add to your site.

Can I Install Plugins Myself?

Yes, install new Plugins by clicking the “add new” link on the plug-ins menu. The resulting page has a search box at the top of it. You can put in a search phrase in this box and see what plug-ins have been written. You can then go to the right and click “install”. It’s probably best to leave this task to your development team so that if any problems crop up they can solve them quickly.

What Should I do if the Plugin Breaks My Site?

Very occasionally a plug-in will break a website. This is because it is incompatible in some way with some other plug-in in use on the site or with the core install file for WordPress. Simply disable the plug-in and you’re site should return to normal.

Can I get support for a Plugin?

Normally not. You can consult the author’s website FAQs. But generally it would be very unusual to talk to the developer directly. Generally you try a plug in, if it works, does what you want and it doesn’t break anything, well, good and well. If it does break something, simply uninstall it and try a different one.


What can a plugin do?

A better question would be, what can’t a plugin do? Here are some typical examples of plugins. You will notice they can do some small things and some big things: reformat the website to be smartphone friendly, integrate a Google translate function, build a form with a recaptcha, run image galleries with options for slideshows or thumbnails presentation, ecommerce, place images in the sidebars… And many tens of thousands more.

What do they cost?

Mostly plugins are free. Sometimes the developer asks for a donation, or for a complex ecommerce plugin you may pay $60.

How are they installed?

A plugin can be installed from within WordPress, or with FTP. In either method, you will have to “activate” the plugin in WordPress.

What if they don’t work?

Find one that does. None are warrant. Some only work with later versions of WordPress.

What can go wrong?

A poorly authored plugin may interfere with another. I.e. Stop another ne from working. Collectively they may use up all the memory allow for a single domain in a shared hosting environment. Again, try others. Or write to the developer for a fix.

Other Resources

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