WordPress: What are plugins?

Do you keep hearing bloggers talk about great plugins they’re using? Do you have no idea what they’re talking about? That’s probably because you’re using a WordPress-hosted blog rather than a self-hosted blog (if you don’t know the difference between the two, read this article on WordPress.com vs WordPress.org).

So, what is a plugin?

Plugins are a little apps which you can download and install to extend the functionality of your blog, but only on self-hosted blogs. If you’re using a WordPress hosted blog you just have to make-do with widgets.

You can get plugins which do pretty-much anything, from SEO, to creating a site map,  to helping you to integrate with social media platforms including YouTube, Flickr, Facebook etc.

To get to plugins, go to Dashboard > Plugins. This shows you a screen detailing any plugins you’ve already installed.

To browse for new plugins click: Dashboard > Plugins > Add New and you’ll see a screen like this:

WordPress plugins

If you’re looking for a plugin which does something specific you can use the search box. Alternatively you can click on one of the popular tags or, my favourite, click on Popular or Newest links (at the top underneath the Install Plugins title) and see what takes your fancy.

You can install and uninstall plugins whenever you like, so play and enjoy!