17 Dec “There’s a Plugin for that”
What is a plugin?
A Plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features make it easier for users to add features to their website without knowing a single line of code.
WP Plugins are basically apps that allow you to add new features and functionality to your WordPress website. Exactly the same way as apps do for your smartphone.
You’ll need to know where to find them, how to access them and how to use them. There are literally thousands of free Plugins available, and many more Pro Plugins. This post is meant to help you navigate through the WordPress Plugin library, search Plugins, download / install and activate Plugins.
As a site administrator, you can install/uninstall plugins from the admin area. You can also download and manually install them using an FTP client.
Although there are plugins that can do the task you want them to do, some are much higher quality than others. In order to choose the right ones, you should ask yourself a couple questions.
How long has it been since it was updated? Is it compatible with the latest version of WordPress? Are people getting answers to their support questions? What type of rating does it have?
Is there such thing as too many Plugins?
There is a myth that WordPress plugins slow your site down. It is not true. Though there are a number of bad ones that will slow down your site. My advice is to read the reviews!
search, research, install, activate & edit settings
Why should I buy a Plugin if there are free versions?
comparing free with pro (paid for) plugins
How to choose between free and paid plugins?
There are thousands of free plugins and there is a good chance that you can find a free plugin offering the same functionality as a paid plugin. If it works good for you, then use it.
Please keep in mind that free plugins are offered as they are, with no warranties, and no promise of support. Plugin author can stop working on a plugin at anytime they want. You can browse the Plugins page to browse the FAQ’s and or forum (if they have them) for trouble shooting. Often you’ll find the answers you need searching the Internet.
If you feel you will be needing lots of support, and you want regular updates, then paid plugins are more than likely a better fit for you. You can use the free plugins to explore them and if you decide you like the plugin and want more out of it, you can always purchase it later.
There are a lot of reasons to use Pro Plugins. Above all Pro Plugins also offer more functionality and possibilities for customization.
For instance you want a reservation function on your WP website and you opt to use the free version. This is inexpensive but you may not be able to adjust your colours. This could result in having an important section of your website looking very different than the rest of the pages. That is to say your website won’t be consistent.
I use a combination of both free and paid plugins on Visual Stories. This site is made with help from the free version of Elementor, a page building Plugin. As I don’t need the Pro features or support I have opted for the free version. It’s really up to you, and your needs.
Pro Plugins that came with your theme
For Plugins such as Revolution Slider, Layer Slider, Visual Composer I recommend purchasing a licence. For one you’ll have access to new features. These Plugins are popular and always being built on and updated. Also for security issues, the updates are important to keep your site safe, the mentioned Plugins cannot be updated without purchasing a licence. These aren’t Plugins you can find in the Plugin directory but are often provided for free with your theme.
This image shows the popular SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Yoast in the Dashboard. This Plugin has been developed to create a dedicated Settings section within your Dashboard.
Once you’ve installed and activated your Plugin you’ll need to locate the settings within your Dashboard.
Each Plugin will install where the developer has indicated it should be installed. This means it isn’t always as simple as Dashboard >> Settings >> (name of Plugin).
If you don’t see it located under Settings, look to see if your installed Plugin has been given it’s own listing in the Dashboard.
Can’t find the Plugin Settings?
The places to look:
Under Dashboard >> Settings
Under Dashboard >> Plugins >> search the Plugin and see if there is a settings option to click on
In the Dashboard >> Plugin you’re looking for
If you have any questions regarding installing and working with Plugins let me know and I’ll help you. If you have a specific question for a Plugin you are using, I can help you if I am familiar with the Plugin.
Thanks for stopping by.