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Client Questions: What are Plugins for WordPress?

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Client Question of the Week: WordPress Plugins – what are they, how to use them, how to install them.

Transcript (edited)

In today’s video, we’re going to talk about WordPress plugins. As you know, WordPress is a behind the scenes software that runs websites. So a plugin for WordPress is a piece of software that can be uploaded that extends or expands what’s your website is able to do. There are all kinds of plugins. If you have an idea of for a plugin, probably there’s one out there. In your WordPress back office, there’s a little thing for plugins on the right. You don’t want a whole bunch of them because all these little bits of software get loaded every time your your website gets loaded. So you don’t bog down your websites but they can do an amazing amount of things, everything from help you with SEO to put Amazon ads on your website contact forms for people to contact you.

If you’re using affiliate links, one of one of my favorite plugins is pretty link lite and that can help you with making your affiliate links disguised but also help you with counting views of those links. I’m going to do a video next week on pretty link and so be sure to watch out for that.

There are tons literally tons of WordPress plugins available. A lot of them are free – tons of them are free. With so many free ones, why would you ever want to pay for them? Well there are few reasons: paid ones usually come with a higher level of support and also more consistent updates so especially when a WordPress platform updates. But if a free one will do what you need to do, there’s no reason not to go ahead and try it free.

When you add a plugin, you can search for the directory and like I said there are tons and tons, so you can search for plugins. Then you can click on it for more information and you can see there how that information comes up but you can see installation instructions, screenshots, you can see how it would work, and what it would look like and then you just install it and activate it.

Plugins are great. They let your website do things that it would not have been able to do otherwise. So feel free to experiment and use them and enjoy them. It is absolutely necessary to understand how plugins are used so hope you enjoyed this and next week I will be talking about pretty link lite and why you absolutely should have this on your WordPress site.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Useful post Faithe and something every beginner will appreciate! I have a question – how many plugins are the maximum that one should have on their site? In some places, 5 is the recommended limit and in others, they say that you can add as many as you like with very little damage to your site loading speed etc. I’m confused and currently average around 10 per site. Your thoughts?

    • It is not as cut and dry as “only 5”. You could have 2 very code-heavy plugins that slow down a website or 10 very “light” plugins that don’t impact load time significantly. So, really, it depends on the load time. Some of my sites have as many as 15 or so plugins. But I do try to keep to the critical ones only.

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