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Plugin Basics - 2013 WordCamp Phoenix

Plugin Basics - 2013 WordCamp Phoenix

Plugins are a quick and easy way to extend the functionality of WordPress without knowing programming languages. The WordPress plugin repository currently hosts over 22,800 free plugins that do everything you can imagine and more including adding social media icons, improving your SEO, displaying image slideshows, turning your site into a store, an online forum, or even your very own social network, plus much more! While plugins bring a huge amount of functionality to WordPress, they can also be the source of a lot of trouble. This session will show you what to look for in a plugin, how to download and install them safely to your site, how to provide and get feedback on the plugins you try, as well as some recommendations for plugins that will compliment every site you build.


Suzette Franck

January 17, 2013


  1. Plugin Basics Suzette Franck @mt_Suzette WordPress Evangelist Lead Media Temple

    January 18, 2013 WordCamp PHX 2013
  2. Who am I • Suzette Franck WordPress Evangelist Lead at

    Media Temple • Twitter: @mt_Suzette • Slides: https://speakerdeck.com/ suzettefranck
  3. What is a Plugin? A plugin adds extra functionality to

    your WordPress blog such as widgets, shortcodes, and additional options up to full featured applications such as e-Commerce, Reviews, Calendars, Maps, Wikis and more +
  4. How Many Plugins Should I Have? As few as possible!

  5. Types of Plugins • Free, listed in WP Repository, strict

    standards, made by volunteers, may not have support, GPLv2, may have “Pro” paid version w/additional features • Premium, not listed in WP Repository, no standards, made by anyone, typically do include some support, license varies
  6. Premium Plugin Sources • Code Canyon (codecanyon.net) • WPMU Dev

    (premium.wpmudev.org) • Gravity Forms (gravityforms.com) • VaultPress (vaultpress.com) • WP App Store (wpappstore.com)
  7. WordPress Plugin Repository • GPLv2 (General Public License) • Will

    not spam your website with advertising • Includes readme.txt • No obfuscated code • Cannot disable functionality or annoy to force you to buy • No unauthorized collection of data • No banner or advertising, sponsored links
  8. Finding a Plugin • Plugin Name & Version • Star

    Rating • Number of Times Downloaded • Last Updated • Requirements & Compatibility • Authors & Donation Page • Support Forum
  9. WordPress Plugin Page

  10. WordPress Favorites

  11. Favorites Page

  12. Accessing Favorites

  13. Plugin Manager

  14. Installing Plugins • Automatic - plugins in the repository •

    Hybrid - downloaded zip file • Manual - upload folder to wp-content/plugins via FTP
  15. Automatic Installation • Go to Plugins > Add New •

    Search for plugin name or keyword, or browse categories and tags • Click Install • Click Activate Plugin
  16. Search by Name or Keyword Browse by clicking on Category

    & Tag Links
  17. Search Results

  18. Plugin Details

  19. Hybrid Installation • Download zip file from plugin site •

    Go to Plugins > Add New • Click on Upload, browse to file • Click on Activate Plugin
  20. Manual • Using FTP Client such as Filezilla • Upload

    folder to wp-content/plugins/ • Go to Plugins on Dashboard • Find the plugin and click Activate
  21. Updating Plugins Always keep your plugins up-to-date!

  22. Update Available Update one-by-one or bulk update

  23. Uninstalling Plugins • Plugin Manager: Deactivate then Delete • FTP:

    Delete or rename plugin folder
  24. Troubleshooting • read the readme.txt • deactivate all plugins, activate

    one-by-one • rename plugin folder using FTP (will deactivate it) • use Support Forum on WordPress.org
  25. readme.txt file • Go to Plugins > Editor • Select

    Plugin to Edit • List of files on the right, click readme.txt • View on the left
  26. Viewing readme.txt *** NEVER edit an active plugin! ***

  27. None
  28. Plugins for Every Site • Akismet (Spam blocker) • Jetpack

    by WordPress.com (Everything) • WordPress SEO by Yoast (SEO) • My Page Order (Reorder pages) • WordFence Security (Security) • WP-Optimize (Optimize your DB) • BackUpWordPress (Backups)
  29. Some Good Advice • Get a dummy WordPress site •

    DesktopServer (ServerPress.com) • Install and configure plugins to see what they do • Have fun!
  30. Suzette Franck sfranck@mediatemple.net Questions? @mt_Suzette