If you’ve used WordPress, or even if you haven’t, it’s likely that you have heard the term Plugins for WordPress. The question is: just what is a plugin???
In a nutshell, Plugins are tools to extend the functionality of WordPress.
WordPress was designed to be simple, clean and, to maximize flexibility and minimize code. Plugins provide custom functions and features so that you can tailor your blog/site to your preferences.
There are a ton of plugins available, mostly free, created by volunteers. I think it is safe to say there is probably a plugin for everything you want to do on your WordPress blog/site !!! (well, almost anyway :-))
One thing to remember is that most plugins are available only for self hosted WordPress sites.
Once you have found the plugin you want to use, you have two options for installing:
WordPress built-in installer – search, install and activate completely in the Add New menu. From the Administration Panels, click on the Plugins tab. Once you have uploaded a plugin to your WordPress plugin directory, activate it from the Plugins Management page, and sit back and watch your plugin work.
Traditional manual installation – get and expand zip files, upload to your sever, and activate.
This tutorial will focus on using the built in installer.
You will want to learn all you can about a plugin before you install. Be sure to study the readme.txt files and web pages, as well as any feedback relate to the Plugin on the developers website, before you install.