What are WordPress plugins??

With plugins you can easily and quickly add functions to your blog - More info in the WordPress Tutorial from checkdomain.net

WordPress plugins are small add-on programs that can be easily added to an existing WordPress blog in order to extend the blog with additional functions. The plugins are installed, activated and deleted in the WordPress backend via a central administration interface. WordPress plugins are made available on WordPress.com and can be installed directly from there.

Plugin management in WordPress

All plugins are managed centrally in one place in the WordPress backend. Click on "Plugins" in the navigation on the left and you will get an overview of the plugins currently installed in your WordPress:

Übersicht aller installierten Plugins
Übersicht aller installierten Plugins

The plugin "Akismet Anti-Spam" is already installed in the standard installation. This plugin is used to detect spam comments. You can find a detailed description of how to set up Akismet here.

Delete WordPress plugins

In some WordPress installations the plugin "Hello Dolly" also appears by default. This plugin was originally programmed by WordPress inventor Matt Mullenweg to demonstrate the power of plugins. You can delete this plugin as it will probably not add any value to your blog.

The WordPress plugin Hello Dolly
The WordPress plugin "Hello Dolly"

To delete the plugin, click on the "Deactivate" link under the plugin name. This will change the view, see screenshot:

Deactivated plugin
Deactivated plugin

The background color is now white (instead of light blue), under the plugin name you will see two new links, the activation link and the link to delete the plugin. Click on "Delete". The plugin is then deleted and no longer appears in your plugin list.

Note: We recommend a complete backup of the WordPress installation before each installation or deinstallation. So you can always "jump back" to the status before the change. You can read about how to perform a WordPress backup here.

Update WordPress plugins

In the plugin management you can see if there are updates for your plugins:

Updates for plugins available
Updates for plugins available

In addition, a number in a red circle at the navigation point "Plugins" in the main navigation shows you whether updates are available. So you don't have to open the plugin page to see if updates for plugins are available.

To update a plugin, click on the "Update now" link in the yellow box next to the plugin you want to update. However, before you update the plugin, you should check the plugin details by clicking on the link "Details in version...", also in the yellow box below the plugin.

Changes and requirements of the plugin
Changes and requirements of the plugin

The link opens a window where you can see the modification history of the plugin, the technical requirements and user ratings. You can also start the update process in the window by clicking on the blue "Install update now" button at the bottom right.

If an update fails, you will see the error directly in your plugin administration:

Error updating a plugin
Error updating a plugin

In the screenshot you can see the red error message, there is obviously a rights problem here. The plugin tries to create a directory for the update, but the web server prevents this.

If you can't solve the problem, please contact the support of your provider. You can reach our support under: 0451/70 90 70

Install a WordPress plugin

There are two ways to install WordPress plugins, the installation via the WordPress plugin directory and the more complicated installation via FTP. In this tutorial we choose the simpler way. A detailed manual for manual installation via FTP can be found here.

Open the plugin management in your WordPress backend and click on "Install" in the main navigation. The plugin directory of WordPress opens in the main area. In our example we would like to create a pre-announcement page, search for "Coming Soon Page" in the search field.

Search result in WordPress plugin directory
Search result in WordPress plugin directory

In the screenshot you first see the plugin "Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd". Click on the link in the tile "More details". Another window will open.

Plugin Details
Plugin Details

You can now install the plugin directly by clicking on the "Install now" button. After the click the window closes, in the background the plugin is downloaded and installed immediately. In the tile the content changes slightly: The button "Install now" becomes "Activate". Click on the "Activate" button to activate the plugin. The plugin directory will be closed. This plugin will take you directly to the plugin setup. Here you can make your settings, so that the plugin installation is finished.

Setup of the plugin
Setup of the plugin

By the way, the plugin is very useful, especially if you start a new blog. The plugin will open a pre-announcement page and search engines won't be able to index your blog. In addition, you can activate a maintenance mode or (in the Pro version) collect email addresses from the pre-announcement page.

What do I have to consider when installing WordPress plugins?

The installation of plugins is not always as easy as in the example shown here. Therefore we would like to give you a few tips for the installation of WordPress:

  1. Always make a backup before installing new plugins.
  2. Check the technical requirements in the plugin details (WordPress version and PHP version).
  3. Take a look at the ratings - if a plugin has received many bad ratings, then hands off!
  4. When was the last time the plugin was updated? If the last update date was two years ago, then the same applies here: Hands off!
  5. Is a plugin free or subject to a charge? Is it only allowed to be installed on private sites? Take a close look at the license conditions.

In general, the plugins that you can install via the WordPress plugin directory are checked for security vulnerabilities. Nevertheless, you should always remember that you always install new security risks with each additional plugin. Unused plugins should be deleted, as they also contain bugs and could be abused.

Conclusion

With WordPress plugins, you can quickly and easily drill into your WordPress blog with additional functions. Despite the simplicity you should never lose sight of the security of your blog. Therefore create a complete backup before each plugin installation and delete unused plugins.

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