What is a WordPress Plugin and how does it work?

If you found this page, that means that you would like to know about plugins. Plugins are usually associated with WordPress but different types of plugins can be used with different systems and builders.


WordPress is what I use, so I’m going to share my knowledge of what plugins are and how to install them on your WordPress. I will also recommend plugins that I use and rave about.


If your new and haven’t started setting up your Online Business or Website, check out my previous lessons on buying a domain name, setting up hosting and installing WordPress.

That’s enough for the intro, let’s get started!


~ What are plugins? ~

Plugins on WordPress are essential. On a website, they make functionality better, solves problems, creates style and upgrades your website from boring to awesome.


Think of plugins like this;

You are a website, your head is the Header, your feet, the Footer, your body is the Body and your arms are the sidebars.

When you use clothes to dress, like a shirt, jumper, gloves, pants, socks, or shoes, that is what plugins are like. They are the improvements to make your website better. They upgrade what was there at first and make it into something wonderful. There are thousands of different fittings to try on.


~ How do plugins work? ~

Plugins are written in the PHP scripting language and when one has been created it saves time for other developers creating something similar. Plugins that are in the Marketplace already are usually upgraded and moulded into something new and better over time.


Plugins integrate with a website. Take the sidebar as an example. That can be filled with as many plugins as is allowed, the body, footer and header are all the same. Plugins do different things to different areas and all have specific jobs to do.


Most plugins that are downloaded, need more information for it to work efficiently.

This can be done by following any instructions that are given. Sometimes you will need to go off your website, to another one, fill in some information, come back and enter the special keys that are given.

Twitter, Facebook and MailChimp require you to do this so they can connect with your information on their website.


~ How much does a plugin cost ~

Plugins are free in the WordPress repository. The only time that you’d pay for a plugin is when you need extra features. There are people that would argue which is better, free or paid.


Plugins are made by the many contributors to WordPress. Some contributors build them for fun because it’s cool to do so and they want to show off their skills. Others built them because they needed to solve a problem on their website(s) and they wanted to share with others. Most people only look for paid plugins because they couldn’t find a free plugin that could do the job they wanted.

~ Free Vs Paid ~



• Not updated all the time as the developer moves on to something else and the plugin you’ve downloaded won’t get the attention and updates it needs.

• Lets you test plugins before paying if there are extra features.

• You can use the plugins, whichever way you want.

• Usually, Free plugins will have No Support.

• Free trials of paid plugins


• Gives the developer incentive to keep updating and modifying.

• Keeps up to date with WordPress updates

• Support

• Saves time

• Usually costs between $30 – $100, with some having monthly recurring costs.


~ Where to get a Plugin ~

On the WordPress Dashboard, scroll down on the menu list on the left. Here you will see a tab called Plugins. WordPress has its own repository of plugins which are all free to download and activate. Some of these free plugins have extra paid features which upgrades the plugin and will have developers updating them all the time.


There are also websites that sell plugins in which you can install on your own website. There are a few places to go, I recommend checking CodeCanyon.com, Themeforest.net or envato.com. These are some of the places to find good plugins at reasonable prices.


~ How to Install a Plugin for WordPress ~

When you are on the Dashboard of WordPress, scroll done the menu on the left. Search for “plugin”, once you click that a menu appears on the right.

Click add new where you will then be brought to the WordPress plugin repository.

The plugins that are shown right away are the most downloaded plugins. You can use the search bar to search for the particular plugin you need.


Once you find a plugin you need or want, click the install button and then automatically it will show activate, click that and your plugin is now installed.

It’s as simple as that. If you are wondering what plugins to download, see my most recommended plugins on my resource page.


~ How to Install a Plugin that’s not on WordPress ~

Plugins can be purchased from loads of websites and marketplaces. I recommend going to CodeCanyon.net or Themeforest.net to purchase the one you are looking for.

When you are on one of these websites, click the purchase button of the plugin that you need. Then pay for it.


It will then download automatically into your downloads folder or it might get sent to your email.


Go back to your own website, head down the menu on the left and click Plugins. You’ll see on the top of the page “add new”. When you click that you’ll come to an upload page. Click on browse, head to your download folder, then choose the plugin that you have just downloaded.


Once you’ve clicked upload, your plugin should now be installed.

You can then activate it and you’re ready to go.


There is also another way to upload plugins that are not in the WordPress repository.

Go to your cPanel in your Bluehost account.

Click on file manager, look for your website and click on it.

When you see plugins, click that folder. Now, on the top of the file manager page, you should see a menu. Look for upload and search for your plugin from your downloads folder on your computer. Once you have uploaded it, click on it once. Then on the file manager menu look for unzip and once you’ve unzipped your plugin, it should now be installed.


Head on back to your WordPress dashboard, scroll down to plugins, find your new plugin and activate.


Thanks for reading…



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