Plugins are extensions to the basic functionality available in WordPress. Most Plugins are a stand-alone file that do not require you to make any changes to any of WordPress's files or your templates. Others provide additional functions or template tags you may use in your templates. Plugins are available in WordPress version 1.2 and above.
For a list of available plugins, as well as information about each individual plugin, please see Plugins.
Installing a plugin
Most plugins are drag-and-drop, and only require to be put in the right place. These instructions will cover this basic procedure. Some plugins require additional steps, so sure to read the instructions that come with the plugin you are installing to see if there are any further requirements.
- Upload or move the plugin file to your
- Log in to WordPress
- Click Plugins from the main menu
- Scroll to find the name of your plugin, and click Activate
When upgrading WordPress
As a precaution, prior to upgrading WordPress to a newer version, you should deactivate all plugins. Once you have completed the upgrade, go back and re-activate each plugin one by one. Some plugins may become outdated and no longer work with the newer version of WordPress. If you have issues after activating a plugin, deactivate it and visit the plugin's website to see if a newer version is available.
Plugins are managed from the Plugins page on the main menu. All plugins listed on this screen are found in your
wp-content/plugins directory. Each plugin has a description of what it does, an author and website to refer to, and a version number.
- Shows the plugin's name, and links to the plugin's website if one is provided. Plugins listed in bold are currently active.
- The version number of the plugin.
- The plugin author's name; links to the author's website if one is provided.
- The author's description of what the plugin does.
- Allows you to activate or deactive the plugin.
Activation & deactivation
If your plugin requires changes to the WordPress code or your template files, you will need to enact or reverse those changes each time you activate or deactivate your plugin. Failing to do this will likely result in errors.
Writing your own plugins
We've done our best to make the plugin framework as easy to understand and use as possible. For a plugin development tutorial, see Writing a plugin by Matt Mullenweg, or if you know your chops dive straight into the Plugin API.