In This Chapter
Plugging in to plugins
Finding, downloading, and unpacking plugin files
Uploading and installing plugins
Activating and managing plugins
Using the plugins that come with WordPress
Exploring open source plugins
Half the fun of running a WordPress–powered blog is playing with the hundreds of plugins that you can install to extend your blog's functions and options. WordPress plugins are like those really cool custom rims you put on your car: Although they don't come with the car, they're awesome accessories that make your car better than all the rest.
In this chapter, you find out what plugins are, how to find and install them, and how they enhance your blog in a way that makes your blog unique. Using plugins can also greatly improve your readers' experiences by providing them various tools they can use to interact and participate — just the way you want them to!
This chapter assumes that you already have WordPress installed on your Web server. Installing plugins pertains only to the WordPress.org software. If you're skipping around in the book and haven't yet installed WordPress on your Web server, you can find instructions in Chapter 6.
WordPress.com users can't install or configure plugins on their hosted blogs. I don't make the rules, so please don't kill the messenger.
A plugin is a small program that, when added to WordPress, interacts with the software to provide some extensibility to the software. ...