Chapter 9. Getting New Features with Plug-Ins

WordPress offers an impressive set of built-in features. In the previous chapters, you used them to write posts and pages, and to glam up your site. But serious WordPress fans have a way to get even more from the program—or, technically, about 30,000 ways to get more, because that’s how many free WordPress plug-ins you can use to supercharge your site.

Before you go any further, be aware of one critical point: WordPress plug-ins work on self-hosted WordPress sites only. If you use WordPress.com, you’re not allowed to install even a single plug-in. This restriction isn’t as bad as it seems, however, because WordPress.com already offers a number of extra features and preinstalled plug-ins, as chosen by the fine people at Automattic. For example, WordPress.com sites come with social media sharing buttons for Facebook and Twitter, while self-hosted WordPress sites need a plug-in to do the same thing. So even though WordPress.com users can’t pack on new features, they do start off slightly ahead.

If you’re a WordPress.com site builder, you don’t need to go any further in this chapter. Skip ahead to Chapter 10 to keep using what you’ve got. But if you’re running a self-hosted WordPress site, you need to know how to add plug-ins to make your site truly great. This chapter shows you how to find, evaluate, and install plug-ins, and then tweak their settings. You’ll also explore several of WordPress’s most popular and practical plug-ins, including: ...

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