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A Beginners Guide to Free WordPress Plugins

One of the most confusing (and exciting) features of using WordPress is Plugins! But how do you know for sure which ones you absolutely need and which you should avoid at all costs? In this session, Christina Hills from will walk you though, step-by-step, the various types of plugins you might need as well as how to properly evaluate and install them. Discover which free plugins are essential and know when and if it's time to upgrade to the Pro version. You'll also learn the exact steps to take when a plugin goes "bad" so your website is up and running in no time.

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A Beginners Guide to Free WordPress Plugins

  1. 1. A Beginners Guide to Free WordPress Plugins with Christina Hills
  2. 2. #wcoc@christinahills What are WordPress Plugins?
  3. 3. @christinahills #wcoc Plugins are like Apps on Your Phone
  4. 4. @christinahills #wcoc Plugin Can Be: Fun or Functional
  5. 5. #wcoc@christinahills Fun: Falling Snow Plugin
  6. 6. #wcoc@christinahills Functional: SEO Plugin
  7. 7. #wcoc@christinahills How Do You Evaluate a Plugin?
  8. 8. #wcoc@christinahills Plugin Directory1
  9. 9. @christinahills #wcoc Inside WordPress Admin2
  10. 10. #wcoc@christinahills Example: “Image Widget” Plugin
  11. 11. #wcoc@christinahills Find Inside WP & Evaluate
  12. 12. #wcoc@christinahills Look at: - Version Compatibility - Active Installs - Star Ratings
  13. 13. #wcoc@christinahills Look for: - Screenshots - FAQ -Documentation
  14. 14. #wcoc@christinahills Find it on
  15. 15. #wcoc@christinahills How Active is the Support Forum?
  16. 16. #wcoc@christinahills Go to the Plugin Homepage
  17. 17. #wcoc@christinahills Do They Have a Pro Version?
  18. 18. #wcoc@christinahills Click to Install the Plugin
  19. 19. #wcoc@christinahills REMEMBER to Activate the Plugin!
  20. 20. #wcoc@christinahills See if the Plugin has a Special Settings Area
  21. 21. #wcoc@christinahills For “Widget” Plugins Go to the Widget Area
  22. 22. #wcoc@christinahills Check the General “Settings” Area
  23. 23. #wcoc@christinahills Some Plugins Have Their Own Settings Area
  24. 24. #wcoc@christinahills Save Your “Favorites” For Faster Install!
  25. 25. #wcoc@christinahills At Click “Heart” to Favorite
  26. 26. What is a Shortcode Plugin? [ ]
  27. 27. #wcoc@christinahills Plugin Shortcode: “[“ words in square brackets “]” [simple-sitemap]
  28. 28. #wcoc@christinahills Sitemap Shortcode: [simple-sitemap] in a Page
  29. 29. #wcoc@christinahills Resulting Page Created from that Shortcode
  30. 30. #wcoc@christinahills The FooGallery Shortcode: [foogallery id="133"] Visual View
  31. 31. #wcoc@christinahills The FooGallery Shortcode: [foogallery id="133"]
  32. 32. #wcoc@christinahills The FooGallery “Photo Album” Displayed
  33. 33. #wcoc@christinahills The Jetpack Plugin
  34. 34. #wcoc@christinahills Explains all Features
  35. 35. #wcoc@christinahills Tiled Galleries “Photon” Image Storage Related Posts Contact Form Stats Security Monitor Downtime Social Sharing Widget Visibility Extra Sidebar Widgets
  36. 36. #wcoc@christinahills If you are NOT a developer: Ignore Instructions that Involve code! Just say to yourself: “This is not for me!”
  37. 37. #wcoc@christinahills Always Update Your Plugins!
  38. 38. #wcoc@christinahills Look for the Orange Circles
  39. 39. #wcoc@christinahills Sometimes Plugins Get “Moldy”
  40. 40. #wcoc@christinahills Watch for Outdated Plugins that have this Warning!
  41. 41. #wcoc@christinahills Use “No Longer in Directory” Plugin
  42. 42. When Should You Upgrade to the Pro Version of a Plugin?
  43. 43. #wcoc@christinahills You Upgrade to the Pro Version For Support and More Features
  44. 44. Must Have Plugins List: Backup Security Under Construction Contact form Duplicate Post Image Widget Advanced Image Styles TinyMCE Advanced Caching plugin Redirection plugin Enhanced Media Library
  45. 45. Additional Plugins to Consider SEO Social Sharing Social Follow Related Posts Contact Form
  46. 46. #wcoc@christinahills Plugin Best Practices: ALWAYS keep plugins up to date. Delete plugins you are not using. Keep the number of plugins at a minimum Be nice in plugin support forums!
  47. 47. #wcoc@christinahills Graphic courtesy of
  48. 48. #wcoc@christinahills Donate to Keep Plugin Authors Happy!
  49. 49. @christinahills #wcoc So Gather Your Army of Plugins
  50. 50. Connect with Christina Hills Twitter: @christinahills Email: