WordPress, the most popular blogging platform on the web, makes it easy to publish a well-designed, content-rich blog with only basic technical skill. The power of WordPress comes from its use of plugins, small programs that add new functionality to the basic WordPress software.
In this article, I'll introduce you to 10 powerful WordPress plugins that help increase your blog's visibility, traffic, and community.
Installing WordPress Plugins
To install a plugin, log in to your WordPress site and click the Plugins link on the left sidebar. WordPress displays the Plugins page, shown in Figure 1, which lists all your installed plugins, both active and inactive. If you haven't installed any plugins yet, you'll see the two default WordPress plugins, Akismet and Hello Dolly.
Figure 1 Install and activate plugins on the Plugins page.
To install a new plugin, click the Add New button. The easiest way to install a plugin is to search for it by name in the search box on the Install Plugins page and click the Install Now link below its name in the search results. Not all plugins are available in the search directory, however. Occasionally, you have to download a zipped version of a plugin and click the Upload link on the Install Plugins page to upload, unzip, and install your plugin.
After installing a new plugin, you must activate it and, in most cases, set it up. Fortunately, most plugins clearly define the setup steps required and offer user support or documentation.