1) Dashboard

Plugins are programs designed to modify or enhance WordPress’s core functionality.

We’re all familiar with the Dashboard. When you click on Plugins you’ll get a submenu:


One of the plugins, Akismet, needs a key to work. It is a very important plugin, probably the best one to install first. It takes care of the spam, because if you don’t have Akismet activated you will notice an awful lot of junk comments.

In the above image there are a couple of menu items that appear only because its plugin is activated. In the top menu is Add Event, placed there by a calendar plugin. In the left menu is another item placed there by the Nano Plugins.

Before installing a plugin, think about your website and how you want it to look and behave in addition to the core functionality provided. Then, search for the proper plugin in the WordPress Directory. Much is offered. You’ll find that these are mostly bulletproof programs written by programmers to do things in a specific way. If you want things to be done differently, you can modify their code, or create a plugin of your own from scratch. Either way, you will need to become familiar with the PHP programming language.

Most people have never created a plugin. How difficult do you think it is? Do you know where to begin?