How to Use WordPress Plugins to Build Your Site

When you build a website on WordPress.com, you may encounter the term “plugins.” Plugins are pre-built software components designed to extend the functionality of websites. With the right plugins, you can enable your site to do almost anything: sell products or services, generate leads for your business, allow visitors to book appointments, and even translate your content into different languages.

If you’re looking for information on how to use WordPress plugins to improve and expand your website, consider the following tips to take advantage of their full potential.

Before you get started

The first thing that you need to know about using plugins on WordPress.com is that you must have a Business plan to install them. Plugins aren’t available for users with Free, Personal, or Premium plans.

Secondly, you need to have a domain or subdomain added to your site in order to use WordPress.com plugins.

Finally, if your site has multiple administrators, only the account that owns the website will be able to install the first plugin. After you’ve installed one, however, any administrator can add more plugins.

How to install plugins

Once you’re ready, start by picking a plugin from the Plugin Directory. There are thousands to choose from. To find the one you want, you can either search by name or functionality.

When you find a plugin that piques your interest, all you need to do to install it is go to the plugin’s description page and click “Install.”

While you’re on the plugin description page, you can also learn more about its functionality, settings, and support options.

Managing your WordPress.com plugins

If you want to see what plugins you’ve installed or removed from your website, you can do so from the Administrator Dashboard. Go to My Site > Plugins.

If you’re not using an installed plugin, you can deactivate it. To deactivate a plugin, toggle the “Active” switch to off. You’ll also see a toggle switch that reads “Autoupdates.” As long as you’re using the plugin, it’s recommended that you leave this on.

Not sure why there are several additional plugins listed that you didn’t install yourself? WordPress.com websites come with several built-in plugins, including Akismet, Jetpack, and more.

WordPress.com plugins to get you started

Trying to decide which plugins are best for your website? Here are some of the most popular WordPress.com plugins to consider:

WooCommerce

The WooCommerce plugin is a popular option for ecommerce websites, as it allows you to customize a storefront where you can sell any type of product or service, even digital assets such as software or ebooks.

Yoast SEO

Want to improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO)? The Yoast SEO plugin allows you to evaluate your content, use meta description templates, and set URLs so that you can boost your site’s search engine ranking.

WP Booking System

If you want to give customers the option to book appointments online, you’ll benefit from using the popular WP Booking System plugin. This plugin lets you create custom calendars and booking forms to integrate into your website.

These three plugins are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to adding functionality to your website. Once you figure out how to use WordPress plugins, you’ll be able to customize your site to meet your business’ specific needs.

Thousands of small businesses and online stores call WordPress.com home.

Whether you’re looking to promote your business or share your story, we have a plan that’s right for you.

Create your own website

Camryn Rabideau

Camryn Rabideau is freelance writer specializing in digital lifestyle content, ranging from pop culture to smart home technology. Camryn has contributed to popular media sites such as InStyle, Taste of Home, Martha Stewart, Food52, USA Today, The Spruce and more.

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