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Lesson 10 – Understanding and using plugins

This lesson is from our older Start Building Your Website Here series, for updated content please go to the new lessons.

This video tutorial shows you how to install, use and configure plugins on your WordPress based site. Plugins provide you with almost unlimited opportunities for customizing your site. In this lesson we will discuss the role of plugins and take a tour of the plugin panel.  A plugin is a large piece of programmatic functionality. That means it’s a program substantially larger than a widget that you can add on to WordPress. Some plugins allow you to add things to your site like image galleries and contact forms.

Next we will download, install and configure a number of plugins such as anti-spam, Google Sitemaps, contact form and user friendly text editors.  Akismet is the anti-span plugin that we will add.  It stops comment spam and according to Akismet 83% of all comments on websites today are spam.  You will be able to create as many different contact forms as you like with all kinds of different content to the contact form that we will be adding. Finally, we add a text editor plugin because the current text editor gives you a very small area in which to add or edit text and it has fairly limited functionality. Our add in will be a much more powerful and user-friendly text editor.

In this lesson you we will cover:

Understanding Plugins & the WordPress plugin dashboard – Watch the video

  • What is a plugin?
  • Examples of plugins
  • Look at the plugin dashboard

Activate & Configure AKismet an Anti-spam plugin – Watch the video

  • What does AKismet do?
  • Get a account
  • Obtain an API key
  • Activate AKismet

Installing & Configuring Google XML Sitemaps – Watch the video

  • Download  Google XML Sitemaps from
  • Upload the plugin to your website
  • Activate the plugin
  • Set Google XML Sitemaps options

Installing & Configuring a Contact Form plugin – Watch the video

  • Install Contact Form 7 using the WordPress “Add New” feature
  • Activate Contact Form 7

Installing  & Configuring FCKEditor – Watch the video

  • An overview of the default WordPress text editor
  • Install FCKEditor
  • Activate the plugin
  • Configure FCKEditor options