How to Find and Use WordPress Plugins
The first step in using WordPress plugins is locating the one you want to install. The absolute best place to find WordPress plugins is the official WordPress Plugins Directory where, at the time of this writing, you will find more than 21,000 plugins available for download.
To find Mark Jaquith’s Subscribe to Comments plugin, follow these steps:
Go to the official WordPress Plugins Directory.
In the search box at the top of the Plugin Directory home page, enter the keywords Subscribe to Comments and then click the Search Plugins button.
Locate the Subscribe to Comments plugin on the search results page and click the plugin name.
The Subscribe to Comments page opens in the WordPress Plugin Directory, where you find a description of the plugin as well as other information about the plugin. For example, take note of the important information on the right side of the page:
Download Version: This is the download link that you click to download the plugin, and the number shown in this area is the most recent version number of the plugin.
Requires: This tells you what version of WordPress you need to successfully use this plugin. For example, the figure shows that the Subscribe to Comments plugin requires WordPress version 3.0 or higher; this means that this plugin doesn’t work with WordPress versions lower than 3.0. Helpful!
*Compatible Up To: This tells you what version of WordPress this plugin is compatible up to. For example, if this section tells you that the plugin is compatible up to version 2.3, this means that you usually can’t use the plugin with versions higher than 2.3.
The plugin developer may not update the information in this section — especially if the plugin files themselves haven’t changed. The best way to check is to download the plugin, install it, and see whether it works!
Last Updated: This displays the date that the plugin was last updated by the author.
Downloads: This number tells you how many times this plugin has been downloaded by other WordPress users.
Ratings: With a rating system of 1-5 stars (1 being the lowest, 5 being the highest), you can see how other WordPress users have rated this plugin.
Click the Download button for the plugin version you want to download.
If you’re using Internet Explorer, click the Download button, and a dialog box opens, asking whether you want to open or save the file. Click Save to save the zip file to your hard drive, and remember where you saved it.
If you’re using Mozilla Firefox, click the Download button, and a dialog box opens, asking what Firefox should do with the file. Select the Save File radio button and then click OK to save it to your hard drive. Again, remember where you saved it.
For other browsers, follow the download instructions in the corresponding dialog box.
Locate the file on your hard drive and open it with your favorite decompression program.
If you’re unsure how to use your decompression program, refer to the documentation available with the program.
Unpack (decompress) the plugin files you downloaded for the Subscribe to Comments plugin.