Teaching and Learning Resource Center

Working with Plugins

What is a Plugin?

Plugins extend the functionality of U.OSU sites to include features such as creating forms, sharing social media, adding forums and more.

Plugins are extensions added on to WordPress that are created by various third-parties. For this reason, we cannot provide detailed help about how to use them or guarantee that plugins will work as expected.

Please be aware that some plugins may require that you create a free WordPress account, or hold account credentials from other services.

In order to use the plugins, you must first activate them individually.

How are Plugins and Widgets different?

The main difference between plugins and widgets is that widgets help you organize your content for display and plugins allow for more elaborate functionality. A plugin might include widgets, but also adds settings and functionality to the left-side Main Menu in your Dashboard.

For example, the Jetpack plugin allows you to add functionality to your site. Once activated, you will notice the "Jetpack" tab in the left navigation. Additionally, the Jetpack plugin contains a number of widgets that you can activate: Sharing, Slideshows, Title Galleries and more. The Jetpack widgets help you display your content; however, the plugin allows you to create them.

What Plugins are available?

There are seven plugins available to activate. See each article for basic information about activating and using the plugin. Note that some plugins provide similar functionality.

  • AddThis Social Share - Allows you to like and share posts on a variety of social media sites.
  • bbPress (titled "Forums" on the Plugins page) - Create seamless discussion forums using the bbPress plugin.
  • Formidable - Create and manage forms to share with your followers.
  • Google Maps - Embed Google Maps into your posts or pages.
  • Jetpack by Wordpress.com - Jetpack includes 12 additional features. For example, you can Share content via social media, create titled photo galleries and more.
  • SyntaxHighlighterEvolved - Post syntax-highlighted code to your site without losing formatting.
  • U.OSU Pseudonym - Allows you to create a post using a Pseudonym instead of your real name.