OK, hopefully you have uploaded the top 10 WordPress Plugins. The next step is to activate them so that your WordPress install is “using” them.
Login to your WordPress Dashboard, and click on the link to the plugins page.
When you get to that page, you should see your plugins listed.
There are two things to notice here. Each plugin has an “Activate” and “Edit” button. Click the “Activate” button to activate the plugin. The page will refresh, and the word “Activate” changes to “Deactivate”. If you want to turn the plugin off, click the deactivate button.
The other thing to notice is that some plugins may have a note saying there is a new version of the plugin. This is great, because you can quickly keep plugins up-to-date by clicking on the “upgrade automatically” link. After the upgrade has succeeded (I have never had one yet that didn't), you will need to click the link back to the plugins page so you can continue activating and upgrading plugins.
Try it if you have any plugins that need upgrading.
Go through each plugin in turn, and activate, followed by upgrading to the latest version.
Once you have activated the plugins, you will need to go in and add some important information into some of them so that they can work properly.
e.g. After activating the Akismet plugin, you will see the following text at the top of the page:
Akismet is almost ready. You must enter your WordPress.com API key for it to work.
Click on the link to “enter your WordPress.com API key”, and you will be taken to a page that requires you to enter the WordPress API Key. On that page is a link to “Get Your Key”. Follow that link, and get your key. You can then enter this into your Akismet plugin page, and also select the checkbox that says “Automatically discard spam comments on posts older than a month.”
Your blog will now be largely protected from Spam, as Akismet will catch most spam comments and file them away so you never see them.
Once all plugins have been activated, your admin area for your WordPress blog will look a little different. For starters, the Lighter Menus plugin will have replaced the awkward menu system with a drop down menu that is much easier and faster to deal with. You will also have some new menus:
You will see that some of the menu items refer to the plugins that you have activated.
Your next job is to go through the plugin configuration screens and enter any required information into each. Check the documentation that came with the plugin for more details.
You'll find new plugins accessible under the “Manage”, “Design”, “Comments”, “Database”, “Settings” & “Plugins” menus.
I would recommend you have a play around with the menus. Look at each item in the menus, and fill out any configuration data needed by the plugins. Most of all, have fun. This interface is going to be your best friend very soon.