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If you know how to edit these files, you can customize WordPress to your heart's con-
tent. If you don't want to make changes to your WordPress theme by hand, you can
download and install themes that other people have created at You can download the themes and place them
within your WordPress installation so that they can be applied to your weblog. You can
also use those themes as starting points to create your own custom theme.
The functionality of WordPress can also be extended using plug-ins. This is yet another
advantage of running your own installation of WordPress. Not only can you create your
own themes and install themes created by other people, but you can also extend
WordPress using plug-ins that you download or you can write the new functionality
yourself. A directory of available plug-ins can be found at This
directory contains hundreds of plug-ins for WordPress.
Installing plug-ins is straightforward. Let's say I want to install Yet Another Related
Posts plug-in, which automatically lists posts related to the post currently being viewed
in WordPress. First, I go to the download site and download the plug-in. Here is the URL
for the plug-in:
After I've downloaded the file, I have to expand the archive and copy the plug-in direc-
tory into the wp-content/plug-ins directory in the WordPress installation directory. At
that point, I can click the Plug-ins tab inside WordPress and I should see that the Related
Posts plug-in is installed, as shown in Figure 22.9.
The Related Posts
entry on the
WordPress Plug-ins
After the plug-in is installed and activated using the Activate button on the Plug-in list, I
can configure the options for the plug-in using the Related Posts Options tab that appears
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