There are two ways to get and install addons for Warcraft.
1) Use the Curse gaming site and the Curse downloader.
-Advantages: Automatic updates. Ease of use.
-Disadvantages: You miss out on some information generally available at the actual addon's webpage (such as beta versions becoming available). In addition I have heard rumors for as long as I remember that some people have accidentally downloaded keyloggers and had their account compromised from using Curse. I've never been able to verify these rumors but the word is out there.
2) Go to the website of specific addons. Download from the website and manually install.
- Advantages: You can learn about the addon straight from the horses mouth and get more information on updates, beta versions, etc. If you are using a reputable addon there is almost no chance of accidentally getting a keylogger installed.
- Disadvantages: You have to manually check for updates periodically for each addon. Less convenient.
Once you decide how you want to get your addons this is what you do:
Option 1 (Using Curse)
Go to the Warcraft addon site here. From this page you can either search by typing in the name of the addon you want or by browsing one of the numerous categories. Once you find an addon you want you can either to choose to use the Curse downloader or to manually install.
If you want to manually install the addon simply click the button to download it to your computer. You can then skip the part below and go to Option 2 where I will explain how to install a manually downloaded addon.
If you want to use the Curse Downloader click the button and follow the prompts. It will install a special downloading program on your computer that you will be able to use to keep your addons up to date. Simply run the program anytime you want to check for updates to all of your addons and update as necessary.
In order to do this you will first need to know the name of an addon you want (you can also go to Curse and browse through the categories to get names of addons you might want). Once you have the name of the addon you want Google it and find the addon's website. As each website will be different I can't tell you exactly what you will see but there should be a link to download somewhere on the page along with instructions on what to do. You should always follow the instructions on the website - but 95% of the time they will ask you to do the same thing. In general you simply download the files to your computer and then either move them or extract them to the addon folder within your Warcraft folder. This will depend a bit on where you installed Warcraft but it should look something like this:
My Computer -> C: -> Program Files -> World of Warcraft -> Interface -> Addons
Once all of these steps are done simply log into Warcraft and the addon should be working!
THE BIG THREE GOLD MAKING ADDONS
In the world of goldmaking addons Auctioneer, Auctionator, and TradeSkillMaster are undoubtably the addons that the most people use and that do most of the work.
Auctioneer is the oldest of the three and is basically the mom of all other goldmaking addons. It will show you a tooltip when you click on an item link that will give you an estimate of the item's sale price on your Auction House. It allows you to scan the Auction House to search for different deals including: items you can dissenchant for a profit, vendor for a profit, resell for a profit, etc. It will also allow you to create auctions with your choice of stack size, number of stacks, duration etc. To say that this addon is versatile would be an understatement. It used to be the most versatile goldmaking addon you could get (it has since been surpassed by TradeSkillMaster) and still gives you a lot of capabilities. On the downside it is a rather slow addon that has been surpassed in many ways by newer addons.
Auctionator is a relative newcomer to the scene of goldmaking addons. While it doesn't allow you to do everything Auctioneer does it is also much smaller in size and not such a memory hog. You can post, cancel, buy, sell, and search for items using Auctionator. Its search and buying function is widely held to be the best among addons as you can see all auctions listed of an item (along with their price and stack size) on one screen and then buy any item with a simple mouse click. Definitely an addon that should be used.
TradeSkillMaster is the newest of the three and is definitly the new bad boy on the block. It is faster than Auctioneer and aims to do EVERYTHING related to the Auction House - and I mean everything. Posting, cancelling, crafting, automatic buying of materials, scanning the Auction House - TradeSkillMaster does it all. The biggest downside to this is that because it does so much it can be intimidating to set up. Even downloading it can be confusing as it currently takes nine separate downloads to get the entire thing (TradeSkillMaster, Auctioning, Gathering, Destroying, Accounting, Crafting, Shopping, AuctionDB, Mailing). Once it is set up, however, you will find it well worth the effort.
Recent Power Word: Gold posts related to Addons (auto-generated).
The Power Word: Gold Guide Free is Copyright © 2011 Jim Younkin. Guide contributors include Bangkok Bill and fluxdada.