Hey folks, Welcome to this tutorial of how to install WordPress Plugins.
Before we proceed I would like to tell you something about plugin. These are great tools that add various functionality to your WordPress site. Suppose your WordPress theme misses a particular feature like image optimization you can install an image optimizer plugin to help you with this task.
You can get a plugin for almost any functionality that you would like to add to your site which makes them very catchy. However, please ensure that you keep the plugins to the minimum, and do not get into the catch of downloading all the fancy plugin’s that you see. Why I am mentioning this upfront is because having too many plugins slows down your WordPress site. Slow sights are not appreciated by users and search engines. So, only install plugin that you think are important for you. Okay great, now that we have understood this point let’s move on to see how to install a WordPress plugin.
In this tutorial we will be covering 3 different methods mentioned below to install WordPress plugins.
- Search and install a plugin
- Upload and install a plugin
- Install plugin Via FTP
In order to install a plugin you should have the administrative rights for the site. If you do not have the admin access then you won’t be able to install any plugin. Also, ensure that your site is self hosted and not on WordPress.Com. As WordPress.com, does not allow any third party plugin whether or not these plugins fulfill your requirements.
Log-in to the admin panel of your site by using the URL – www.YourWebsiteSite.com/wp-admin/ . On the left hand side there is a section named “Plugin”. When you click on it you will see Akismet (a plugin that prevents your blog from spam attacks) and Hello Dolly (an old traditional plugin, which I recommend to delete) pre installed. Let’s move to the first method of installing WordPress plugin:
Search and install a WordPress plugin
On the left menu below “Installed plugins” you will find “Add new” click on this tab. It will take you to the page from where you can search and install new plugins. If you know the name of the plugin you can punch it in the search bar and related results will appear.
Let’s take an example and search for “WPTouch” I am searching this plugin so that I can make my website mobile friendly. You see, I told you there are plugins for everything but the lesser the better. Okay, the search results show me the following. I see my desired plugin but I would like to be sure so let’s click on “More details” section which will provide us with the details of the author, features of the plugin, compatibility with current WordPress version etc. If all is good, then click the “Install Now” button, the installation process will start, and will take a couple of seconds to finish.
So, now you have the plugin what you have to do is “Activate” it, and change the “Settings” as per your requirement.
Upload and install a WordPress plugin
At times you would like to install a particular plugin which you do not find in the search plugin section. For example if you have a blog that covers latest news, and would like to install Yoast News SEO plugin. In this case Yoast will share a Zip file of the plugin with you. You will go on to the same page as we did in the first method, and will see that on the top there is a tab to “Upload plugin”. Click on the tab and it ask if you have a plugin in a .zip format, you may install it by uploading it.
So, what you have to do is upload the .zip file, and once uploaded follow the same steps as we did while installing the plugin via search method.
Install WordPress plugin via FTP
This is the third method by which you can install WordPress plugin. You can use FTP client, FileZilla for this purpose. FTP is a software that will help you uploading files from your computer to your website. You can download FileZilla from https://filezilla-project.org/.
For you to upload the plugin via FTP you should ensure that you unzip the file first. Using FTP the plugin is installed in your WordPress. Now you go back to the WordPress admin interface and you will see that the plugin has been installed. Go through the same process of activating the plugin and changing the settings as per your requirement.
There you are we have covered all the three methods to install WordPress plugin. In case you are in middle of setting up your WordPress site you can check out our WordPress guide.
Activate, deactivate and updating of plugins
At times you will see that when you upload a plugin it might conflict with some other plugin in such cases you might want to either remove it or deactivate it for the time being.
Also, there are plugins that do not require to be activated round the clock, something like an image optimizer. Say, if you have not written a new post for some time, and images in all your previous post have already been optimized then what’s the use of keeping it active, correct? So you can deactivate all such plugins by clicking the deactivate button from the same place you activated them earlier.
Plugins are updated quite frequently as the authors keep adding various features to them. Whenever a plugin that you have installed is updated by the author you will receive a notification to update your installed plugin to the current version. This is very important; do not take this lightly as plugins, themes etc. that are not updated leads the site towards vulnerability of being hacked.
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