The main feature that makes WordPress stand from the rest is plugins.
Plugins lets you add features to your WordPress site without hiring a developer or playing with coding. There are thousands of free and premium WordPress plugins out there.
And the great part is, installing a WordPress plugin is insanely easier.
All you need to is following some simple steps and you are done. Here I’ll be sharing 3 different ways to install a WordPress plugin.
Before diving into the tutorial, let’s see what a WordPress plugin actually is.
What Is A WordPress Plugin?
A plugin is a simple software written in the PHP programming language that contains functions. It integrates with WordPress seamlessly and the functions included helps you add different features without touching a line of code.
Any function you can imagine, most of the time WordPress has a plugin for that. From SEO to website design, WordPress has almost every type of plugin you’ll need to run a WordPress site successfully.
Here’s an example of a WordPress plugin that we have built for bloggers – Ultimate Blocks.
This plugin extends the functionality of the new WordPress Gutenberg editor.
Now let’s see the things you need to check before installing a plugin.
Things To Check Before Installing A Plugin
As I said there are thousands of plugins already available for you to install and activate on your site.
But first, there are few things to consider before installing any plugin. After all, you will find multiple plugins that help you do the same thing, here is how to choose which one to install on your site, and which to ignore.
- Last Update: When was the plugin last updated? If it was updated in a few weeks or months, then it’s a good plugin to install. If the plugin has not been updated for two or more years, avoid the plugin.
- Version Compatibility: Is the plugin compatible with your current version of WordPress? If not, then why bother and install it on your site. Ignore it, and find one that is compatible with your site.
- Reviews: What do other people think about the plugin? Read the reviews and decide.
Once you’ve found your desired plugin, it’s time to install it. I’ll show you 3 different ways to install a plugin.
Install A WordPress Plugin Using Search Method
This is the simplest way to install a plugin. A matter of a few clicks will do your job.
The only pre-requisite is that the plugin you are going to install should be available on the WordPress repository.
Now let’s see how to install a plugin by using the search method.
At first, go to your WordPress admin area and then click on Plugins > Add New.
After that, type the plugin name in the search box and WordPress will start showing the plugins according to your search. Most of the time, your desired plugin will be on top of the list.
Then simply click on the ‘Install Now’ button and activate the plugin.
That’s it. You’re done. Now go to the settings page and configure the plugin.
Install A WordPress Plugin Using Upload Method
This method is perfect when you have a plugin that is not available in the plugins directory like paid plugins which are not available in the directory of plugins.
And it is simple to add plugins without them being in the plugins directory.
After you have the plugin file downloaded (in a zip file) The next step is to go again to your WordPress admin dashboard > Plugins > Add New.
After that, you click on the ‘Upload Plugin’ button available at the top of the page beside Add Plugins.
Then you can drop the file or browse to add the file.
After that, WordPress will unpack the file and install it. You can then activate the plugin and go to the settings page to configure it.
Install A WordPress Plugin Using FTP Manager
You can install plugins using your FTP manager after you connect to your hosting.
It is not the best strategy when you are starting out, so ignore it and focus on the first 2 methods unless you face a problem and you need to upload it this way.
Sometimes your host may provide restrictions on the size of the plugin you can install from your admin area. It happened a few times in my blogging career, so it won’t happen much to you when you are starting out.
But in case you face it, here is how to deal with it.
– Download the plugin as you did in the previous method. After that, extract the zip file. A folder with the same name will be created.
– After that, open your FTP client. Filezilla is used by most. You will then need to access your host through the FTP manager, you can find details about that in the welcome email from your host. If you can’t find them, send their support a message and let them help you with this step.
– Once you are connected to your host, go to your domain folder >Wp-content > Plugins.
Here is the path…
– Upload the folder you extracted to the plugins folder.
– Once you are done, go to the plugins page in your admin area > Installed Plugins.
You will see the plugin available there. Click on Activate, and you are good to go. Configure the settings and start playing with your new plugin.
Adding plugins is an essential part of customizing your WordPress blog without needing developers to do everything you need.
And adding it can’t be easier. In this post, you discovered different ways to install plugins on your site.
Now, start adding plugins, but don’t add too much so your loading speed isn’t affected.
You can also check the plugins category to see top free and paid plugins that could help you get more out of your WordPress blog.