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How to install WordPress Plugins?

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You want to be a blogger and have completed all the necessary requirements. Domain registrations, hosting and all those paraphernalia have been taken care of. But, one of the important aspects of WordPress blogging is the need for WordPress plugins. How to install WordPress Plugins? Being one of the important steps in setting up your new blog, let us find out how – in this tutorial meant for the newbies and beginners.

What is a WordPress Plugin?

Well, before we dwell upon the discussion on how to install a plugin, it would be necessary to understand the concept of Plugins. Once you understand what a Plugin is, it may be easy for you grab the concept further.

Simply put, a plugin is a software program that you can install within another program to perform a set of functions. The technical definition apart, a plugin will help you perform a series of operations without the need for any kind of coding. These are meant to improve the functionality of your website, and add a couple of new features on to it.

The plugins are normally created using PHP programming. Since they are already created to perform a set of applications, they make it easy for you to manage your website even with practically no programming knowledge. Once installed, they work seamlessly within your blog with WordPress.

What makes them one of the best options is the easy customisation. You can install or uninstall them at ease without affecting the rest of the performance of your site.

How to install a WordPress Plugin?

There are several free plugins available. You can simply download them from the developer website. Installation (or uninstallation) can be managed through the administrator section of your website.

Method 1- Install using WordPress Plugin Search

This is the easiest option to install your plugin. Please note that option can only suit free plugins. Also, you need to have the plugin available in the directory.
Follow the steps here below –

  • Go into the Admin area of your website.
  • Now choose Plugins -> Add New.

 

  • If you know the Plugin name, you can enter it here to search for it. You may also search for the functionality you are looking for and find a plugin that meets your needs.
  • Once you have chosen your plugin, click on Install Now button.
  • WordPress will begin to download the plugin and install it. You should get a confirmation once it is done.
  • You can now configure the plugin to meet your exact requirements. The procedure for it would depend on the plugin you have installed.

 

Method 2 – Using Admin Plugin Upload option

If the plugin you are looking for the paid genre, the above method will not work for you. For the paid plugins, WordPress lets you upload the plugin to the directory and install them.
Here is how you can do it –

  • Download the Plugin from the developer website. This will be similar to the steps involved in downloading any regular file. Follow the instructions on the site to make payment and then download the plugin file which will normally be in ZIP format.
  • Save it at location of your choice on your computer.
  • Go to the Admin section and choose Plugins -> Add New.
  • Now click on Upload Plugin button.

 

  • In the next screen, click on Choose File button and select the file you just downloaded.
  • Click on Install. The plugin file will be uploaded to WordPress and then installed.
  • Once you get the confirmation message, click on Activate Plugin button to start using the plugin. You can also configure it as per your needs.

 

Method 3 – Manual installation through FTP

In some cases, the plugin installation may be restricted by WordPress. In such a scenario, you may need to install a plugin manually. Method to install WordPress Plugin manually needs you to be proficient in FTP.
Here are the steps involved in the manual installation of the plugin through FTP.

  • Download the plugin from the source website following the steps as explained in the previous method. The file downloaded will be in the ZIP format.
  • Extract the zip file on your device. Ensure that you remember the exact location where you have extracted the files.
  • Now upload this entire extracted folder through FTP on your site.
  • Launch the FTP client on your device. Enter your login credentials. You can obtain the login credentials from your hosting provider.
  • Once you are connected to your site, access the plugins path by entering /wp-content/plugins/.
  • Upload the extracted folder (not the zip file, please remember) to the path.
  • Launch the Plugins section of your site from the WordPress Admin area and check the plugin you just uploaded.
  • Activate it and configure as per your requirements.

Please note that this method may not be suitable for the beginners as a single wrong step can throw your site out of sync. If in doubt, ask for help from the experts.

The Concluding Thoughts

We do assume that we have been helpful in making you understand the different methods of installing a WordPress plugin. The step by step directions should let the newbies understand the concepts quite easily. Choosing a good plugin should be done on the basis of your exact requirements. Unnecessary plugins may not be useful. On the other hand, they may slow down your site. This WordPress Plugins Tutorial is an attempt at making the task easier for you.

You can get many of them for free. Analyze your needs before choosing a Plugin to install. Some badly coded plugins can slow your site and thereby be counterproductive.

Have you installed the WordPress plugins using the methods we featured above? Which of the above methods did you find easy to go through? Do share your views with us so that our readers will benefit from your experiences with the three most common methods described above.

For more such informative articles, keep visiting TechWithGeeks.