A WordPress Installation without a plugin is no WordPress Installation somebody of the founders said and he is right. If you want to build a successful WordPress Site you need to know how to install a WordPress plugin.
Plugins might be something you don’t know about if you’re new to WordPress. Plugins are small pieces of software that give your WordPress site more features. They can help you add contact forms, optimize your site for search engines, running backups and do a lot more. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to install a plugin in WordPress, so you can start using all the great features plugins have to offer. Let’s get started!
You will lean with our tutorial step by step how to install a WordPress plugin.
Before You Start
You most likely will not have the ability to install plugins if you are using WordPress.com.
Users frequently complain that the plugins’ menu in their WordPress dashboard is hidden from them. It is hidden because most likely you are using WordPress.com, which has certain restrictions built in regarding installing plugins.
If you use WordPress.com, you won’t be able to install plugins unless you upgrade to their commercial plan. On the other hand, you are free to install any plugin that you would like on a website that you have self-hosted using WordPress.org straight out of the box.
Having stated that, let’s go on and examine the process of adding a WordPress plugin to your website.
How to Install a WordPress Plugin
Use this article to learn how to install a WordPress plugin in an easy-to-follow step-by-step format.
All three approaches—installing a WordPress plugin by utilizing search, uploading a WordPress plugin, and manually installing a WordPress plugin via FTP—will we discuss in detail here.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Install a Plugin using WordPress Plugin Search
The plugin search is the easiest way to add a WordPress plugin to your site. The only bad thing about this choice is that the plugin has to be in the WordPress plugin directory, which only lists free plugins.
First, go to the Plugins » Add New page in the admin area of your WordPress site.
You can find the plugin by typing the name of the plugin or the function you want to find in the “Search plugins…” input box.
Search for the type of Plugin you would like to add and click the “Install Now” button. WordPress will now upload and automatically install it.
You can add a WordPress plugin to your site, but it won’t work until you activate it. Click the “Activate” button to start using that plugin on your WordPress site.
That’s it, your first WordPress plugin is now successfully installed.
The next step is to set up the settings for the plugin. Because these settings are very different for each plugin, we won’t talk about them in this post.
Install a Plugin using the WordPress Admin Plugin Upload
As said the WordPress plugin directory does not list paid plugins. You are simply not able to install those ones using our first method.
Because of this, WordPress comes with a handy method to install these kinds of plugins called “upload.” In the following we explain how to use the upload option in the admin area to add WordPress plugins.
First, you have to physically get the plugin – usually a Download from the Developer’s Website. Plugins are shipped as ZIP Files. Next, go to the admin area of WordPress and head over to the Plugins » Add New section.
Right next to “Add Plugin” you will find a button called “Upload Plugin”.
This will show the form for uploading a plugin. Select the “Choose File” button and pick the file for the plugin that you downloaded earlier.
After choosing the file, you must click the “Install Now” button.
WordPress will upload the plugin file and install it for you. From here on it is the same like with the first method – the only step missing is to activate the plugin.
Installing a WordPress Plugin Via FTP Manually
Some rare WordPress hosting providers have restrictions in place so that you have to install your plugin manually via FTP.
If you are a total beginner, then this method may be not the correct one for you. It is clearly not rocket science but establishing FTP File transfer Connections can be tricky sometimes.
After downloading the plugin from the developer’s website, you usually have a ZIP file at hand which you first need to unzip.
The extracted folder contains the plugin files, which you now have to upload using an FTP client. Filezilla is a very popular one, an alternative could be Cyberduck depending on which operating system you are using.
Now you need the connection settings and credentials in order to connect to the FTP server of your web hosting company. If you don’t know your FTP username and password, contact the support team or simply google “Create FTP Account Name_of_your_hosting_company”.
Open the FTP client on your computer and use the login information to connect to your website. Once you’re connected, go to your site’s /wp-content/plugins/ folder.
Next, upload the folder from the zip file to your web server’s /wp-content/plugins/ folder.
After you upload the files, reload the WordPress admin dashboard and click on the Plugins link in the admin menu. On the plugins page, you’ll see that your plugin was successfully installed.
To start using the plugin, click the “Activate” link below it.
After activating the plugin, you may need to change its settings. Each WordPress plugin has its own settings, which vary from plugin to plugin, so we won’t go over them here.
Frequently Asked Questions
As a beginner, you may have few questions about installing WordPress plugins. Below you find some of the most common questions people have about how to install WordPress plugins.
We hope our tutorial has helped you learn how to install WordPress plugins, wishing you a lot of joy with your WordPress website. In case you are a small business owner or a startup, we have something else for you: A tutorial about what are the most common SEO Mistakes small business owner make.
How do I find the best WordPress plugins for my website?
There are a few different strategies you can use to find the best WordPress plugins for your website:
Research popular plugin options: Look for plugins that have a high number of active installations and at the same time positive ratings. This can be a good indicator that the plugin is well-maintained and effective.
Consider your website’s needs: Think about the specific functionality that you need for your website, and search for plugins that offer those features.
Read reviews and user guides: Look for reviews and user guides for the plugins that you are considering. This can help you get a sense of how easy the plugin is to use, and whether it is reliable and effective.
Test out plugins: You can test out different plugins by installing them on your website and seeing how they work. Be sure to deactivate or delete any plugins that you do not end up using to keep your website running smoothly.
What's the difference between active and non active plugins?
You can add a plugin to WordPress even if you don’t use it. But you definitely need to “Activate” a plugin before you can use it.
Visit the “Plugins” page in the WordPress admin area to see what plugins are currently being used. A blue background will be used to draw attention to them.
Plugins with a white background have been added to your website, but they are not currently running.
Should I delete plugins that aren't being used?
Plugins that aren’t being used on your website should usually be deleted. Keeping plugins that you don’t use installed can increase the risk of security holes because they might not be updated to fix new holes that are found. Also, if you install too many plugins, your website will run slower and be harder to manage.
Before you delete a plugin, you should think about whether or not it is still needed for your website to work. If you aren’t sure if a plugin is being used or not, you can try turning it off to see if it changes how your site works. If you turn off the plugin and don’t see any changes, it’s probably safe to delete.
Before you delete any plugins, you should also make a copy of your website in case you need to return it to a previous state.
How many plugins can I install in WordPress?
In WordPress, there is no hard limit on how many plugins you can install. But having too many plugins can slow down your website and make it less safe. Most of the time, it’s best to keep the number of plugins you have installed to a minimum and only install the ones that are necessary for your website to work.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t install more than 20 or 30 plugins. This will help make sure that your website is safe and loads quickly.
If you need to install a lot of plugins, it’s a good idea to check on them and manage them on a regular basis to make sure you only keep the ones that are being used on your website.
How do I remove a plugin from WordPress?
To remove a plugin from WordPress, follow these steps:
- Log in to your WordPress site as an administrator.
- In the left-hand menu, click on “Plugins.”
- Find the plugin that you want to remove and click on “Deactivate.”
- Once the plugin has been deactivated, you will see an “Delete” link appear below it. Click on this link.
- A confirmation message will appear. Click on “Yes, delete these files” to permanently delete the plugin from your site.
When you delete a plugin, all of its files and data will be removed from your website. If you have changed any settings or added customizations with the plugin, you may lose these when you delete the plugin. Before you delete any plugins from your website, it’s a good idea to make a backup in case you need to get it back to how it was.
How do I manually install a plugin?
To manually install a plugin in WordPress, follow these steps:
- Download the plugin files to your computer and unpack the zip file if necessary.
- Using an FTP client, upload the plugin folder to the wp-content/plugins directory on your server.
Alternatively, you can use the Add Plugin feature in WordPress to upload the plugin zip file directly. To do this, go to the Plugins menu in the WordPress dashboard and click the Add New button.
- On the Add Plugins page, click the Upload Plugin button.
- Click the Choose File button and select the plugin zip file from your computer.
- Click the Install Now button.
- After the plugin has finished installing, click the Activate Plugin link to activate the plugin on your site.
All done! Your WordPress site should now have the plug-in installed and turned on. From the Plugins menu in the WordPress dashboard, you can get to the settings and features of the plugin.
Do Plugins cost money on WordPress?
Some plugins for WordPress are free, while others are “premium” and cost money. Premium plugins can cost anywhere from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars, depending on the plugin and what features it has.
It’s important to remember that premium plugins may have more features or better support than free plugins, but that doesn’t mean they’re better. Before you decide to buy a plugin, make sure to do a lot of research on it and read reviews from other users.
You should also think about whether you really need a paid plugin, since there are often free plugins that have the same features.
Where are WordPress Plugins stored?
In WordPress, plugins are kept on your web server in the wp-content/plugins directory. When you install a plugin in WordPress, its files are uploaded to this directory.
In the wp-content/plugins directory, each plugin has its own subdirectory, where the plugin’s files and resources are kept. For example, if you installed a plugin called “Example Plugin,” its files would be stored in a directory called “wp-content/plugins/example-plugin.”
It’s usually not a good idea to directly change the files in a plugin’s directory, because if the plugin is updated, your changes could be lost. Instead, you should change how the plugin works by using its settings and options.
Do WordPress plugins affect site speed?
Yes, plugins for WordPress can slow down a website. Some plugins might use more resources than others, which can make it take longer for a website to load. A website’s speed can also be affected by the number of plugins it has, since each plugin may add its own code and resources to the site.
To make a WordPress site run as quickly as possible, you should carefully think about which plugins you need and choose ones that are well-coded and optimized for speed. It’s also a good idea to check the site’s plugins regularly and turn off or remove any that are no longer required.
There are other things that can impact how fast a WordPress site loads, like the quality and speed of the hosting server, the size and number of images on the site, and the way the site is designed and laid out as a whole. By fixing these problems, it is possible to make a WordPress site run faster and give visitors a better experience.
How many plugins should I use in WordPress?
There is no perfect number of WordPress plugins for all websites. How many plugins you should use on your site will depend on what you need and what you want to do with it.
In general, you should use as few plugins as possible – a good number should be around 15-20. This is because each plugin you install to your site adds more code and resources, which can make your site run slower. Also, the more plugins you install, the more maintenance and updates they will need to stay secure and up-to-date.
So, it’s important to make sure your website has the plugins it needs to work the way you want it to. You should carefully think about which plugins you need and choose ones that are well-coded and optimized for speed.
To reduce the number of plugins you need, you could use a plugin that combines multiple functions into one, or you could use code snippets or custom functions instead of plugins to do certain things.
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