Whether you have just setup new WordPress blog or you already have an existing one, you need to install some WordPress plugins either for your user’s usability on your site or for your own productivity. We always need some essential plugins to add more functionality on the top of the WordPress core functionalities. But we need to know how to install WordPress plugins.
In this article, I will walk you through steps on how to install WordPress Plugins and how to configure/manage those plugins after you install.
Before we start, lets see what is WordPress plugins?
What is WordPress Plugins?
WordPress already comes with lot of default functionalities. Sometimes we need additional functionalities. For example, we might need a tool to manage the site from back-end. Or we might need a new functionality for users on the site on front end.
If you are a developer you can customize the code for your needs. But lot of bloggers are not developers. Even a developer might think instead of wasting time and test the code why not just get the code which already has built-in features and tested. So the developer can utilize his or her time on other things like writing article or maintain the site.
Now that piece of code we need to put in to our site so we get the functionality we want. You will not see that code because it comes in an executable files inside a .zip folder. And that is called plugin. That plugin can be installed in our WordPress site and configure it through GUI.
So, basically Plugin is the utilities of WordPress that uses certain functional commands through what users fulfill their needs. Contribution of plugins make WordPress more successful and popular. You can control the entire structure of your site by plugin. You can control the writings, blogs of your website with plugins.
There are plugins for SEO checklists, for backing up your sites and more. When it comes to back up your sites you need to have one of the best free WordPress backup plugins.
3 different ways you can install WordPress Plugins
Install Directly from WordPress Dashboard
You can install WordPress plugins directly from admin area by going to Plugins > Add New. Then you can search for the plugins you are looking for. Once you find the plugins you are looking for, click on “Install now” button from the search result page. Once installation is completed you can just Activate the plugins by clicking on “Activate” and go to Settings to set up as your own needs.
Upload and Install WordPress Plugins
You can find your desired plugins in WordPress plugins directory. Most of the plugins are available at WordPress Plugins and lots of them are free.
Sometimes, you may not find the WordPress Plugins you are looking for just by searching. It usually happens if the Plugins are from third-party who has not submitted their plugins with WordPress. If that’s the case then you need download the Plugins and upload that it by using WordPress upload functionalities. Just go to Plugins > Add New.
Then on top you will see Upload Plugin. Click on Choose file option and select the downloaded file: yourplugin.zip and click on Install Now button. After installation is completed activate option will be there, activate the plugin by clicking on “Activate Plugin” link.
Note: You don’t have to unzip the plugins; WordPress upload functionality will take care of it.
Install Plugins using FTP Software
There is another way you can install WordPress plugins that is very useful if you can’t install through admin dashboard.
You just need to download the plugins, unzip it, and upload it to your plugins folder using your FTP tools. The plugins folder is located at wp-content/plugins.
After you upload it, you can go to back to dashboard plugins section and activate that plugin.
It’s pretty simple to install any WordPress plugins. Sometimes you might encounter issue or need help. It is recommended to read the documentation of plugins and check installation instruction.
Manage/Configure WordPress Plugins
You can manage or configure your installed Plugins by going to Plugins > Installed Plugins.
As you can see in the image above, you can activate a plugin, deactivate if it is already activated. Even you can delete a plugin which is no longer in use.
You can click on settings under a particular plugin to configure your plugin and make your desired selection for your needs.
The plugins can be modified in terms of code from the browser by clicking in Plugins > Editor. But this is not recommended unless you are a developer and know what you are doing.
I hope this article helped you learn how to install WordPress plugins and how to manage them, If you like this article, don’t forget to share with others.