How to Install a WordPress Plugin – Step by Step for Beginners 01

The first thing every beginner should learn is a guide to install WordPress plugin. WP plugins can be considered as apps for your website. They enable you to add more features to WordPress. Such as a contact form, slideshow, and shopping cart, among other things.

Many WordPress users find installing a plugin on their site to be a simple task. But, if you’re a beginner, you might be seeking a quick approach to install a plugin. Plugins assist bloggers and developers in fine-tuning their sites and adding extra functionality.

You can’t dismiss the value of plugins because they enhance your site’s functionality from security to performance. They also help in the addition of new features by removing the need for coding.

WP has thousands of free and paid plugins. We’ll explain how to install a WordPress plugin in this step-by-step guide.

If you don’t upgrade to a WordPress business plan, you won’t be able to install plugins on WordPress.com. A self-hosted WordPress.org website lets you install any plugin you want straight away.

Now, let’s take a look at how to install a WP plugin on your site.

WordPress Plugins

A WP plugin is a piece of software that adds or enhances the functionality of a WP site. It’s usually built in PHP. You can use a plugin can to easily add new functionality to a WordPress site or blog.

WordPress is one of the greatest and most well-known content management systems available. The main reason for this is the widespread use of plugins that allow users to customize websites to meet specific requirements. Plugins give your site a new appearance and feel. They introduce interesting features that aren’t present in the default WordPress installation.

It’s crucial to pick the correct plugin for your website, as certain plugins can cause problems.

Users should keep in mind that they can only install plugins on a self-hosted WP website. With plugins, a website hosted on WordPress.com has some limits.

The next section clarifies the distinction between free and paid plugins.

Free plugins Vs. Premium Plugins

Free Plugins

The WordPress repository has many free plugins that can meet the needs of most users. There are over 50 thousand plugins in the WordPress directory alone. These can help users make galleries, optimize pages, generate forms, and much more.

Members of the WordPress community create these plugins. When people install WordPress on a site, they have access to them for free. These plugins are added to the WordPress repository after a thorough assessment.

You can install plugins whenever you need them. Users install them for a variety of reasons, as each Plugin fulfills a certain purpose. Akismet, Contact Form 7, and WP Super Cache is some instances of free plugins.

Many other developers and designers also provide free plugins as part of their website building services.

Premium Plugins

You can buy Premium/ Paid plugins from third-party WordPress designers and developers. Paid Plugins could cost ranging from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. The set price is determined by the extra features included. Such as frequent updates and customer support.

Which WordPress plugins should a user consider? – Free vs. Premium

Before becoming available to users, the free plugins must meet certain criteria. Even if the plugins meet these requirements, there’s no guarantee that their code is well-written and efficient. Poorly designed code might degrade the efficiency of your website and present security flaws.

A lot of free plugins don’t even come with the instructions to use them. This makes them difficult to use. But, not all free plugins are of poor quality.

Many free plugins are available to assist you in doing various tasks on your website elegantly and cost-effectively.

Premium plugin makers occasionally offer a free basic version of their plugin. But, if you want further features, you’ll have to pay for the premium plugin.

If a free plugin meets your needs, you do not need to pay for a premium plugin. If the free plugin does not fulfill your demands, you can upgrade to the premium plugin.

Take careful notes before installing a plugin. This will ensure that it is compatible with the WordPress version you’re using.

Also, look into ratings and reviews for any issues highlighted by existing users. Especially when considering third-party free plugins. Check and see if they’re safe to use and that they are from a trustworthy source.

Before You Begin

If you use WordPress.com, you won’t be able to install plugins.

Users frequently claim that they can’t find the plugins menu on their WordPress dashboard. It’s due to the fact that you’re using WordPress.com, which has its own set of limitations.

If you don’t upgrade to their commercial plan, you won’t be able to install plugins on WordPress.com. But, on a self-hosted WordPress.org website, you can install any plugin you want straight away.

With that in an account, let’s look at how to install a WordPress plugin on your website.

Installing a WordPress Plugin

Below discussed are step-by-step instructions on how to install a WordPress plugin.

All three approaches have been covered:

  • searching for a WordPress plugin
  • uploading a WordPress plugin
  • Manually installing a WordPress plugin via FTP.

So, let us start.

Use the WordPress Plugin Search to install a plugin.

Using the plugin search is the simplest approach to install a WordPress plugin. The main drawback is that a plugin must be found in the WordPress plugin directory. This is restricted to only free plugins.

The first step is to go to your WP admin area’s Plugins and then Add New page.

Image shows Guide to Install WordPress Plugin

You’ll see a screen like the one seen in the screenshot. Type the plugin’s name or the feature you’re looking for to find it. Following that, you’ll see many listings, such as the one below:

Image shows list of plugins

You can select the plugin that is best for you. Click the ‘Install Now’ option next to seek for WPForms. This is the greatest WordPress contact form plugin.

WP will then automatically download and install the plugin. After that, the ‘Install Now’ button will be replaced by the ‘Activate’ button.

Image shows Activate button

You can install a WordPress plugin on your site, but it won’t work unless you activate it. So go ahead and activate that plugin on your WordPress site by clicking the activate button.

That’s it; you’ve finished installing your first WP plugin. The plugin settings must then be configured.

Use WordPress Admin Plugin Upload to install a plugin.

The WordPress plugin directory does not contain any WordPress plugins. The first method will not work for these plugins.

That’s why WordPress includes an upload mechanism for installing plugins like this. We’ll show you how to use the upload option in the admin area to install WordPress plugins.

To begin, you must first get the plugin from its original source (which will be a zip file). After that, go to the WordPress admin area and click on Plugins » Add New.

Then, at the top of the page, click the ‘Upload Plugin’ button.

Image shows Upload plugin button

The plugin upload form will appear as a result of this action. Here, select the plugin file you downloaded by clicking the “Choose File” option.

Image shows Choose file button

After you’ve chosen the file. Click the ‘Install Now’ option to begin installation.

WordPress will now upload and install the plugin file from your PC. After the installation is complete, you will get a success message like this.

Image shows Activate Plugin button

To use the plugin, click the Activate Plugin link after it has been installed.

You’d have to adjust the parameters to meet your requirements. Because the settings for each plugin differ.

Use FTP to manually install a WordPress plugin

Your WordPress hosting provider may have file restrictions. These restrictions can prevent you from installing a plugin from the admin area.

In this case, manually installing the plugin over FTP is your best option.

For beginners, the FTP manager technique is the least user-friendly.

To begin, you must first get the plugin’s source code (it will be a zip file). Then, on your PC, you must extract the zip file.

When you extract the plugin zip file, a new folder with the same name is created. This is the folder you’ll need to manually upload to your website using FTP.

You’ll need to use the FTP manager to connect to your server. If you don’t know your FTP username or password. You can ask your WordPress hosting provider.

Connect to your website using the login credentials provided by your web server by using the FTP program on your computer. After you’ve connected, navigate to your website’s/wp-content/plugins/ folder.

Then, on your web server, upload the folder you extracted from the zip file to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder.

word image 981

After you’ve uploaded the files, go to the WordPress admin area and select Plugins from the admin menu. On the plugins page, you’ll see that your plugin has been successfully installed.

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To use the plugin. Go to the bottom of the page and click the Activate link.

You may need to configure the plugin settings after activation. WordPress plugins have their own settings that vary from one plugin to the next.

What is the best way to install a premium / paid WordPress plugin?

The procedure for installing a premium or paid WordPress plugin differs slightly. Premium plugins aren’t listed in the official plugin directory. But you can find them using the search function in your WordPress admin panel.

Below is the step to step instruction to install a premium plugin:-

Get the plugin archive

The first step is to find a way to get the plugin itself. This is a step that you must complete on your own. This usually involves visiting a marketplace or a plugin store and buying a copy of the plugin there.

You should have the installable plugin file stored in a ZIP package as a result of your purchase. As follows:

plugin archive Image

Go to “Plugins” in your WordPress dashboard

Return to your WP wp-admin panel, select “Plugins” from the sidebar menu, and then click the “Add New” button:

Image shows WordPress dashboard

Upload your plugin archive

Then, at the top of the page, click the “Upload Plugin” button:

Image shows Upload plugin button

On the next screen, you’ll be able to submit the ZIP file for your plugin directly to your WordPress site. Select the ZIP file from your desktop and click “Install Now” to confirm the upload.

Activate the plugin

After WordPress has finished its job, all you have to do now is activate the plugin:

Image shows Activate Plugin button

After that, the plugin will be online and ready to use.

Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Plugin

Many plugins are accessible in the WordPress plugin directory and even more can be found on third-party websites. These many possibilities can be overwhelming. Especially for beginners who are trying to find out what will work best for their website.

The next sections will show you some key factors to consider when choosing a plugin.

Updates on a regular basis

WordPress makes updates on a regular basis to maintain its system current. That’s how they:

  • Improve performance
  • Keep security up to date
  • Solve bugs
  • Introduce new features

So, before you install a plugin, think about the following:

Last updated. You can avoid security breaches by using a WP plugin that is regularly updated. This also demonstrates that the plugin is still being actively managed and improved by the developers.

Installation Numbers. This figure represents the popularity of the WordPress plugin in question. As a general rule, the more active installations a plugin has, the higher the quality it provides.

Ratings. User reviews and opinions might assist you in weighing the benefits and drawbacks of a certain plugin. This offers you an idea of how the plugin works in real-world scenarios.

Compatibility. The newest version of WordPress is usually compatible with a plugin that receives regular updates. Always check the plugin’s description tab to learn which WordPress version is necessary to operate it.

Making Certain It Is Right for the Job

Check the claims made by the creators before you download and install a plugin on your WP website. Examine the plugin’s documentation, as well as the plugin’s support forums and reviews.

Many websites provide plugin reviews. So reading blog posts is also an excellent exercise.

Installing one plugin at a time is the best way to go.

When trying out a plugin in WordPress. Keep in mind that you should install and test each plugin separately. This way, you’ll be able to quickly determine if it’s causing any issues with your site and if you can repair them.

If you want to check out a few different plugins on WP, make sure you deactivate the previous one first.

Furthermore, if you have many inactive plugins, it’s advisable to uninstall them. Because too many downloads and installations will slow down your WordPress site.

For each function, only use one plugin.

WordPress plugins provide new features and improve the functioning of your website. But, installing too many of them might cause your site to slow down.

This is because you’re introducing new code to your website when you install WP plugins. When overused, plugins send too many HTTP requests to load their assets, such as CSS stylesheets, JavaScript files, and photos. This slows down the loading performance of your website.

Also, adding WordPress plugins that perform identical functions may generate conflicts. This can result in the failure of one or both plugins. Hence, installing one WordPress plugin for each capability is the recommended strategy.

Both Yoast SEO and AISEO, for example, have similar feature sets. Hence you only need to choose one to avoid plugin conflict.

How many Plugins should I Install in WordPress?

For every function, there is a plugin. So, how many WordPress plugins should a user install on a site? You might be surprised by the response.

The fact is that the fewer plugins on a site, the faster it loads and performs. Excessive plugin usage might cause a website’s performance to suffer.

Because plugins work as code, they are not always the best option. Especially if you need to add minor functionality to your website. You can still add the essential functionality to execute a given operation without a plugin. But, you must know how to write code by manually adding codes to the core WordPress files.

The number of codes increases on your site by adding plugins. If the code is incorrect or the plugin is obsolete and incompatible with your site’s version. The site’s loading performance will suffer. It may also take longer to execute the intended action.

The majority of the WordPress plugins are well-coded. If you use plugins from the WP repository, there’s a good likelihood that they won’t slow down your site.

But, keep in mind that you should only use plugins if absolutely essential.

Conclusion

We’ve gone over three different ways to install WordPress plugins in this post. It’s comparable to installing themes in WordPress. You can do this in three distinct ways. Plugins enhance the functionality of a WP site.

With only a few clicks, you can add a limitless number of features to your website. Even if you have no prior technological experience, you can improve the operation of your site.

Consider what your present website lacks if you’re not sure which plugin to start with. Then, examine essential variables such as:

  • Compatibility
  • Reviews
  • The most recent update among the available plugins

To help you get started, we’ve included some of our favorite WordPress plugins:

  • Yoast SEO. This plugin uses keyword optimization and meta descriptions to improve the SEO of your WordPress blog posts and pages.
  • W3 Total Cache. By caching and integrating with a CDN, it improves the efficiency of your website. It also minimizes the time it takes to load.
  • Google XML Sitemaps. Creates XML sitemaps automatically for enhanced SEO.
  • Akismet Spam protection. To avoid unwanted assaults, this plugin detects and filters spam in your comments and contact form submissions.

We hope this article was helpful on how to install WordPress Plugins.

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