February 26, 2021

How To Install wordpress Plugins – WordPress Plugins Guide 2021

How To Install wordpress Plugins

You Might Ask, How To Install wordpress Plugins?

Today I Will Show You, How To Install wordpress Plugins Easily

Here I am going to cover how to install plugins through your desktop. This is one of three ways to install a WordPress plugin. In addition to the method I will cover here, you can also upload it directly through your WordPress dashboard, which I will cover in another tutorial and also you can install it by FTP.

If you do not know what FTP is then do not worry and you certainly don’t have to learn it to install a plugin, just stick to one of the other two methods.

The method here will work with any plugin, whether it is from the Plugin Directory at wordpress.org, or whether it is a premium one that you have purchased or, indeed, have obtained from anywhere else. For this step by step I’ll show obtaining a plugin from wordpress.org.

How To Install wordpress Plugins Easily

Step 1:

Go to wordpress.org, and click on ‘Plugins’. When you do this, in the centre of the page, you will see a search box. Use this to find the plugin you want. You can search by the exact name if you know it, by type, even by popularity. We’ll assume here that I’m searching for SEO (search engine optimization). You then get shown a list which you can look through.

Step 2:

Click on the plugin you want and you will get taken to that plugins page. Here you have an opportunity to look at the details to ensure it is the one you want. If it is, then click on the download button, as shown below.

Step 3:

This will open up a download box and you should click on ‘save file’. You should save it on your desktop, in a file of your choosing or anywhere else, as long as you remember where you have saved it. Note that the plugin will be in zip format and you should leave it like that.

Step 4:

plugin in wordpress

Next login to the WordPress dashboard of your site and go to ‘Plugins’, then ‘Add new’. This will take you to ‘Install plugins and here you need to click ‘Upload’.

Next, when you hit ‘Browse’ you can search for the plugin that you uploaded. Then click on the plugin, then ‘Open’ and then ‘Install Now’.

Step 5:

plugin in wordpress

Next you are taken to a page where you are invited to ‘Activate Plugin’. Click that and you’re done.

Step 6:

What happens now will vary greatly because some plugins do what they are supposed to do when activated and some require you to adjust various settings, they all vary. If the settings are a little confusing then you will often have a help, or support page. You can access this on your plugins page.

If you would prefer to watch a video tutorial covering how to install plugins you should click on the YouTube link on the right of the page and you will be taken to my channel. Here you can see a video covering this and other WordPress tutorials too.

Read More: How To Install A WordPress Theme

WordPress Plugins

What Is wordpress?

WordPress offers a very simple platform to build your web property and before I start to look in detail at how it all works, and how it can work for you, there are two things that I need to explain which are never far away from the conversation when WordPress is discussed. These two things are Themes and also Plugins; and it is WordPress Plugins that I’ll discuss here.

As is the way that I’m trying to communicate to business people, who are already overwhelmed with information, I’ll try and keep it simple. I have already talked about WordPress and what makes it so popular.

The ‘look’ of a WordPress site can be dramatically altered by the Theme. The functionality of a WordPress site, that is, the things that can be shown, the things that the visitor can do, the ‘fancy stuff’, if you will, can be greatly increased by the Plugins that are used.

The only explanation, in technical terms, as to what is a Plugin, is that it is a tiny ‘packet’ of already written code that you can upload to your site which allows something to happen, or a function to occur. That is all you really need to know.

I’ll give a simple example to demonstrate.

wordpress

WordPress, out of the box, allows you to display images. To do this it is pretty straightforward and, one of the joys of WordPress is that if you are not sure how to do something then just hop over to YouTube, or one of the many other video sharing sites and you’ll find that some kind soul has put up a video showing you what to do. So here is an example of what a Plugin can do.

The first image is what you’ll get ‘out of the box’ with WordPress.

The above image is okay, but look down at the next image and click on it. This creates a far better user experience. Imagine if you want to show greater detail of your products?  

Now to get this effect I have two options. The first one is to learn, or to employ someone with great coding skills who could write up the code needed to make this happen or, alternatively I download a Plugin and load the images. That is what makes Plugins great and enhances WordPress as a website and blogging platform, it is so flexible and Plugins add to that greatly.

What is plugin in wordpress?

So what do Plugins do, just images? No! There are Plugins that deal with just about every type of functionality that you can imagine, adding contact forms, making Search Engine Optimization easy, rotating different adverts in different places, dealing with comment spam and a whole lot more too.

I’ll probably do a list of some good Plugins that you may want to consider in a future post but there are some other points I want to cover.

 WHERE DO I GET WORDPRESS PLUGINS ?

First point here, there are some drawbacks to using Plugins so before you start looking for a solution to a problem you have with your site check the masses of information already online, you may well find that your ‘problem’ can already be dealt with by a functionality in WordPress and it is just that you didn’t know that it could be done or how it could be done, so check the video sites first.

If after doing this you know that a Plugin is the solution then most Plugins, but not all, are available for free from here. This is the WordPress Plugin Directory and, right now and entirely without cost, you can download almost  57,919 Plugins which will allow you to do a whole manner of things to your site. 

WORDPRESS PLUGINSThere are so many options available (and all are free) at the above directory, however, some Plugins do cost money. These tend to be the ones that have taken some time and effort to develop and possibly have regular updates, along with offering support.

If you cannot find what you need at the Plugin Directory then a simple search could throw up some paid options and then you simply need to evaluate it and make a decision as to whether you can do without it or not. Do not dismiss a Plugin simply because it costs money, some are superb.

What are the disadvantages of WordPress?

ARE THERE ANY DISADVANTAGES TO USING WORDPRESS PLUGINS?

The short answer is yes! But the fuller answer is that these are outweighed by the benefits. Let’s take a look at the downside.

1.The more you use the slower your site may operate at. In a nutshell, the more resources your site is using the slower it will work. New WordPress users, in particular, have a habit of loading lots and lots of Plugins simply because they look so good and are free. Think first!

2.I have outlined above that you should search for other solutions first before deciding to use Plugins. I am not convinced at all that this is what people actually do!

3.Each Plugin gives you a potential security issue. Each one provides an opportunity for someone to, potentially, damage your site.

4.One odd phenomenon that occurs, considering that Plugins enhance your functionality is that sometimes you install a Plugin only to find that it stops another one from working! These so called conflicts are resolved by having to uninstall the offending Plugin.

5.Occasionally you can download a virus or something else you didn’t want or expect. This is unusual but it can happen. Generally the above directory, though, is safe and the popular and long standing Plugins are unlikely to present a problem.

You may think this list is enough to make anyone think Plugins are not worth the trouble but they are. Numbers 3 – 5 happen infrequently enough for them not normally to be a problem.

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You Might Ask, How To Install wordpress Plugins?

Hopefully, you understand our Few steps to the point of How To Install wordpress Plugins . If you have any doubt, you will try the above others.