What is a WordPress Plugin?
A WordPress plugin is a software program that contains the set of codes written in PHP language used to extend the functionality of WordPress websites.
Plugins are developed for adding extra features not present in existing CMS and themes and reduce code bloat in WordPress to improve flexibility.
Plugins can be switched on/off according to the need of the website to modify, enhance and simplify the existing functions of the WordPress website.
How to Install a WordPress Plugin
Adding plugins to the website is very easy. You can select the free or premium plugins either from the WordPress plugin library or from third-party developers.
1. Adding Plugins From WordPress Plugin Library
a) To add plugins from the WordPress plugin library to your website, you have to log in to your WordPress dashboard.
b) After that go to the ‘Plugins’ menu and select ‘Add New’ option from there.
c) Search for the plugin that you want to install. You can take help of popular tags present at the bottom of the page.
d) Click on the ‘Install Now’ button to add it to your site.
e) Activate the plugin.
f) Configure the plugins with the settings required to perform it smoothly from your dashboard. That’s it.
g) If the plugin is like ‘Facebook Like Box,’ you can add it to the Widget area to appear on the web page.
2. Adding Plugin From The Third Party Developers
If you want to add the plugin from the third-party web developers, which is not present in the WordPress plugin library, then you can follow the simple steps given below.
a) The first of all, download the plugin from the website of a web developer company. You’ll need to pay the charge if you want to buy premium stuff.
b) From the WordPress dashboard, select ‘Plugins’ menu and then ‘Add New’ option.
c) On the top-left corner, you will see ‘Upload Plugin’ next to the ‘Add Plugins’.
d) Select the ‘Choose file’ option and upload the plugin in the ‘ZIP’ format which you have downloaded previously.
e) Activate the plugin and configure as per your requirements.
3. Manually Install a WordPress Plugin Using FTP
In some cases, your web hosting provider may have file restrictions where you couldn’t install a plugin from the admin dashboard. In such conditions, you can use the manual installation method using FTP. This method is the least friendly for newbies and seems a little complicated. You’ll need to follow the steps given below to install WordPress plugin using FTP.
1) First of all, download the plugin (‘.zip’ format file) from the website of a web developer company. After that, you’ll need to extract the zip file on your computer.
2) Extracting that plugin zip file will create a new folder on your computer with the same name. This folder you need to upload to your website using an FTP client manually.
3) Here, you’ll need to access your host through the FTP manager. In case, you don’t have your FTP username and password, then contact your web hosting provider and ask them about your FTP username & password, they will help you.
4) Open the FTP client on your computer and connect to your website using the login credentials provided by your web host.
5) After getting connected, get access to the path /wp-content/plugins/
6) Now, upload the folder you extracted before from the plugin (.zip file) to the folder /wp-content/plugins/ on your web server.
7) After that, take a tour of the WordPress admin dashboard and select the ‘Plugins’ menu. You’ll see your plugin has successfully installed on your website
8) Activate the plugin, you have uploaded, and configure the settings as per your requirements.
I hope this will help you to install WordPress plugins. If you want to know which plugins you should install on your blog/website, then see 21 Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs [2019 Edition].
You will find the best list of essential WordPress plugins in that article which I frequently update with new updates so subscribe us to get our newsletter for entirely free.
FAQs About The Plugins
Que. 1. Do I need to download the plugins to add to my website/blog?
Ans: You can add plugins directly to your website/blog available in the WordPress plugin library by following the above method mentioned in the first point.
However, you’ll need to download the plugins if you are considering one developed the third-party authors.
Que. 2. May I need to update/upgrade the plugins?
Ans: Most of the plugins available in the WordPress plugin library have all the basic functions and features needed for regular use. But some plugins need to upgrade to pro level for added functionalities and premium support.
You can test them before buying the premium versions. While updating the plugins is good because you can get better features than its existing version. (sometimes, new releases can cause an issue but not generally).
Que. 3. May I consider to buy the premium versions of the plugins?
Ans: Not always necessary. It depends on your requirement. If you are happy with the existing features, then it’s okay. But you can buy the premium versions to get extra features or premium support.
Que. 4. Do the developers provide support for the plugins?
Ans: It depends on the developer or company who have developed the plugins. You can get support from forums and sometimes from developers for free plugins. While in most of the cases, the developers provide the support for the premium plugins or upgraded versions.
Que. 5. Do plugins increase the website loading time or slows down it?
Ans: The plugins boost functionalities and performance of your website, but adding a bunch of unnecessary plugins may drain server resources and make your site slow.
In such case, use lightweight plugins or the plugins which can perform multiple functions like Jetpack or Yoast SEO. Remove all other plugins from your website, and you’ll see the difference. Use Pingdom tool to check the performance of your site before and after.
See my post 11 Incredible Tips to Reduce Your Website Loading Time Dramatically to improve the speed of your website and make it blazingly fast.
Que. 6. How Do I select the best plugins for my website/blog?
Ans: This question is asked frequently by most of the people, especially the newbies. When you want to select the plugins for your website/blog, define your requirements and install only required plugins. I recommend up to 8-10 or fewer in typical cases.
You have to install some essential plugins for your website including SEO plugins, security & backup plugins, social media plugins, etc., for the healthy growth of your WordPress website/blog.
Que. 7. Where will I get the best resources for the plugins?
Ans: The WordPress plugins library is the best resource for your plugin need. These plugins are tested by experts and users too. You can see the star rating, reviews, and rating for performance and issues for the particular plugins.
If you want to install any of them, you can search the particular plugin as per your need and install it. However, some plugins are not available in the WordPress plugin library, and you can get them from third-party websites.
Last Few Words
Installing the plugins from the WordPress plugin library or by uploading directly to your dashboard is an easy way. However, manual installation of WordPress plugins using FTP is not friendly for beginners and requires a little technical knowledge. But you’ll not need to apply this method in most of the cases.
Want to keep your blog alive and continue growing then take a look at these 21 Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs [2019 Edition].
If you have any query or feedback, let me know via comment box below.