How To Install And Manage Plugins In WordPress – Step By Step Guide
6 min read
Managing WordPress sites has been made easy through the use of plugins. In this post, I will be showing you how to install and manage WordPress plugins for increased performance and added functionality.
WordPress plugins are basically PHP scripts that add to the functionality of your WordPress sites. Take plugins as an app that can be installed on your WordPress site. With the use of plugins, you can add wonderful features like SEO plugins, contact forms, shopping carts, Google analytics, and lots more.
No matter the task you want to achieve with your site, there is definitely a plugin to make that task easier and faster without your online presence to manage the site. However, in this post, we are talking about the self-hosted WordPress.org and not the free WordPress.com, as you cannot install plugins there.
How To Install a WordPress Plugin
We are going to be looking at how to install the two kinds of WordPress plugins, which are the free plugin and the premium or paid plugin. The download sources are always different. Free plugins are always from the WordPress.org library, while premium ones are always from the developer’s site. However, you can get premium plugins that are obtained from the developers from Free WP Items.
What are free plugins?
Free plugins are basic plugins that can fulfil basic user needs on WordPress sites. Over fifty-five thousand free plugins can be found in the WordPress repository (WordPress.org/plugins).
These plugins are created by WordPress community members and are totally free for users to install on their sites. Examples are Contact Form7 (WordPress.org/plugins/contact-form-7), Akismet (akismet.com).
How to Install a Free WordPress Plugin
- In your WordPress dashboard (your-domain.com/wp-admin), navigate to “Plugins.”
- Click on the “Add New” button.
- At the top right of the page, locate a search bar and input the name of the plugin that you want to install.
- Locate your desired plugin and click on “Install Now”. Once this is done, the plugin is automatically installed on your site.
- Click on “Activate Plugin.”
That is it. The plugin has been successfully installed. You will see “Plugin activated” at the top of the page to confirm this.
What are premium plugins?
As the name implies, these plugins can only be purchased from third-party developers. The price of these premium plugins depends on the added features they offer. Unlike free plugins, premium plugins can’t be found in the WordPress repository. You’ve just gotten one for your website? Here are the steps to install premium plugins.
Note: Before installing a plugin on your site, ensure that the plugin is compatible with the version of WordPress that you are using. You can check for this in the plugin description.
How to Install a Premium WordPress Plugin
- Get the zip file
- After purchasing your plugin from third party plugin stores or from Free WP Items, you should obtain the file saved as a ZIP file.
- In your WordPress dashboard (your-domain.com/wp-admin), navigate to “Plugins” and click “Add New.”
- Locate “upload plugin”. Select the ZIP file and click “install now” to confirm the upload.
- Click on Activate Plugin.
The installation is now complete and your plugin is now online and functional.
However, you can download a free plugin in the form of a ZIP file from a third party. If this is the case, you can use the method for installing a premium WordPress theme and installing it on your site. very easy! I believe you can do it.
Installing a Plugin Using FTP
Your hosting provider may have limits on your ability to install a plugin from your WordPress dashboard. In situations like this, the alternative way to install a plugin is by manually using FTP. Hey, don’t be scared, it is super easy. Read on!
How to Manually Install WordPress Plugins Using FTP
- Get the zip file and extract it to your computer.
- After extracting, you will get an extracted folder containing the files of the plugin.
- Open the FTP manager on your computer and connect to your website. You can get your FTP login details (username and password) by contacting your hosting provider.
- Once connected to your website, go to “/wp-content/plugins/”
- Upload the extracted folder from step 1 to the “/wp-content/plugins/” folder on your server.
- After uploading, the plugin will be successfully installed on your website.
- Navigate to Plugins in your WordPress dashboard. Locate the installed plugin and activate it.
That is it. Your plugin is now online. It is extremely simple.
Now that you have your WordPress plugin installed and activated, the next step is to learn how to manage your plugins and also know the right number of plugins to be installed on your site.
How to Manage WordPress Plugins
Plugins can be managed from your WordPress admin dashboard. You will find a list of installed plugins, both active and inactive. From your dashboard, you can uninstall plugins, activate and deactivate plugins. You can also get to view further details of each plugin and also configure them to work for you specifically. In case you need to uninstall a plugin, below are easy steps to quickly achieve that.
How to Uninstall WordPress Plugins
- Head to plugins on your WordPress admin dashboard.
- Locate the plugin you wish to uninstall.
- Locate and click the “deactivate link.”
- Finally, click on the “delete button.”
How many WordPress plugins should be installed on your site?
This is a very important question to ask when it comes to the installation of plugins on your site. There is this normal feeling of installing almost every plugin you set your eyes on in the WordPress directory, but I’m here to save you from developing a slow site.
The bitter truth is that the fewer plugins on your site, the faster your site’s loading speed and performance. As we all know, site speed is a major factor when it comes to building an SEO optimized site. When you install too many plugins on your site, it can lead to site crashes, slow loading speeds, security breaches, and other problems.
It is advisable to install no more than 20 plugins on your WordPress site to be on the safe side. If the site is hosted on shared cloud hosting, please do not use more than five plugins.
In this post, I have listed super easy methods on how to install and manage your WordPress plugins. With this guide, you can add wonderful features to your website in just a few easy steps. Believe me, there are lots of amazing features you can have access to by just installing the right plugins. If you are confused or if you had issues trying to follow the above steps, please leave a comment.