Beginner’s Guide: 3 Ways to Install WordPress Plugin
Let’s be honest: WordPress is pretty awesome outside the box, but what makes the platform truly spectacular is the extensibility in the form of plugins. And there are thousands upon thousands of them, available for download on an as-needed basis.
This freedom is what makes WordPress amazing. The sheer numbers of plugins (both free and premium) cover practically any functionality imaginable that you might to add to your website.
But to be able to do that, you’ll have to find and install a plugin to your WordPress setup first. This guide will tell you exactly how to do that.
There are three ways. Let’s start with the most common:
1. Within the Directory
This is the simplest method of installing a WordPress plugin. The only limitation is that your plugin must be available in WordPress’ Plugin Repository for this method to work. That’s great, because the official repository is one of the few sources of plugins that are trustworthy (and free to boot).
Go to WordPress admin, click on Plugins >> Add New.
You can either browse through the thousands of plugins, or simply search for the plugin(s) you want by name or a keyword/functionality.
You will be brought to a results’ page for your search. Once you find the plugin you’re looking for, click the ‘Install Now’ button. WordPress will automatically download and install the plugin. All that’s left to do is wait for the confirmation (“Success!”) message and activate the plugin (to actually make it work).
Once your plugin is installed and activated, you can go to your plugin’s settings page to configure it to your specifications.
2. Uploading from External Sources
Since plugins downloaded from external sources (usually premium ones) can’t be uploaded via first method, we use this method for them instead.
In the same place within your admin dashboard (Plugins >> Add New screen), you’ll see a button labeled ‘Upload Plugin’ right next to the heading ‘Add Plugins’. Click the button. This will take you to a plugin upload page, where you’ll need to browse for the plugin’s .zip folder (recall where you saved it on your workstation). Once you’ve found and chosen the correct folder, click Install Now.
WordPress then uploads and installs the plugin to your directory. A similar confirmation message (as seen in #1) will appear on your screen. Activate the plugin and you’re done. You can configure the plugin’s settings as per your own needs.
3. Manual Installation
Sometimes (when your web host is being uncooperative), you’ll have file restrictions on plugin uploads via admin dashboard. That’s where your knowledge of manual installation comes in handy.
First, download the plugin (it will be a .zip file/folder) from the source to your workstation. Then unzip the folder and extract the plugin files on your computer. This unzipped folder will be uploaded to your installation directory.
Now, open your FTP manager on the computer and access the website you want to upload the plugin to. If you don’t have FTP login credentials, contact your web host.
Once you are on the correct website’s directory inside the FTP manager, go to path /wp-content/plugins/ and upload the plugin folder we unzipped here. Save and exit.
Now go to your WordPress admin dashboard. Click Plugins. Scroll until you see your manually uploaded plugin in the list. Congratulations: Installation successful. Phase I complete. Now all that’s left is for you to activate and configure the plugin settings (as needed).
Words of Advice
Keep in mind that WordPress plugins aren’t all fun and games; and that you should never just download and install every plugin that captures your interest.
- Always make sure to download plugins from trusted sources only. WordPress Plugins’ Repository is okay for free plugins, while Code Canyon, Elegant Themes, iThemes, WPMUDEV, and others sell premium plugins. Never download pirated versions of premium plugins: Those are often full of malware and will leave your website open to attacks.
- Download and activate plugins only on an as needed basis. Recklessly downloading every plugin you find will only add more code and bloat to your web pages. This reduces their loading speed and therefore should be avoided.
- Make sure that your plugin is updated consistently by the developer and that it has good, genuine user-reviews.
Author Bio: Tracey Jones is an expert web developer with vast experience in developing any web development application. Currently, she is utilized with HireWPGeeks Ltd., a WordPress development company to find a professional WordPress developer for hire. Being a passionate blogger she loves to share her innovative ideas on the web.
BEST WEB DESIGNING SOFTWARES.
FREE WEB DEVELOPMENT TOOLS
1. KOMODO EDIT
Komodo Edit is the best free available XML editor. It include lots of super features for HTML and CSS design and development and you can also get many extension for it to add on languages or other helpful features like symbols and special characters. It is not the best HTML editor available on internet, but it is great for the price point of view.
2. COFEE CUP HTML EDITOR
CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor is the free version of a commercial product, and so missing a few tools (CSS menu design, FTP upload and so on).
If you’re a beginner, though, this probably won’t matter too much. You can use the Open From Web option to open an existing web page, for instance, and tweak this to add your own content.
3. APTANA STUDIO
NetBeans IDE is a Java IDE that can help you build robust web applications. Like most IDEs it has a steep learning curve because they don’t often work in the same way that web editors do. But once you get used to it you’ll be hooked. One nice feature is the version control included in the IDE which is really useful for people working in large development environments. If you are Java addict then for creating web pages this is a great tool.
Notepad++ is an amazingly powerful source code editor with a vast number of features. Syntax highlighting (HTML and many more are supported) makes it immediately easier to read and understand your code, for instance.
Code folding allows you to collapse some areas while you focus on others. Auto-completion helps you enter code more quickly (and accurately).
The PageBreeze is based on old technology, and distinctly short of features – but if you’re just looking to create something very simple then it[s good option.
This WYSIWYG editor comes with simple templates to help you get started (they’re fairly ugly, but you can add your own later). You can add links, images, tables and forms in a click or two. It’s easy to see and edit all your site pages, and when you’re done a built-in FTP client puts your work online. So while the end results may be basic, the program’s simplicity makes it worth a look for the novice.
HTML-Kit is a free text editor with a lot of features. It’s one of the most popular text editors available for Windows. It has a tag completion and HTML and CSS validation and a lot of features you wouldn’t expect in free software. The only issue It’s drawback is that it doesn’t default to HTML, you have to convert your documents to that. Many of the About.com Guides uses HTML-Kit because it is so easy to extend and make macros for. It is also one of the only free editors available with support for accessibility validating.
Beside these web design, editing tools there are other options also available….
Dreamweaver tends to be the website design software of choice for many moderately experienced and expert designers. It is definitely much more than an HTML editor; Dreamweaver fully integrates visual design and coding tools. It also supports a variety of different scripting languages, including, PHP, ASP, and CSS.Dreamweaver allows you to create advanced interactive features, including drop-down menus, rollover images, fluid grid layouts, simple apps for mobile devices, and collapsible panels.
MICROSOFT EXPRESSIONS WEB
The Microsoft Expressions Web program, like Dreamweaver, features hybrid editing in a dual-panel setting, allowing users to work in WYSIWYG and hand code simultaneously. Microsoft Expressions Web does come with built-in web templates, facilitating easy web design. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the program is for beginners, as there are no drawing tools or drag and drop positioning. Microsoft Expressions Web is also notable for its SEO features—a huge asset when it comes to effective web design. It offers tips and ideas on how to optimize your site for better crawling and search engine rankings.
SeaMonkey is the Mozilla project all-in-one Internet application suite. It includes a web browser, email and newsgroup client, IRC chat client, and composer — the web page editor. One good thing about SeaMonkey is that you have the browser built-in already so testing is a breeze and it’s a free WYSIWYG editor with an embedded FTP to publish your web pages.
Amaya is a free, open-source WYSIWYG web-authoring tool that runs on Linux. Amaya is the W3C web editor. It also acts as a web browser. It validates the HTML as you build your page, and since you can see the tree structure of your web documents, it can be very useful for learning to understand the DOM and how your documents look in the document tree. It has a lot of features that most web designers won’t ever use, but if you’re worried about standards and you want to be 100% sure that your pages work with the W3C standards, this is a also a great option.