For a new user, WordPress plug-ins can be a bit of a challenge. There is a lot of information out there regarding plug-ins. Many people want to offer you suggestions on the best plug-ins to use, others will tell you that you should only load a certain number of plug-ins. But the biggest problem is that people don’t understand how to add a WordPress plug-in to their site.
This post will show you two different ways that you can add plug-ins to your WordPress site. The first procedure will show you how to add a plug-in that is in the WordPress plug-in repository, and the second will show you how to add a plug-in that has been downloaded to your computer. These downloaded files may be from the purchased plug-in or you may have downloaded the plug-in from the repository and stored on your computer.
Here’s a quick video that takes you through the steps. Scroll down for screenshots in the event you need additional information.
Installing a Plugin from the WordPress Repository
To start, you will navigate down the side of the WordPress menu on the left side of your page until you find plugins listed on the menu. Hover over this menu item and you will open a secondary menu. The first item will show you all of your currently installed plug-ins. The second item, when clicked, will take you to the add plug-ins page.
The add plug-ins page can also be reached by clicking through to your installed plug-ins then clicking on “add new” at the top of the page.
The Add Plug-ins Page
The Add Plug-ins Page will display the plugins that WordPress features when you open the page. At the top of the page above the plugin list or plugin grid, you will see a menu that says Featured, Popular, Recommended, and Favorites. On the far right is a Search Box. If you know the plugin that you want, entering the name in the search box and then hitting enter is the easiest way to find a plugin.
If you create many sites, you will want to set-up an account at WordPress.org (not a bad idea to have anyway) and create your own list of favorite plugins. This makes it easy to install all of your standard plugins.
You can browse the featured, popular and recommended lists and decide if any of these plugins are features that you need to install on your site. You will probably want to install an SEO plugin (All in One SEO or Yoast SEO). You will want a caching plugin (W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache). You will want to install some sort of security plugin (Wordfence Security or Sucuri Security). I also like to have an enhanced editor (WP Edit or TinyMCE Advanced). An Antispam plugin is a necessity on today’s internet (I use WP Spamshield, Akismet is often used although they have started charging for it recently) You can add additional functionality as necessary.
Installing a Plugin
I thought I would install a plugin to show you the process. WP Spamshield is a good one. I recently had Anti-Spam Bee but like the WP Spamshield a bit better.
Type the name of the plugin into the search box and hit enter. The plugin will appear at the top of the selection grid.
Once selected, click Install Now. The software will download the plugin to your plugin directory.
When complete you will see a message telling you that the installation was successful. One more step to go.
Activate the Plugin
You need to activate the plugin. Click the link below the success message that says activate Plugin.
Install a Downloaded Plugin
In many cases, you will want to download a plugin to your computer. You may want to create a record of the plugins that you use on a particular site or that you have qualified as good plugins to use, you may want to purchase a premium plugin and store the file on your computer or cloud storage. In either case, this file comes as a .zip file. Download and store the .zip file where you can find it on your computer.
Navigate back to the Add Plugins page. At the top, you will see a button that says “upload plugin” (See screenshot above). When you click this you will open the upload page.
This page has a button at the top that says browse, clicking this will take you back to the Add Plugins page. There is also a box that says “Choose File” and to the right of the button, it will say “no file chosen”. A second install button will be present but grayed out. Click on “Choose File”. Your browser will open and you can navigate to the location where you saved your .zip file. Select the file and click open at the bottom of the box.
Now, when you look at the “Upload Plugin” page, you will see the file indicated next to the “Choose File” button ( In my case, I selected the Bloom Plugin) and the Install Button will be dark and ready to click. Click Install and the plugin will begin the installation process. When complete, there will be a link to Activate the plugin as in the previous procedure. Click this and you will have completed the installation.
Plugins are just one aspect of the training that you can receive at Wealthy Affiliate. I have applied the training that is available to my many websites. Not all of these are for me, I do client work, helping others to create websites for their businesses as well as several charities that needed some assistance to get the word out. If you are considering learning to work as a website developer, or have a business that relies on a website to help bring in customers. You would be well served to join the membership at Wealthy Affiliate. They will help you to learn how an online business can be run. While the focus of their community is to teach Affiliate Marketing, the information that is provided does not need to be limited to that business model. A whole new world of possibilities will open up.