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Working With WordPress Plugins

WordPress is the leading Content Management system (CMS) among bloggers. The main reason for the popularity of WordPress is simplicity and ease of usage. As a blogger, you can work with WordPress without learning about the usage. The installation process is easy and the blog can be extended with themes and plugins. While themes change the look and feel of the blog, plugins can be used to perform certain actions. For example, if you install Yoast SEO Plugin, you can improve the SEO quality of the post content. You will find thousands of plugins that are used for various purposes. In this article, we will examine the steps required to download and work with WordPress plugins.

Manual Installation

To install WordPress plugins manually, you need to download the required plugin from the official WordPress Plugin Repository. As of this writing, there are over 58272 plugins and new plugins are added on a daily basis.

You can either search with relevant keywords or select “See all” link from the respective category to locate a specific plugin. If you choose the second option, then you have to scroll down to locate the WordPress plugin. We recommend you to search with keywords so that you can select a plugin relevant to you. For example, if you search with “adsense”, you will view a list of all plugins that are relevant to Google Adsense. You can then pick a suitable plugin for download and usage.

Downloading WordPress Plugin

To download a WordPress Plugin, select the corresponding link from either the WordPress Plugin repository page or WordPress plugin search page. If you select a WordPress plugin name, you will view the plugin details page with detailed information. The next step is to select the “Download” button. You can also post reviews if you like the plugin. The installation steps and documentation are also available on the plugin page. If you select the Download button, the relevant plugin will be downloaded.

Installing WordPress Plugin

The WordPress plugin will be downloaded as a ZIP file. You have two options now. The first option is to use the WordPress dashboard to upload the plugin. You should login to the dashboard and select Plugins option from the left side navigation panel. The next step is to select “Add New” option.

The Add Plugins page will be displayed. You should select Upload Plugin button to start the uploading process.

WordPress will now display “Choose File” button from where you can upload the ZIP file from your PC/laptop.

It will take some time for the WordPress to upload the ZIP file depending upon the capacity of the file. After the installation, you will have to Activate the plugin by selecting the relevant button.

Alternatively, you can manually upload the WordPress Plugin zip file via FTP. Once you are inside the FTP account of your web hosting account, navigate to /wp-content/plugins/ directory and upload the plugin package. Please make sure to upload the folder as such and should not be a ZIP file.

Automated WordPress Plugin Installation

If you would like to install WordPress Plugin quickly, you can do so from within the WordPress dashboard. From the “Add Plugins” dashboard, you can either select the pre-defined plugins or search for a relevant plugin. If you just type the keyword inside the search box, WordPress will automatically display the plugins related to that phrase.

The plugin will be installed if you select “Install Now” button followed by Activate button. There is no need to manually upload the plugin either via ZIP file or using FTP.

Conclusion

WordPress plugins are easy to install. You need not have to manually perform any work. However, in some cases, you will have to make use of the manual route to install a plugin. If you purchased a third-party WordPress plugin, you can upload the ZIP file via the WordPress admin dashboard. The proper use of plugins will go a long way not only to improve your blog but also to communicate with your readers. For instance, you can install social sharing plugin to enable visitors to share your blog post easily. The real purpose of WordPress Plugins is to extend your blog without hard coding. The entire hard work has been done by the plugin developers for you to drive more from the respective plugins.

2 Comments
  1. Harshita Nanda says

    plugins work only for paid WordPress sites right? not the free ones?

    1. Anand Narayanaswamy says

      The WordPress.com Business and Commerce packages have the ability to install plugins. You can visit https://wordpress.com/pricing/ to know more. The free package doesn’t have the ability to install plugins. I would advise you to self-host your blog with WordPress for maximum customization.

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