Plugins in WordPress are a great way to extend your site functionality and even though WordPress has built-in most of the features you’ll need. It is just the matter of time until you’ll find yourself searching and wanting one more plugin.
There are many places where you can find plugins, but the best way to get one is in the WordPress Plugins repository. In the repository you will find thousands of free and premium plugins.
In the same way you would install a new Theme, plugins in WordPress can be installed in different ways: you can search and download the plugin that you find interesting — typically in a ZIP file format that you’ll need to uncompress and upload the files to your site in the wp-content/plugins folder –. Or the easy way, which involves using the automatic plugin installer.
To do an automatic plugin installation follow these easy steps:
1. While logged in on your website, navigate the Dashboard (typically www.your-site.com/wp-admin), and from the left-hand side menu, click Plugins, then Add new. This is the place where you’ll be able to search plugins by keyword, author or tag, and install the one you want with just two-clicks.
From this page you can also upload and install plugins that you may have downloaded from a different source, and you can explorer featured, popular, newest and recently updated plugins to get the most out of your hunt for next functionality.
2. To install the plugin, click the Details link under the plugin’s name, to find a more detailed description of the plugin you are about to install, and more important you’ll find the FYI box on the right that have valuable information such as, version, last update, requirements, compatibility and how many times the plugin has been downloaded.
Things to consider deciding for a plugin: The FYI information is important in many ways, knowing that the plugin was updated in less than a month will indicate that the developer is keeping up with the releases of WordPress, that is checking for compatibility, and it also shows that this is a proactive developer that won’t leave you in the dark if something starts not functioning in the plugin.
Requirement is important because if your site is not running the latest version the plugin may not work and it may break your site and compatibility for the same reason. And finally knowing the times that the plugin has been downloaded will give you a glimpse how popular it is and it can help to make a faster decision to whether download it or not — I always think that if there are many plugins that do the same thing, the one with the more downloads has a better reputation.
When you know the plugin you want, just click the Install Now button.
3. Once a plugin has been installed, wait…, and then click the Activate Plugin link to turn it on. And that’s pretty much all you have to do to install a WordPress plugin. Note that some plugins will require some extra configuration to work properly, remember to review the plugin’s installation notes in the FYI box mentioned earlier before doing anything else.