What’s a WordPress Plugin? How to Use One?

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What’s a Plugin?

A plugin is an additional software or tool that the website administrators use to add multiple features and functionalities to their sites. When a plugin is installed or added to WordPress, it provides new features. Actually, when the site administrator needs more functions, there comes a WordPress plugin. With plugins, you can enjoy so many new features without learning or doing any coding. In short, it’s facilitator kind of software to provide desired functionalities to the websites

Thousands of free and paid plugins are available. The users, we mean the administrators, can pick the best ones that suit their needs and carry out the set group of functions. Free plugins can be used but the developers and companies provide outstanding kind of plugins that’s paid. With paid plugins, the user is safe and website remains protected as well. Let’s see how you can install and use a WordPress plugin on your website.

How to Install and Use a WordPress Plugin?

Before installing and using a plugin, the users should determine the compatibility of a certain plugin with the WordPress version.  Usually, when the site needs any plugin, you will get available updates. In the event, no updates are available; to use and figure out compatibility of a plugin the author should be contacted for detailed information. Following are the three methods used for WordPress plugin installation.

  • Installing plugin using search
  • Automatic installation or uploading a plugin
  • Installing a plugin manually

Installing a Plugin Using WordPress Plugin Search:

This is the easiest way to install a WordPress plugin. For using this method, that certain plugin should be available in the WordPress directory. Follow these steps.

  • Go to your admin area of the WordPress website
  • Click on the plugins and add a new option.
  • Find the relevant plugin by name or functionality
  • You will have a list of available plugins. Select the one you need
  • Click on the install now button and it will start downloading
  • Once it’s downloaded, activate it and your plugin is ready to use once you configure the respective settings

WordPress Admin Plugin Upload:

The paid WordPress plugins are not uploaded in the plugins directory but you need to download them and use this uploading method. Please follow these steps to install a plugin by upload method.

  • Download the plugin from the source. It might be a zip file
  • Go to the admin area, plugins and add new option
  • Choose upload plugin option and it will bring you to a new upload page
  • Choose the file you had downloaded to install
  • After that click on install button
  • The plugin will be uploaded and you will get a message as well
  • Activate the plugin, configure settings and start using it

Installing a Plugin Manually:

This is the least-friendly method for beginners. Here you will install a plugin manually using FTP. Steps are as follows:

  • Download the zip file and extract it to your computer
  • A new folder with the same name will be created and you have to upload it manually
  • Access your FTP manager using the credentials
  • After connection is established, access the path /wp-content/plugins/
  • Upload the folder you extracted from the zip file to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder on your web server.
  • After this, all, visit admin area and you will see the plugin installed successfully
  • Finally, perform the activation and configuration to use the plugin

I hope you’ll find this article useful. If you need further help regarding wordpress plugins, make a comment and you’ll get instant help.

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