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WordPress Plugins – What Are They How To Install Them!

Xugar Blog
Sagar Sethi Entrepreneur
Sagar Sethi

WordPress is a unique website platform or content management system (CMS) and one of the most popular for building websites. While it was initially designed for bloggers, it’s now used by billions of people and businesses every single day.

One of the most appealing features of WordPress websites is the ability to easily expand and scale your website, and therefore your business, through plugins!

While you may select a theme which already has certain capabilities, like contact forms and eCommerce integration, you aren’t limited to the functions and features included in your theme.

With a vast library of plugins available, you can easily install SEO tools, image compressors and even integrate Instagram galleries!

Wait… What is a WordPress Plugin?

A plugin is a piece of software which can be added to your wordpress website, adding new features and functionality.

They are designed to seamlessly install and integrate with your wordpress website, all through an official plugin library, like your phone’s app store, that can be found within your website’s dashboard.

While you can download and manually upload and install a plugin through an FTP client, it is encouraged to use the official directory as installing ‘unauthorised’ softwares may be detrimental to your site’s security.

The beauty of plugins is that many are free to install and free to use!

While some plugins have premium versions, their free or ‘lite’ counterparts generally still contain the core functionality. As they are free, they often do not come with tech support, but by using popular and common plugins, the answer to your question is only a Google Search away!

As there are so many plugins to choose from, you may feel overwhelmed. The number one thing to remember is security.

In order to ensure that installing a specific plugin will not be harmful to your site’s security, a few questions to ask are:

When was it last updated?
You want to ensure that the plugin you are installing is up to date. This ensures that any existing vulnerabilities will have been patched and that your site will be as secure as possible from incoming threats.

Is it compatible with my current WordPress version?
This ensures that the plugin can be installed onto your site without any compatibility issues.

Is it highly rated?
You want to make sure that the people who use the plugin are happy with the results.

Are common issues and questions being answered and resolved?
As many plugins don’t include tech support, asking this question makes sure that common bugs or issues have fixes or have been permanently fixed, determining if the plugin is reliable and actively updated.

By installing multiple plugins onto your site, you may be worried that it will affect its loading speed; This is not the case.

While the average WordPress plugin will not have damaging effects on your site’s performance, it is not guaranteed for each and every plugin. By asking the above questions, you should be able to determine how harmful the plugin may be to your site.

Okay, So How do I Install a WordPress Plugin?

There are three ways to install a WordPress Plugin:

1. WordPress Plugin Search

This is the most common and recommended method of installing a WordPress Plugin.

Step 1: Log in to your WordPress Admin Dashboard. This can be accessed by going to your website’s homepage and entering /wp-admin
e.g. yourdomain.com/wp-admin

Step 2: In the nav bar on the left, click Plugins and Add New

Step 3: In the Search box, type in the plugin you want to install

Step 4: Once you find the plugin, click Install Now

Step 5: It may take around 10-30 seconds for the plugin to install, but once completed, click Activate.

Please Note: The Plugin will not work until it is activated!


2. WordPress Plugin Upload


These next two methods are relevant only if you have downloaded the plugin, often as a .zip file, and want to upload it directly to your site.

To upload it through your WordPress Admin Dashboard:

Step 1: Log in to your WordPress Admin Dashboard.

Step 2: In the nav bar on the left, click Plugins and Add New

Step 3: Click Upload, Choose File and select the .zip file of the plugin you downloaded.

Step 4: Once the file has been uploaded, simply click Activate!

3. FTP Upload

The last method to upload your plugin onto your wordpress site is through an FTP client.

This method is the least friendly for beginners, although my be necessary for those with file restrictions set by their WordPress hosting provider.

Before we give you a step-by-step walkthrough on how to install a wordpress plugin through FTP, in order to use an FTP client, you will need your hosting credentials.
Additionally, you can follow these steps using the File Manager in your hosting’s cPanel.

These details are usually shared with you via email when you sign up with your hosting provider. If you are unsure of your credentials, contact your hosting provider for support.

Step 1: Open your FTP client and connect to your hosting, or connect to your cPanel and access your File Manager.
For those using an FTP client, we recommend using FileZilla.

Step 2: Access the path public-html/wp-content/plugins

Step 3: Upload your .zip plugin file to this path

Step 4: Log in to your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Step 5: In the nav bar on the left, click Plugins and Installed Plugins

Step 6: Find the plugin and click Activate


What If I Want to Uninstall a Plugin?

If you want to Uninstall any plugin, simply navigate to your Installed Plugins page, click Deactivate, then Remove.

The biggest thing to remember when uninstalling plugins is that it may alter the behaviour of your site if the theme is reliant on the plugin itself.

We suggest deactivating it first, then quickly looking through your pages and testing your website before fully removing it.

We hope that this tutorial has cleared up everything about WordPress Plugins.

Also make sure to Subscribe to our YouTube channel and stay posted to our blog for more WordPress tutorials and SEO Services


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Sagar Sethi