What is a plugin?
Before getting into installing WordPress plugins, let us know what WordPress plugins are? WordPress plugins help you extend the functionalities that are already available in WordPress. Plugins offer custom features so that each user can personalize their site as per their needs.
Why plugins are essential?
After knowing what a plugin is, you may be curious to know why WordPress plugins are essential. Themes are already there to provide look and feel of a website, so what do plugins do? As mentioned earlier, plugins add new functionalities to the theme and extend it. It is mainly used for customization purpose.
Installing a WordPress plugin
- Click on Plugins and then click on Add New. A new screen with list of all plugins will be displayed and will allow you to filter by criteria such as "Featured", "Popular", "Recommended", and so on.
- From here click on Install Now. You will immediately be taken on the Installing Plugin screen and your plugin will be downloaded and installed.
- You will be given the options to activate the plugin or return to the plugin installer page or activate, deactivate or delete and manage the installed plugins.
Installing a third party plugin
- You can purchase plugins from the WordPress repository or you can purchase it from an external vendor or you can even download it from another site.
- The plugin comes in a zip file.
Now there are two ways to install a third party plugin:
Installing via WordPress
- Log in to WordPress and click on Plugins. Then click on Add New. You will be able to see an Upload Plugin link at the top of the screen just beside the Add Plugins title.
- You will be taken to a page that asks you to upload the zip file.
Installing via S/FTP
- Before installing the plugin to your server, locate the plugin zip file and extract the contents on your system.
- Connect to your server with appropriate credentials via S/FTP and reach the wp-content/plugins directory.
- Upload the folder to the directory and log in to WordPress.
- You shall find the uploaded plugin in the Plugins section in the Installed Plugins menu item.
- From this list activate the plugin by clicking on Activate link.