After you install WordPress, the first thing you will need to do is learn how to install WordPress plugins. The WordPress plugins are more like apps that add more features / functions to your WordPress website. The best thing is there is a plugin for virtually anything you want. This means you don’t have to keep coding each function you want your website to have. But how do you go about installing them?
First things first
WordPress plugins are only available on WordPress.org. This means if you are using WordPress.com you will not be able to install plugins. If you can’t see the plugins menu there is a good chance you are using WordPress.com. To install plugins on WordPress.com you have to upgrade to the business plan.
Install plugins using WordPress plugin search
The easiest way to install WordPress plugins is through the plugin search tool. The downside here is the plugin you want to install must be in the WordPress plugin directory. The directory is limited to free plugins only. To use the search, go to Plugins>>Add New page from the admin area. From the new page you need to type the name of the plugin you want in the search tool. Pick the plugin you want, click ‘install’. The plugin will be downloaded. Once done you have to click on ‘Activate’. A plugin will not work until it is activated.
Install plugins using the plugin upload option
If you want to use paid plugins, you will not be able to install them using the above method. The option you need to use is the upload method. The first thing you must do is to download the plugin from the source and save it on your computer. You then need to go to Plugins>>Add New page. From here click on ‘Upload Plugin’ button. You then need to choose the plugin saved on your computer and click ‘Install Now’. Once the installation is complete, you have to click on ‘Activate Plugin’. Don’t forget to configure the new plugin to fit your needs.
Install manually using FTP
This is the option for advanced users. Uploading manually is ideal where your WordPress hosting has file restrictions that limit you from installing plugins from the admin area. In this case you will have to install the plugin manually using the FTP. First you have to download the plugin from the source and save the zip file on your computer. You then need to extract the zip file. It is the extracted file that you need to upload using the FTP client.
To access the host, you need your FTP username and password. If you don’t have this you need to contact your WordPress hosting provider and ask for them. Open the FTP client and connect to your website using the login credentials. Go to /wp-content/plugins/ folder and then upload the file you extracted earlier to /wp-content/plugins/ folder on the web server.
Once the files are uploaded go to the WordPress admin area then click on Plugins from the admin menu. You will see the installed plugin. Activate it.