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How to Find and Install WordPress Plugins

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Introduction

WordPress is one of the most powerful content management systems in the world. But, it can do more than just let you publish your articles online. It also has a collection of plugins that extend its functionality and allow you to do things like make your site mobile responsive, block unwanted visitors, or add a contact form directly into your website’s sidebar. Plugins are so popular among WordPress users that there are over 50,000 plugins available on WordPress.org alone! However, finding the right plugin for your needs can be difficult without some guidance from someone who knows what they’re doing. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to find and install WordPress plugins:

What is a Plugin?

A plugin is a piece of software that extends the functionality of a web application. It’s like getting an extra hand for your website, except it doesn’t have to be connected to your body at all times. Plugins let you do things like add pages and galleries, create contact forms and polls, or even make your site more secure.

The best plugins are ones that add new features to WordPress without making the platform harder to use or understand—and they should be easy enough for new users (like yourself!) to install on their own.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin

If you’re looking for a plugin, start by searching for it in the WordPress Plugin Directory.

To install a plugin, click “Install Now” on its page and follow the instructions.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin From Your Dashboard

  • In the “Plugins” section of your WordPress dashboard, click on Add New.
  • Search for a plugin you want to install and select it from the search results list that appears below your browser window (for example, if you’re installing WooCommerce, type “WooCommerce”). You’ll see a page that tells you what information is required in order for this plugin to work properly with your site: an admin username and password, along with a server IP address or hostname (if applicable).
  • If everything looks good so far, click Install Now at the bottom of the page to complete installation! Once this process has finished (it should take just seconds), head back over to Plugins > Installed Plugins where you can find a new listing under “Installed.” Click Activate Plugin near its name if it isn’t already enabled automatically; otherwise just click its name again once it’s been activated successfully so we can finish up our work here.”

How to Install a WordPress Plugin Using FTP

The next step is to install the plugin. If you don’t already have an FTP client, you’ll need to download one. FileZilla is a free option that works well on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Once you’ve installed your FTP client of choice and connected to your website via FTP, navigate to wp-content/plugins and upload the new plugin there. Once it has been uploaded successfully, open up the WordPress admin panel again and activate the plugin by clicking on its name under “Installed Plugins” in the left sidebar menu of your dashboard (see Figure 4).

How to Install a WordPress Plugin from the Official repository

  • Go to your WordPress dashboard and click on “Plugins” in the left menu.
  • Find the plugin that you want to install by searching for it or scrolling through the long list of plugins that are currently active on your website.
  • Click “Install Now.” You can also drag and drop the plugin’s icon from this page into a new or existing folder if you want it installed in another location than its default location (usually wp-content/plugins).
  • After clicking “Install Now,” WordPress will ask you if you want to activate the plugin now or later; select “Activate.” The next time someone visits your website, they’ll see a message informing them that there is an update available: click “Update Now.”

How to Update or Delete an Installed WordPress Plugin

It’s important to keep your plugins updated, because it helps make sure that you’re always using the latest version of the software.

To update a plugin:

  • Go to Plugins > Add New in your Dashboard or click on Installed Plugins in the left sidebar.
  • Click Update Available next to the plugin you want to update (you may need to click on See more comments first).
  • Click Install Now, then click Activate once the plugin has been successfully installed

You can add powerful features to your site with plugins.

Plugins are software add-ons that you can use to extend your WordPress site’s functionality. They’re more specialized than themes, but less so than custom coding.

You can find plugins in the official WordPress repository or as third-party downloads from other sources. Once you’ve installed a plugin, you’ll need to activate it via your WordPress dashboard before using it on your site.

Conclusion

There’s no better way to learn than by doing, so we encourage you to try out the different plugins for yourself. The world of WordPress is massive, so there’s something for everyone. Whether you want to add a shopping cart or create a social media sharing bar, there are plenty of options available on the WordPress repository or through other websites such as Envato Market. With that being said, we hope this guide has given you enough information about how plugins work so that now you can go ahead and start building your own site!

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