If you’re new to blogging then you might be wondering, “what is a WordPress plugin and how to install one?”.
No problem. In this article, I am going to help you understand all about WordPress plugins and how to install and manage them on your blog.
In case if you haven’t started your blog yet, here is the guide you don’t wanna miss – How To Start A Blog In 4 Easy Steps.
Beginners Guide to WordPress plugins
What is a wordPress plugin?
You might already aware that WordPress is a modern Content Management System (CMS) to build and manage blogs.
Now the plugin is a tool or software that is written in PHP programming language and can be integrated with a WordPress blog to add the new feature or improve the existing functionality.
For example: Social Snap plugin add beautiful social media share buttons to your blog so that users could share your content.
In short, here is how a plugin work:
- Search and install the plugin that you’re interested in
- Setup and manage the plugin as you want inside your WordPress dashboard
Now you are able to learn what is a WordPress plugin and how you can add it to your blog, let’s jump on to how to find them and install on your blog.
Where do I access WordPress plugins
98% of the plugins, you can find them in your WordPress dashboard.
Here is how you can find a WordPress plugin:
- Click “Plugins”
- Click “Add New”
and then you will be able to find the plugins from various categories. Such as SEO, design, security, Image compression, cookies, page builder, and so on.
You can also easily download any 3rd party plugin from their website and upload it in your WordPress dashboard using the option called “Upload Plugin”, as you can see in the above picture.
How to install a WordPress plugin
1) Decide the plugin you want on your blog
2) Click “Install Now” option as show below:
3) Once the plugin is installed, you will need to click “Activate”
4) After activating the plugin, go to your “Plugins” section and there you will be able to see all your active plugins.
For a few plugins, you just need to activate them to do their job. And for others, you can customize the settings and functionality as you want. So make sure you go through the Installation section of the plugin that you want to install (Reference – https://wordpress.org/plugins).
4 Quick tips to consider before installing a wordPress Plugin
As I already mentioned, all the plugins are not designed and developed by WordPress.org. You will be installing 3rd party plugins to your blog and you need to be careful while you install.
The bad plugin could cause problems like:
- Disrupts your blog design
- Enable security threats
- Slow down your blog
- Get hacked
- Cause errors while you open any web page of the blog, etc.
So to avoid these kind of issues, you must follow below tips while you install:
- Read reviews on Google as well as the plugin’s directory
- Check when the plugin was last updated by the owner to make sure it is still well-maintained
- Check whether the plugin is compatible or not with your WordPress version
For example, I use Yoast SEO on my blog and you can see it is updated “a week before” by its developer, have 27k+ reviews and it is compatible with my WordPress version.
How to update a wordPress plugin
Updating a plugin could give a better functionality and new features.
You can update a plugin from your plugins section itself. You don’t have to visit each and every plugin to understand if there is a new update.
See the below picture:
If any plugin developer has released the new update, you can directly see it on your dashboard. That makes your job easier. Isn’t it?
FAQs on WordPress plugins
1) I have just started my blog. What plugins do I need?
Please be sure to go through this guide – 10 Must Have WordPress Plugins For New Bloggers.
2) Are all the plugins free to use?
99% of the WordPress plugins are free to use. However, free plugins might also have premium version with better features and functionality.
3) I don’t want the plugin anymore. How do I delete it?
You will be able to see “Deactivate” option under the plugin to deactivate it. Once done, you can also remove it and it’s settings forever from your blog.
4) Is it true that adding too many plugins could cause issues?
Not totally. There is the concept called “quantity vs quality”. You need to understand which is plugin doing well and which is not before you install.
So understand your needs and install the plugins only that add value to your blog.
And that wraps my talk about “WordPress plugins for new bloggers”. If you have any questions or suggestions related to this topic, please let me know in the comments section.
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Mudassir is the founder and author of BloggingExplained.com, the only blog you may want to follow to learn to blog and grow in blogging industry. He has already helped dozens of newbies to get started with blogging. If you too want to start a blog and put your thoughts into action, he is the right friend to connect. You can catch up Mudassir on Twitter @BloggerMudassir.