Installing a WordPress Plugin
Let’s assume that you are familiar with the pros and cons of using a plugin, or that you have read the post: How Many WordPress Plugins Is Too Many? Many plugins are free and some are premium plugins that must be purchased. As I write this post, there are 49,065 free plugins listed in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory.
So you have decided it’s a good idea to use a plugin and you have found a free one that meets your needs on the WordPress.org Plugin Directory.
Follow these steps to install the plugin:
- Go to your website Dashboard and hover over “Plugins”. Scroll to the right once the sub menu box expands and click on “Add New”. (See Dashboard image.)
You can also click on “Plugins” on the dashboard and then once the plugin page opens, you can click on the “Add New” button – top left.
- Now you have a few options to search for a plugin. You can search using some suggestions as indicated by these links:
3. Or if you have something in mind, you can search for it specifically using the Key Word Search box:
However, this search box is limited. It is not nearly as forgiving or helpful as a Google Search. If you make a typo or you try to type the exact name of a plugin and you get it wrong, you are very likely to come up with no search results. If you know you want a plugin that performs a common function, such as “security” or “anti-spam”, you could type in that word and your chances will improve. If you are really having a difficult time and you know of a plugin that is not showing in the results, go to your browser and try a Google search. Then once you have the exact name, go back to the WordPress Plugins page and type it into the Keyword Search Box.
- One of the first plugins I install on every site is the free security plugin, WordFence.
- If you have found the plugin you want to install, click the “Install Now” button as in the WordFence example image.
- Next the “Install Now” button will be replaced by a blue “Activate” button. Click the “Activate” button to activate your plugin.
- You will be taken back to the plugins page where you will see your plugin listed.
- Setting up your plugin – Many plugins get to work doing what they are supposed to do without any further action from you. However, some plugins offer extra features or options that you can choose.
Sometimes you can access these easily from your dashboard menu. For example, you can see in the dashboard image that WordFence is now part of your dashboard menu.
If you click on that menu link, you will see a host of settings for WordFence that you can control if you wish. If you are not sure what to do with these settings, do a Google search for the plugin page to get more information or look up a tutorial about it on YouTube.
However, some plugins have settings that you access under the main dashboard menu links such as “tools” or “settings”. A few have a “settings” link under the plugin list on the plugins page, as in this example:
- Once you have adjusted the settings on your plugin, you are done!