If you are interested in starting a new blog or blogging, you know the best resource is WordPress which provides all the necessary tools required for a blogger. Most of us are familiar with the wonders of WordPress. If you are not fully aware of the wonders of blogging on WordPress, look for more information on How To Start a Blog With WordPress.
It is just now you feel creative and fun to start customizing your new site to get to look and feel exactly how you would feel like. The thought of using this may seem intimidating, but WordPress makes it easy with the tool of what they call WordPress Plugins.
You can make use of Plugins, an add-on bit of functionality, to create an attractive and valuable blog and you can access these plugins on your WordPress dashboard.
There are about 46,000 plugins that you can choose from. So you have a variety of options that you will love and can make use of to build your new site that too all without any workload on coding.
So without any delay, let us dive into finding and installing some useful plugins for your WordPress.
Installing Plugins in Your Dashboard
Step One : Navigate to Plugins → Choose Add New
- If you look at the navigation bar located on the right-hand side of the Dashboard, you’ll see a picture of a plug with the word “Plugins” next to it.
- Scroll your mouse icon over that menu item and a popup menu will appear to the right.
- Choose the ‘Add New’ option in the middle to be taken to the Plugins page.
Step Two: Finding Plugins
There are few different ways of finding plugins. Generally, you can browse for various plugins by predetermined sorting options, or manually enter the name of the plugin you wanted to install in the search field. When you searching for a plugin y typing it in the search bar, make sure you spell it correctly to avoid installing the wrong one.
When you are browsing through the plugins, you will notice that there are additional information within each item’s description box. This extra content will help you to get more information about the plugin you are interested in and includes the following details –
- Plugin and author name
- Description of Plugin
- Date and time of the last update
- The number of active installs
- Star rating from the community
- Compatibility with current WordPress version
Additionally there is also an ‘Install Now’ button and a ‘More Details’ link that opens in a popup of the plugin’s feature page.
Step Three: Install Now
Once you have found the right plugin that you want to install to your WordPress blog, the next step is to install it.
This process is very simple and easy because of the ‘Install Now’ button found within the description box of the plugin. Simply click on the click provided in the description box and you will be redirected to a new page that will automatically install your selection. Once the plugin has been installed, you can see the plugin as ‘added’.
Step Four: Activate the Plugin
To start using the downloaded plugin you need to activate it. It is not enough to just download the plugin to your WordPress account and hope it begins to work. To start using your new Plugin, click the ‘Activate Plugin’ link at the bottom of the install page you were just directed to. Right from there, you’ll be taken to the Plugins page.
Now you can find all the plugins active and downloaded stored on this page. From this page, you can manage your Plugins by deactivating, deleting, editing, or reactivating them. Just remember that you can’t delete a Plugin until you’ve deactivated it first.
Optional Step: Configure the Settings
Some plugins require you to go into the settings menu and configure some of the options manually to activate it. You need to go searching to do this on every plugin that you have installed. Instead look at the warning bar near the top of your dashboard. To get into the Settings screen, go back to the Plugins page and look for a Settings link under its name.
Sometimes, you can also find a dedicated setting option for a Plugin in the left navigation menu or on the top of the Dashboard.
Installing WordPress Plugins Manually
You cannot find all the WordPress plugins by searching manually in the directory. In some cases, you need to install a plugin manually to use them on your website.
Step One: Download the .Zip file
To manually install a plugin, you need to download it from the website it resides on. Typically, plugins are downloadable as .zip files and can be saved on your computer. You should save this .zip file wherever you can be able to find it easily on your desktop.
Step Two: Upload the plugin to WordPress
Now that you have downloaded the .zip file, you need to upload it to WordPress. To do so, head back to the ‘Add Plugins’ page and select the ‘Upload Plugin’ link beside the header.
Then, on the next screen, by pressing the “Choose File” button in the middle of the page, you’ll be able to browse for the .zip file you downloaded and have it manually uploaded. If you’ve unpacked the .zip file, this process won’t work.
WordPress will only recognize Plugins that end in the .zip file type, so make sure that the Plugin you’re uploading has that designated at the end of its name.
Step Three: Install and Activate the Plugin
From here, the final two steps are the same as we previously mentioned during the WordPress installation.
- You’ll need to click the ‘Install Now’ button located on the same page you’ve successfully uploaded the .zip file
- Once the file is installed, just select the ‘Activate Now’ link for your Plugin to start working
Plugin Warnings and Safeguards
You should know and learn information about the plugins that you want to manually upload. Look for people who have used it and read about their experience with the plugin. Try avoiding using plugins that have been updated in the last six months because it can be an indication of unresolved issues and functionality problems.
For smooth functioning of your WordPress blog, you need to check for compatibility issues with the plugin that you are going to install with any existing ones that you are using. Lastly, you should always have a backup of your WordPress website before installing or uninstalling any plugins because it could alter your website in unforeseen ways.
Essential Plugins For Blog Optimization
Installing a well built and designed plugin will add functionality and protection to your blog. The wonderful developers of WordPress have made their website easy and simple to incorporate plugins into your site. Hence, WordPress is popular among the bloggers because of its efficiency to incorporate smoothly.
Here is a list of some plugins you need to consider for your website –
Spam and Security Plugins
- Rublon: This is a great free plugin to protect your new website from getting misused. It is easy to install and will keep your website safe from potential hackers.
- Akismet: Akismet is a plugin that comes default with WordPress. It checks for blog comments being spammed. It lets you review the content that has been flagged and keeps your comment section clean.
- Vault Press: Vault Press is a real-time backup and security scanning service. You can backup all of your posts, media files, comments, revisions and dashboard settings onto their servers. Never endure the nightmare of losing every scrap of content you’ve ever written.
- Limit Login Attempts: It sounds exactly what it looks like. It limits the number of login attempts for your site. WordPress by default lets you for unlimited attempts which can be a handy plugin to have.
Search Engine Optimization Plugin
- WordPress SEO by Yoast: Having a good SEO plugin can make wonders for your search engine rankings. The better SEO means more targeted traffic, and this targeted traffic is important for blogging.
- All in One SEO Pack: This is another handy SEO plugin and has all the features of much needed for SEO purposes.
All In One Essential Plugin
Jetpack a free plugin that helps you in managing WordPress sites by giving you visitor stats, security services, speeding up images, and helping you get more traffic.
These are the essential plugins and the methods in which you can make use of the plugins. You can try experimenting with these plugins and it will help you understand which plugin is appropriate for your website. The last thing that you have to worry about is breaking your website because WordPress makes customizing the website in an easy and simple way.