Plugins extend the functionality of your WordPress site. When used correctly, they are extremely powerful, but they can be overdone. Read my plugin tips before getting started to avoid common plugin mistakes.
Plugins are easy to install via your WordPress Dashboard.
1. Go to Plugins > Add New
2. Search for your plugin
If you know the name or the kind of plugin you want to install, simply type it into the Search field and hit Search Plugins. This will search the WordPress Plugin Directory. (If you don’t see your desired plugin, skip down to #5.)
3. Install the plugin
Choose the plugin you want from the list and click the Install Now link directly below the plugin name.
Once it’s installed, you must activate it before it starts working. (A deactivated plugin just lies dormant on your site until it’s activated.)
5. Some plugins need to be uploaded via a zip file
If the plugin you want to use is not in the Plugin Directory, you can download the .zip file from the appropriate website and upload it via the Upload link in your Dashboard.
First, go to the website where the plugin is available. You should be able to download a .zip file of the plugin. Note the location you’ve downloaded it on your computer.
To upload, go to Plugins > Add New. Then click the Upload link. Click the Choose File button, find the zipped file (it will not work if the file has been unzipped so make sure it ends with .zip) and click Install Now.
Again, you’ll need to Activate the plugin to use it.
6. Configure the settings
Some plugins have Settings that should be configured before use. For example, a social sharing plugin should be configured so it automatically links to your Twitter username.
You can often tell if there are settings for a particular plugin by going to Plugins > Installed Plugins and looking for a Settings link under the plugin name. Also, you may see the settings for some plugins in the left column as well:
Once your plugin is installed, you should be able to access its features as you write posts, unless it’s one that runs in the background.
Here are my favorite plugins and why I use so few.