Blogging Basics: Installing a WordPress Plugin
If you are a beginner blogger you’ve likely heard the word “Plugin” floating around. In this post, I’ll go over what the term means and step by step instructions on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Let’s get started!
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What IS a WordPress Plugin?
A plugin is a piece of software you can install on WordPress to add new functions to your website. They allow you to easily add new features without complicated coding.
Think of it like adding a new app to your smartphone. You download it, install it, and it adds new, valuable features to your phone. And like apps for your phone, some plugins are free and more advanced ones you’ll have to pay for.
Now that you have a better understanding of what a plugin IS, let’s go into the steps you need to take to install one.
WordPress Plugin Installation
Once on your WordPress Dashboard. Scroll down to the Plugins section on the left-hand menu and select Add New.
Enter the name of the plugin you’re looking for into the search bar on the top right of the screen. OR if it’s a plugin you’ve purchased and downloaded (such a Tasty Pins) you’ll click the Upload button to upload the zip file.
However, it’s more likely when you’re just starting out that you’ll be using the search menu.
Find the plugin you are wanting. Click on the “Install Now” button.
After you install the plugin, the button will then say “Activate”. Click on the Activate button.
That’s it! You’re done. After activating you’ll be taken to your page of various installed plugins and your newly installed plugin will now be part of that list. It will look like this:
SOME plugins are ready to go and automatically start doing their thing as soon as they are installed and activated. Others have a “Settings” option. This will appear if there is any customization to be done for your particular site.
The Shareaholic Plugin offers social sharing/social following buttons for your site, for instance. You’ll need to go into the settings to customize where you want the buttons located, which social profiles you want to include, what color you want the buttons to appear, etc.
After installing a new plugin, check to see if there is a “settings” option under the title. If so, simply click through to customize things for your particular site.
There you have it! 5 simple steps to install a WordPress Plugin. This is a basic but necessary skill you’ll need throughout your blogging career.
It should be noted that just because you know how to install a plugin doesn’t mean you should go adding every plugin you hear about. Too many plugins can actually do more harm than good.
Learn more here: Super Simple Ways to Speed Up a WordPress Website
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What is a Plugin and How to Install One
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