There are two common ways to install plugins into your WordPress site which I show you in this video.
- Right from your WP Admin. Just select Plugins > Add New Plugins link from the right hand sidebar.
- Go to the WordPress Plugins Repository (everyone calls it The Repo), download a plugin to your computer. I explain the rest in the video.
There’s Really A Third Way
If you know what FTP is (File Transfer Protocol) you can use that to move a plugin folder into the proper location. I didn’t get into this during the video.
I mention that the 50,000 plugins in the repo are free. That is true but some plugins have premium versions or features that you pay for but not to worry. There are so many plugins that are excellent in what they do for free.
You’re probably tired of me saying that when you make changes to your site like adding new plugins make sure to have a current backup of your site. That’s just safe practice. Plus ff you are adding a plugin to your site and you’e not sure what it does then make a duplicate of your site (you may need help for this). DO NOT use your life site to try things out!!
Links In This Video
- WordPress Plugins Repository (wordpress.org)
Transcript Of This Video
I’m back here at my dashboard, and my dashboard might look a little different than yours because there’s not much going on with this site. This is the site that I’m building for this course, and there are two very common ways to install a plugin. One is through the WP admin, which is what I’m about to do, and the other is to journey over to WordPress.org and find your plugins there. So, let’s start with this. I’m just going to go over here to “Plugins,” and I’m going to click on “Install plugins,” and there aren’t any installed plugins. I’m about to do that right now, so I’m going to go over here to “Add new,” and it’s going to let me have access to the 50,000 plugins that are currently in the WordPress plugins repository, and they’re all free. Where do I start? You can click along any one of these options over here, “Featured plugins,” “Popular plugins,” we have over here “Recommended,” and so forth. I’m not going to do that, I happen to know the plugin that I want, and it’s called Akismet Anti-Spam. It just so happens because it is such a well-known and popular plugin, it happens to be right here. Now if it wasn’t here I would type in the name of the plugin right over here, or if I had a general notion I would do that, and then I would search by keyword. But anyway, it’s right over here.
So one thing I can do and I usually do especially if it’s a plugin I’m not familiar with, I’ll click on this over here “More details.” I want to study up a little bit on what the plugin is before I install it. I should say that in general if you don’t know what a plugin is going to do for your site, you might want to do this on a test site first. Don’t use your live site to experiment with plugins, especially if you don’t know what the plugin is likely to do. I’ll read through this, and I’ll skip over installing the plugin because I always say if you know how to install one plugin you know how to install all 50,000 plugins. “Changelog,” that’s really for developers. It talks about the history of the plugin and the changes it’s undergone, so you may or may not want to click on it. “FAQs,” depends. Some plugins have a lot about FAQs, and some don’t have any. “Reviews,” you might want to check this out too. I always like to get a sense of how many people have used the plugin, and if it’s a plugin that’s a well-known plugin it’s probably going to have over a million installations and, it does. It has well over– I know this for a fact, well over a million installations. I could look at the ratings and reviews.
Now, be a little careful with this because sometimes these reviews can be from somebody’s mother in law or something like that. But you want to check that out. Anyway, once I am ready to install I could click on “Install” right over here, or had I not chosen that option for the “More details” I could go over here to “Install” and click this. You’ll see in a second or two it’s completed. Now, in order for the plugin to work, you have to do one other step, you may have to make sure that the plugin is activated. I’m going to click on that, and now we’ll see that the plugin is activated. OK, that’s good. Now it turns out this plugin needs one other thing, which I am going to go over in another video that deals with configuring this plugin in order for it to work. We’re just going to leave it right like this. OK, that’s the first plugin I want to install. The second plugin we’ll use the second method, which is in this case, I’m going to go over here to the WordPress repository or the plugins repository, and it says “Plugins.” I got there just by going to WordPress.org, and I just clicked on “Plugins,” and here I am. It’s the same setup that we just saw through the WP admin, and look at this, and this plugin is right at the top. It goes through all these popular plugins that everybody uses, but let’s say you came here and you knew the name of the plugin or you had a general idea of what you were looking for. Either one, you would type in the name or general idea, and I happen to know exactly what it is. I want to use the BackWPup plugin, so it’s already been typed in. Here’s the little tricky part. There isn’t any little button over here to click, once you have completed the entry of your name of the plugin or general search term, you want to hit your “Enter” key. Which I just did. So, type that out on your keyboard, and here it is. This is a very popular plugin. There’s many different kinds of backup plugins, and this is the one I happen to use. So in this case, if I want more details what I’ll do is I’ll click on this link over here, and it takes me to the page that’s just dedicated for this plugin. Each plugin has its own dedicated page on the WordPres.org site. The same kind of information that we saw before in the WP admin, the description and all kinds of information. I like the way this is a little easier to read. How many installations? Lots of installations. The ratings, pretty good ratings.
Again the same thing over here, sometimes you’ll also see a screenshot. There is no screenshot. “Reviews,” “Installation,” “Instructions, “Support.” Yes, this is an important part to know. If you need help with any plugin, then go to the WordPress plugins repository which is where I am, and you would go to the plugin page, and then you would click on “Support.” You’ll see that there is a support forum and you can ask questions or search for answers to questions that you may have. Hopefully, the developer of the plugin will get back to you real soon, you’ll see that plugins that are very well-known and highly rated generally the developer does get back real soon. That’s a good indication that the developer cares about the plugin that he or she has made. Anyway, I’m going to navigate away or click back, and I’m ready to download this plugin. OK, so I’m just going click this over here. In this case, I am downloading the plugin to my computer, and that’s fine, so I’m going to save the file and the way my computer is set up all my downloads go onto my desktop. It’s just the way I like it. It’s been done, so now I go back to the site that I’m building. Here we go, into the WP admin, and this time I’m going to click “Add new” again, but watch this. I am now going to upload the plugin that I just downloaded. Now, when you download a plugin or a theme for that matter, all the files are contained inside a zip file. You can open them if you want, you don’t have to make anything work. Generally, I don’t unless there’s a specific reason why I have to open up that zip file, so I’m going to browse for that zip file which is on my desktop, and I’ll bet it’s going to be called “BackWPup.” Yeah. Normally the names of the downloaded files are really easy to find, and in this case, it was. I am now going to click “Open.” Don’t forget to “Install now.”
You’ll see this will take a second or two because what’s happening is that the plugin zip file goes up to my WordPress site and then it’s unpacked, when I click– All that technical stuff that we don’t need to know about. Here it is, so the plugin has been installed. Very nice. By virtue of the fact that I installed this plugin I now have a little link over here in my admin that I didn’t have before, and if I just go back over to plugins we’ll now see that both plugins have been installed and I’m going to configure both of these plugins in two upcoming videos.