How To Install Plugins From WordPress Dashboard-Like A Pro
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How To Install Plugins From WordPress Dashboard
Simple Steps To Make Your Site Shine
With the developments of new ways to create websites with ease, WordPress has helped make this process very simple by creating a drag and drop way to add new features to your site, called plugins. So to learn what exactly a plugin in, I will explain below and we will go over step by step how to install plugins from WordPress dashboard, and how they can really help the user experience of your website.
What is a Plugin for WordPress?
A plugin is a term given to a small piece of software coded in a way that can be added to your admin area of your website with just a couple clicks, There are many types of plugins actually to many to list but trust me there are thousands. It all depends on what you need. Each plugin performs a pre-designed function.
For example, let’s say you want to have your site set up better to SEO purposes so you show up in search rankings. We all want that right? well a plugin alone won’t do that for you but it will help you with streamlining what needs to be done so you perform better. Just to stay with this example, two great SEO plugins are Yoast SEO and All in one SEO plugins.
They help you set up the behind the scenes work to get you to rank better and also provide a great user experience for your audience. Plugins can be added and removed easily from your dashboard editor, you can also do this same process via FTP but we won’t be covering that today, perhaps next article.
Install New Plugins
From your dashboard you can easily find and install new plugins. You may not know what you are looking for by name of the plugin but you can search using terms in the search field either by name or what you want, like if you are looking for a plugin to use the classic editor instead of the new block editor in WordPress. I am old school, I like the classic editor.
See the video example below to see what I mean.
Using your menu on the left you scroll over the “plugins” tab and select “Add New” which takes you to the main repository for WordPress plugins that are available for use on your site. Once you find what you are looking for select the “Install” button on the listed plugin and either activate from that screen or in your editor once it is loaded.
Please read the more details link to see what it does and also provide the information from users and even some reviews on how it performs. The menu at the bottom of the plugin you have selected “prior” to install will show you if it is compatible with your current version of WordPress. That means it has been through some sort of testing to verify that it won’t break anything and work correctly.
Updating Plugins As Required
When you create your WordPress website and login to your dashboard you may see a colored number bubble next to the plugins tab, also the updates tab as well. This means that one of your installed plugins has an updated version and you should proceed to update to provide the best functionality for your site.
There are several reasons to update plugins, one of which is security. Older non updated plugins can cause compatibility issues with your site possibly and also can be a way that your site can be vulnerable to malicious code or hackers. It is the best practice to update when they are available.
The process is simple. Select either the updates tab at top left of your dashboard or the plugins tab on the left and you will see your current plugins listed. The ones that have available updates are listed below each one with an update now link.
Selecting that updates the plugin to the latest version. The image below shows 2 plugins that have available updates, the All in One SEO and the EWWW Image optimizer, both can be updated individually or at the same time.
Using the Updates tab in top left will take you to a screen that lets you select all and update all at once. See the second image. Selecting the “select all” check box and then the blue “Update Now” button will do them all at the same time
Once the updates are complete the next screen show an updated successfully message. Your site is now up to date with the latest available feature for what you have installed.
As you progress and get comfortable adding and or removing plugins, you will have several in your dashboard menu. You just follow this process whenever updates are available and you will be fine.
Activate Plugins With One Click
In order for a specific plugin to do the work you want it to, you need to activate it. Just installing it does not do it, activation turns on the code so to speak and now seamlessly works for you as intended.
To activate a Plugin you can do it a few different ways. On install from the plugin menu after hitting install you can activate from the same screen. Another method is to activate from the listed plugin menu. Both methods are shown in the video above.
Configure How Plugins Work With Settings
After activation of a plugin you have an option for many to select settings, which takes you to a screen for that coded plugin that has functionality that you can active or deactivate depending on what you prefer. Don’t get to worried about ones that are to techy, the default settings on many plugins work just fine. But in case you really want to see how they can work you can play with it a bit.
What you need to know about Plugins
As we have shown here today plugins are nice little add-ons to your website functionality. However, there can be a few drawbacks, one is having to many installed at once, use what you need for your site to work as desired without bogging it down with to many and you should be fine.
How many is to many? well there is no magic number since that depends on a few factors like what WordPress Theme you are using, many themes offer features that allow you to use what is already within the code instead of installing plugins.
For example some themes have built in social media settings and icons, so you do not need to add one of several that are available to use. If your theme does not include that then you could easily install a plugin. This is just an example but that is what I mean by adding to many plugins. If you have thee ability to use what is already available to you, then do that. Your site will perform better in the long run as a result.
Hopefully This has helped you see the value as well as the ease in which you can have nice add-ons to your website. By learning how to install plugins from WordPress dashboard you now have the ability to enhance your site in many ways.
There are plugins available for just about anything you can think of you might need. One I like is the Tiny MCE Advanced plugin that gives me much more control with the text and how my content is displayed. I also like the All in One SEO plugin that I use to power up my SEO functions. I will have a post about it soon and show how it works for you.
If you enjoyed this post please share it or feel free to comment and I will respond. Do you have any favorite plugins? are you looking for a specific function that maybe I can help you find a plugin for? let me know in the comments.