When it comes to utilizing the power of WordPress, the one thing that sets it apart from the other platforms is the plugin system. Plugins allow you to easily add advanced functionality to WordPress and can help you perform a wide variety of tasks. However, you need to learn how to add WordPress Plugin before you can start using them on your blog or website.
Why do we need WordPress Plugins?
We can’t truly understand why we need plugins until we have planned and understood what we want from our site. When we have a good idea of the functions on the site requires, we can begin to understand what type of WordPress plugins are the best for it needs.
What do WordPress Plugins do?
WordPress.org is an open source project meaning anyone can produce any plugin created. This means for every problem with a WordPress website, there is a solution in the form of a plugin. Many plugins are used for data capture and SEO.
For example, on the type of plugin block spam comments from ever reaching your website. While there are many brands for the same type of plugin, easily, the most popular spam comment filtering plugin available is that of Akismet.
Then there are WordPress plugins like All-in-One SEO that website optimize your content so that your website ranks for your most relevant keyword on Google. Then, there is another plugin called Contact Form 7 through which your website visitors can email you.
If you think blocking spam comments, ranking on Google and having your website visitors keep in touch with you are important, then there is no way in this world that you can live without WordPress plugins.
There are thousands of website that provide all kinds of functions anyone can think of, however, there are really just two types of plugins: the free and the paid. Akismet, Contact Form 7 and All-in-One SEO are free, although All-in-One SEO has paid version which also lets you optimize for social media.
In order to install a WordPress plugin, you need to use WordPress to create your website by registering a domain name and then subscribe a hosting account using that domain name. If you are super new to creating your own website, I will recommend you to use SiteRubix to help you get started as easy as just 123.
You will only need about less than 1 minute to create a website. All the hosting etc. all have been done for you. All you need to do is to think of a name for your domain and that’s it.
Let’s take a look at the steps of installing a plugin.
Step 1: Make a research about the plugin.
Once you have created your website, you can start finding plugins to install and activate it. You might be tempted to install as many plugins as you possibly need.
However, I will advise you against doing such a thing as too many plugins can affect the speed of your website, which can turn off your visitors. Also, there are plugins that can affect your website’s WordPress theme, causes it not to display properly.
You need to check your hosting company to see about their policies regarding installing new plugins on your site if you never use SiteRubix. In some ways, plugins can add vulnerabilities to securities, which may prompt some companies to disallow adding new plugins, or require that you get approval from them first.
Step 2: Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
The next thing is to login your WordPress dashboard and click on “Plugins” situated on the left column. Once you logged on, you can then install your plugins.
Step 3: Click “Add New” at the top of the page.
Then you will have to click on “Add New” under “Plugins situated on the left column so as to take you to the “Add Plugins” screen.
Step 4: Find or upload the plugin.
WordPress repository provides a platform for you to search the name of the plugin you want to add. You can search it or upload the plugin through the “upload” tab if you have a .zip file copy of the plugin. Just click “Choose File” and select the file.
Step 5: Click “Install Now.”
The next thing is to click on “Install Now”, then a pop-up will appear asking if you are sure you want to install the plugin. Click OK to continue.
Step 6: Activate the plugin.
The next step after installing the plugin is to activated it which you will be shown two links. One says “Activate Plugin”, the other says “Return to Plugin Installer”. Click on “Activate Plugin” and your plugin is installed.
Step 7: If applicable, insert your API key.
This is applicable only when your plugins require an API key to finish activation since some plugins require that. If your plugin requires that, find the settings area for the plugin and insert the API key.
Step 8: Configure the settings if it is required.
Plugins has different ways of getting it configured depending on its name. Some plugins will have a link to settings in the plugin list. Others will add a new item to your menu. If you are not sure of the configuration settings for your plugin, just search on Google on “how to configure settings for plugins including the plugin name”.
Step 9: Cross checking the site.
You can deactivate the plugin, or even delete it altogether should in case the plugin look funky or break your site altogether.
Here is the list of WordPress plugins that is useful to some extent.
1. WordPress.com Stats
It helps you to collect stats of visitors. It is similar to Google Analytics or StatCounter. However, the good thing is that it is integrated to WordPress Dashboard.
2. WP Super Cache
It helps to make web pages of your site be loaded faster. Page loading speed is now an essential factor for Google’s ranking.
3. WPtouch iPhone Theme
It helps to view your site on mobile devices more friendly. Mobile users are growing and using this plugin can help to optimize delivering your site to them.
4. Google XML Sitemaps
It generates a sitemap that can help search engines such Google make indexes for your site more efficiently. You can use the sitemap file in xml format to submit to Google WebMaster Tool to ask Google to index your site faster.
It better helps users to navigate and browse pages of your site.
6. All in One SEO Pack
This plugin automatically optimizes your WordPress blog for Search Engines (Search Engine Optimization).
7. AddToAny: Share/Bookmark/Email Button
This plugin helps visitors share, bookmark and email your posts and pages using such service such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz, Digg and many more.
8. SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam
It adds CAPTCHA anti-spam methods to WordPress on the comment form, registration form, login, or all. This is necessary to avoid spams, especially comment spams.
9. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
It returns a list of related posts for the current post. Very useful for users when exploring and reading posts without taking time for searching.
10. TweetMeme Button
This plugin is very popular and used by biggest websites such as Techcrunch.com, CNET.com, Wired, Time Magazine and many more. It allows your blog post or page to be retweeted. It provides a live count of how many times your post or page has been retweeted throughout Twitter.
11. Easy AdSense
This plugin makes you deliver AdSense ads much easier. Many options are provided such as inserting ads into posts and sidebar, and adding a Google Search box.
12. Google Analytics for WordPress
It generates tracking code for your Google Analytics account that allows you track and collect stats of your website easily.
13. All in One Webmaster
It makes the submission of your site’s sitemap to Google, Bing, and Yahoo and Ask easier.
14. SEO Smart Links
This plugin provides automatic SEO benefits for your website in addition to custom keyword lists and much more.
15. Advertising Manager
Easily place Google AdSense and other ads on your WordPress blog. Simple to use, with powerful management and optimization features.
16. SEO Slugs
It removes common words like ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘in’ from post slugs to improve Search Engine Optimization.
Check it out:
Please do comment below if you have any feedback or anything that you want to share with me.
Have a great day!