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How To Use Plugins In WordPress? 3 Methods in 2024

Hey, have you made your website on WordPress recently and now looking for how to add and use plugins on WordPress?

If you are using plugins in WordPress, then it means you know the importance these WordPress plugins possess. Even if you do not know and just blindly followed the WordPress tutorial, don’t worry; I will tell you how to install and add plugins on WordPress and the importance of using plugins. 

There are more than 60,000 free plugins present on WordPress. But you don’t know which one is perfect for your website, and you are confused and cannot decide how to choose the best plugin that makes your website performance outstanding rather than declining. 

Because, whether the most popular plugins or the least popular, both are vulnerable to hacking and malware attacks. So there are many factors that you will need to consider before using plugins on WordPress.

In this article, I will discuss three different methods of installing plugins on WordPress and important factors to consider before using plugins on WordPress. 

So if you are a newbie and don’t know about plugins, then let’s understand what the plugins are and their importance. 

What Are WordPress Plugins And How Does It Work?

Plugins are PHP language-based software. The codes behind these plugins help to increase the functionality and performance of the website. Adding plugins on WordPress means getting additional features to the site without using any code. 

According to WordPress, if you want to increase the functionality of your WordPress site, then do not touch the core of WordPress, instead add plugins. Because if you do something with the core and when WordPress updates itself, your website can easily break.

There are many plugins on WordPress and each one has a different purpose of upgrading and strengthening the website. Plugins give you a customized website that works best for your online business. 

Like, If you want to run an online store, choose a plugin that makes your website a beautiful online store that displays your products and services in a pleasing manner that compels the audience. And you can handle the online stores efficiently with the help of plugins. 

Why Are Plugins Important?

If I describe the importance of plugins, I will say you cannot run your website successfully without the use of the right plugins. Yeah, this is the real power that good plugins hold. 

As you know, you make and run a website for your targeted audience, so plugins make your website more engaging and useful for the audience. 

So with the help of the right plugins, your website will perform well and get high traffic and potential customers. That you can say, is the main goal of your website. 

Important Factors To Consider Before Choosing Plugins:

Installing plugins is a piece of cake. The real thing is that you have to consider the relevant and reputable plugins. 

Because the majority of the plugins are not high quality, your website easily gets attacked. Like your website speed becoming slow, getting security threats or breaking your website, etc.

To protect your website from malware, the following points should be considered when choosing the right plugins for your WordPress site. 

1. Purpose Of Your Website:

As I told you before, there are many plugins on WordPress and you don’t need to install every one of them on your WordPress site. First, you should know why you are running an online website. 

Whether you want to make a portfolio website or run an online business, whatever your purpose is, make it clear and choose the relevant plugins that meet the goals of your website. 

2. Search The Relevant Plugins:

After knowing the purpose of your website, go to the WordPress official plugin store and write the relevant keywords, author name, or plugin name in the search bar, and you will get the number of plugins that are solely related to one function of the website.

3. Read The Reviews, Ratings:

After searching, choosing the right plugins is the main step. For this, check users’ reviews, ratings, and number of active installations. 

In this way, you will get an idea of which plugin is best for your website. As it will tell you how many people are using this plugin. 

Also, check if the problems that users mentioned in their negative reviews get solved by developers or not. 

4. Find Real Users Of Plugins: 

Look for real reviews that will help you to understand whether the features that are mentioned are solving the user’s problem or not. 

But do not solely rely on the plugin’s reviews, because many WordPress plugins have fake reviews. For this, along with reading reviews, check the popularity of the plugin, like the number of downloads (the number of active installations). 

Active installations tell you how many people are using this plugin. You will find the active installation number in the description of each plugin.   

It helps you to guess the churn rate and whether plugins are meeting people’s expectations or not. If the churn rate is high, then it means the plugin is not performing well, and people are not using this plugin and active installation is very low.

5. The Plugin Should Support WordPress’s Latest Version:

The best plugins keep updating their plugins to make them glitch-free. So choose a plugin that is compatible with the latest version of WordPress. 

Because new versions of WordPress are released regularly, and if your plugin on WordPress doesn’t update regularly then it will not work well along with WordPress, then your website might break. 

So check the updates of the plugin in the description box like, when it is updated last time. 

Here you will also get the WordPress version that this plugin supports. As plugins that are regularly updated are highly compatible with WordPress, WordPress themes, other plugins, etc. 

6. Check Plugin Impact On Page Speed:

Plugins that use too much processing power to lead and run the website (high CPU usage), then it is not the right plugins for your website. Because all plugins are not designed keeping in mind the low CPU usage or economical bandwidth. 

So before choosing, check the plugin’s reviews on Google and other search engines related to the plugin’s impact on web page speed.  

7. Use One Plugin For One Function: 

Installing plugins means adding additional code to the website. If you use more than one plugin for a single function, it will slow the website speed because all these plugins will send loading requests at a time which causes the risk of plugins breaking.

So to prevent these conflicting situations, choose only the perfect one. For Instance, If you want to rank your website on the search engine result page(SERP) then look for an SEO plugin. As you will find many SEO plugins that serve the same function and from these, install the best plugin on WordPress. 

8. Support: 

Each plugin should have support. In case, you are confronting trouble with the WordPress site, they will give you a helping hand immediately. Some WordPress plugins give personalized support that is perfect for users who are beginners and have no technical background. 

If you have no technical background, then choose WordPress plugins that are not highly complex and don’t make it difficult for you to understand and you can easily use them even if you have no technical know-how. 

Check the negative reviews and analyze how developers are responding to the users’ issues and solving their problems. If they are unresponsive, then don’t choose this plugin because if you get into trouble in the future, you will also not get any helping hand. 

How To Add Plugins In WordPress?

In this article, I will discuss three easy and quick methods for both free and premium plugins. 

The following three methods will help you to add plugins to WordPress. 

  1. Add Plugins directly from the WordPress site 
  2. Adding Plugins Manually
  3. And Via File Transfer (FTP) Method

Method No 1. Add Free Plugins From The WordPress Site:

The first method is to install and add plugins from the WordPress site. This is the easiest method of free plugin installation. But the plugin you are looking for should have a free version.  

  • Log in to the WordPress site via admin access. 
  • Then click on the WordPress dashboard.
  • In the WordPress dashboard menu, look for the plugins option.
  • After clicking the plugin option, click on Add New.
  • Now click on the search bar and find the targeted plugin. You can search the plugins by writing the plugin name, developer name, or function name. Inputting precise keywords will help you to find the desired plugin quickly.  
  • After finding the plugin, check the details, like the installation guide or plugin features and reviews of the plugins. 
  • Click on the Install Now option. 
  • Now click on the activate button to activate the plugin. 
  • Now you can use the plugin. 

use plugin in wordpress

In short, this method is as easy as searching and installing the plugin. 

Method No 2. Add Paid Plugins On WordPress:

Now let’s talk about the plugins that are not present on the WordPress site. If your desired plugin is not present on the WordPress site, then you have to buy it from third-party developers. 

For this, follow the underlying instructions;

  • First Buy the plugin from plugin stores, marketplace, etc. 
  • After buying the plugin, download them on your computer as a zip file. 
  • Now Go to the WordPress dashboard
  • Find the plugins option in the left side menu, and click on it 
  • Now click on the Add New option. 
  • Click on the Upload Plugin button, located beside the Add Plugins heading. 
  • Select the downloaded zip file from your computer. In this way, your plugin file will be uploaded from the computer to the website server. 
  • Now click on the install button.  
  • Your installation process will be confirmed with the notification “Plugin installed successfully”.
  • Click on the ‘Activate Plugin’ button to activate the plugin.

If you have free plugins in the form of zip files, then you can also install them through this method. 

Method No 3. Add Plugins On WordPress Manually:

Installation of free and premium version plugins is way easier than this method. However, this method requires some technical knowledge. 

For this, first, understand how to file transfer using the FTP. Use this method, if you want to add plugins without using the WordPress dashboard. 

But before plugin installation, take precautionary measures and create a backup. Because some plugins are not suitable and have less or no compatibility with WordPress sites, which can damage your website.   

Step No 1. Unzip The Zipped Plugin File

  • Download the zip file of the plugin.
  • To Unzip the file, click on the extract button. The extraction process depends on the size of the file and computer speed. 

After completing the extraction process, the next step is the installation.

Step No 2. Install FTP:

Install the FTP that your hosting provider is offering. 

Step No 3. Access Your Server:

  • Now open the FTP and add all login details. 
  • And you get access to the server
  • If you do not have the FTP address of the server, then contact the web hosting provider and get all login details, like the FTP address, username, password, etc to make a connection with the server.   
  • After establishing the connection with the server, find the public_html folder on the FTP file.
  • You will get access to the WordPress root directory where all files are arranged in sub-directories. In these subdirectories, one is called wp-content, click on it.
  • Under this, look for the  “/wp-content/plugins/” folder on the FTP file. 

Step No 4. Upload The Plugin Folder To The WordPress Site Using The FTP Software

  • Upload the extracted or unzip plugin folder to the “/wp-content/plugins/” folder. 
  • After uploading, your plugin folder will be installed on your WordPress site. 

From here, you can upload as well as delete the WordPress plugins. 

Step No 5. Locate The Plugin On The WordPress Dashboard

Now go to the WordPress dashboard and look for the installed plugin

Step No 6. Activate The Plugin: 

Click on the activate button, and voila! your plugin is ready to use.

Step No 7. Close the FTP File:

After finishing the downloading plugin, remember to close the FTP file. Otherwise, hackers can break into the server using your account, and you will suffer damage to the website. 

Important Points To Consider Before Deleting Plugin:

If the plugin you choose is not working well, but you don’t have an idea what things to consider before deleting the old WordPress plugin and replacing the plugin with a better one. 

Identify the bad plugins with the help of these points

  • If the plugin slows the website speed.
  • If the plugin is not performing well along with other plugins
  • Your website got bugs and does not perform well, right after adding a plugin to WordPress 
  • Your website has no security barriers and easily gets malware right after adding a new plugin. 

1. Test The New Plugin:

Set up the test or create a staging site to check the newly added plugin. In staging sites, you can check the plugin without affecting the performance of your live website.

After adding the plugin on WordPress, test its performance to make sure it does not show any glitches and works well along with other plugins. 

Check if new install plugins are regularly updated and do not show any compatibility issues with the WordPress version you are using. 

2. Install One Plugin At A Time And Analyze It:

Sometimes plugins cause glitches and you will not know which one is causing an issue. So install one plugin on WordPress at a time, then test it out and evaluate its performance. 

In this way, you will know which is good to install to WordPress and which one should be deleted. 

Final Thoughts:

If you want to know whether the plugin you choose is the best one for your website or not, then check its good reviews, and support, and the main thing is the compatibility with the WordPress site.

If you may wonder how many plugins you should add to a WordPress site, you can actually add as many plugins as you want, but when it comes to the performance of the website. It all depends on the quality of the plugins. You can install as many best and highest-quality plugins as you want. 

If you only add a plugin on WordPress that has low-quality performance, you will see an immediate decline in your website performance. 

So choose the plugins wisely, test their compatibility with your website and other factors (like plugins, themes, etc), and those that you don’t use, delete them. Because inactive plugins decrease the website performance. 

I hope this article will help you learn how to add plugins on WordPress wisely and easily.

Good Luck!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Why Can’t I Find The Plugins Section On WordPress?

If your website owner does not give you administration access on WordPress, then you cannot find the plugins option.  

Can I Install Plugins On WordPress’s Free Version?

Wordpress’ free version plan does not offer third-party plugin installations. For this, you have to upgrade your WordPress to the business plan. 

How To Activate The Plugins On WordPress?

To activate the plugins on WordPress; 

  • First login to the WordPress site 
  • Click on the WordPress dashboard 
  • Then on the left side of the menu bar click on the Plugins option 
  • Now search and select the desired plugins
  • Install and activate plugins 

Why Are Plugins Used?

Plugins help to increase the website performance as they help to enhance the website performance. Let’s say your website runs an online store and with the help of business plugins, you can run an online store more efficiently.

Does Adding Multiple Plugins Affect The Speed Of The Website?

If you want to know the exact answer, yes adding a single plugin makes your website slower. If you want to know the answer in detail why it happens, then visit here.

How To Uninstall Plugins On WordPress?

  • Go to the WordPress dashboard
  • Find the Plugins in the dashboard menu
  • Click on the installed plugins
  • Under the plugin, look for the Deactivate button 
  • After deactivating, now click on the Delete button

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