WordPress Plugins: What are They and How to Install

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What are WordPress Plugins?

WordPress plugins are a piece of software containing a function or group of functions (written in code) that are installed on your WordPress website. They extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress sites.

You can find over 58,000 plugins to help you expand the functionality or add a new feature to your site.

The great thing about adding a WordPress plugin to your website, you do not need to know how to code. 

As a beginner, by building your own website, you can easily install/uninstall plugins from the WordPress Dashboard area. 

Even though a majority of plugins are free, they usually do not come with tech support. For this reason, it is important when choosing which ones you want to install on your site.

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Choosing a WordPress Plugin

To help you choose the better quality ones, take a few minutes and look at the information for each of the plugins before you install:

  • When was the last update?
  • Is it compatible with your version of WordPress?
  • Are people getting their support question resolved?
  • What is the star rating?
  • Is it compatible with other plugins you already have installed?

Before you purchase a plugin, use the free version to verify it works with your WordPress software and is compatible with the other plugins already have installed.

Using too many and non-quality plugins will slow your website down. Use the bullet points above to help you sort through the plugins.

Also, you can also unknowingly install a plugin that has malicious code written in it. Because of this, do not install plugins from any source that is not reliable.

One Plugin – Multiple Uses

There are many great WordPress plugins that are created to do multiple functions. When looking to add functions for your website, try to find plugins that will do multiple tasks for you to keep the number of plugins to a minimum.

How To Install a WordPress Plugin

Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard

  1. Click on Plugins
  2. Click on Add New
  3. Search by featured, popular or type in a keyword
  4. Click on Install Now (installs usually very quickly)
  5. Click Activate
step by step instructions on how to install a WordPress plugin
Step by Step Instructions on How to Install a WordPress Plugin

Essential WP Plugins for Your New Website

There are a few plugins you need for your new site. From security to your visitors contacting you, these 4 plugins are the best of the best.

When you are ready to install them, open your WordPress Dashboard, and install the plugins from there. Using the Dashboard to install is very easy.

  • Wordfence Security – Of course, your #1 priority is to secure your website from hackers. The free version has a lot of features to achieve added security to your site and it is easy to set up.
  • Yoast SEO for WordPress – With over a million downloads, this is one of the go-to SEO plugins for webmasters. Not only is it very beginner-friendly, but it also helps you optimized each page and post for the search engines.
  • Google Analytics – This is great to track incoming traffic to your site: which keywords they used to find you, how long they stayed, as well as, which pages are getting traffic, and much more.
  • Contact Form 7 – Using this plugin helps your visitors contact you easily. It is a simple setup to add a contact page to your website. Furthermore, with over 1 million downloads and updated regularly, you can’t go wrong using it.

Conclusion

That wraps it up with what WordPress plugins are and teaches you step by step how to install it.

Just remember, they are great to add features to your site, but if you have too many installed, it can make your website load slowly.