screenshot wordpress install plugins

Making The Most of WordPress Plugins II: How To Install Them

This is the second post in a three-part blog inspired by Writer.ly PubCamp 2013. In Part 1 of this series, I reviewed critical plugins to give the process some context and to get the audience excited about all that can be done with this powerful tool. Likewise, I shared some essential WordPress plugins so you’d be all excited to learn how to install them in today’s post.

Now that you’re good and enticed by “Seven Essential WordPress Plugins,” (if not, go back and re-read that) how do you install all these plugins? When I show you how easy this is, you won’t believe people pay me for this. You’ll be running me out of town on a rail, but not before installing a few plugins yourself.

Steps to Install WordPress Plugins

  1. Install New Plugin Screen shotOn the left-hand side of the dashboard, click on the heading for Plugins. This will show a Pop-down menu of Plugin Options
  2. In the same menu, click Add New
  3. In the search box, search for the name of the plugin you want to find
  4. You’ll be given the same search results you’d see on the official plugins page of WordPress.org. Read the descriptions and reviews; if you click the Details link, you’ll get a pop-up with more info on that individual plugin.
  5. Once you’ve chosen the plugin you want, click Install Now
  6. You’ll be taken to a page where WordPress may ask you for your FTP password. This is the password for the true backend of your site, NOT your WordPress password! It’s the password you use to access the files that make up your site.
    If you don’t know this password, don’t let this hold you back, because you should absolutely know this password by heart. For example, a client of mine had a theme that was acting up recently, and every single page she visited on her dashboard got an error message. She couldn’t do anything! Fortunately, all she had to do was login via FTP and delete the theme; problem solved.
    This password comes from your web host, so if you need to retrieve it ask them.
  7. After you type in your password, you must still click the Activate link to turn the plugin on. This extra step makes sense in that just because you install a plugin doesn’t mean you’re ready to use it right away.
  8. Finally, after your plugin is activated, you must go customize the settings. This may mean linking a Twitter plugin to your Twitter page or it may mean telling an SEO plugin your site’s best keywords, etc.
    Because plugins are third-party software, the settings section isn’t always in the same place. Usually you’ll find the settings either under the dashboard’s Settings or Tools submenus. Or sometimes they’ll create their own submenu in the dashboard’s sidebar. You may also be able to find the settings on the Installed Plugins page, next to the description of the plugin you’re looking for.

In the next post I cover some plugins to help build up your platform and make your site more popular with “Six Essential Marketing Plugins.