Installing WordPress plugins is one thing that every self-hosted WordPress blogger should know how to do.
Technically, WordPress offers three ways to install WordPress plugins on your blog:
1 – Search and install
2 – Upload and install
3 – FTP
For now, we are going to focus on the Search and Install because that’s the easiest way. When you are more advanced, you can Google what you need to know.
How to Install A Plugin
If you know the name of the plugin, you can directly search from the dashboard and install it. It’s a little like installing an app on your phone.
Simply log into your blog’s dashboard and click on Plugins > Add New. Then type your search term into the search box on the top right.
You can click on “More Details” to see more information about any plugin. Make sure you check that the plugin is compatible with your current version of WordPress.
Also, be sure to read the documentation before installing any new plugin. And it can be very helpful to read the reviews to see if this plugin is working for other people.
To install, simply click on “Install Now” and then “Activate Plugin” on the next page.
After you’ve activated the plugin, you may be given an opportunity to configure the plugin. Every one is different, but look at the settings and see if there’s anything you need to change.
You can see a list of all your installed plugins by clicking on Plugins in the left column. You can also see which are active, and you can Activate or Deactivate them here.
So let’s look at some of the plugins I suggest for your blog.
There are so many to choose from, so let’s just look at the basics of what I feel I need and what will get you started.
AddToAny Share Buttons
This is the plug in I use to add Share Buttons to my personal website. It makes it easy for anyone to click on a button and share my post to their Facebook page or other social media.
This protects you from receiving Spam from your website. Note, you will need to register, and you can get the program for Free. When it asks you what you’re willing to spend, move the slider over to $0, or whatever you’re willing to pay for the app.
Broken Link Checker
This will save you lots of time. As your website grows and changes, sometimes you break a link or something. This will check your site at set intervals and let you know if there’s a problem so you can fix it.
MailMunch – Grow Your Email List
MailMunch’s plugin stands out for its simplicity and ease of use. Once it is live on your website, you can start growing your email list by deploying opt-in forms that are built to maximize conversions.
Pretty Link Lite
This is a cool little app that you can use to create shortened URLs. For instance, you can create a website link like, YourWebsite.com/name and it will automatically forward to a very long link. Pretty cool, huh!
Smush Image Compression and Optimization
This is a great little app that will automatically reduce the file size of your images, which helps your page load more quickly.
This one is very important! This will change your blog so that you can edit your posts just as if you were using Word or some other editing program without using code. So when you have this plugin activated, you can choose your font, click on bold or italic, etc. when you’re writing your blog posts.
WPForms – Contact Form by WPForms
This allows you to add a form to your website, such as a Contact Me form, or a Request Brochure form. When someone fills out the form, the results will be emailed to you.
Unfortunately, these days security is critical to your website. There are malicious people out there who will try to get in and take control. Wordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that were built from the ground up to protect WordPress. Wordfence is the most comprehensive WordPress security solution available. I am currently using the Free Version and it is meeting my needs. But I may upgrade when necessary.
This is a great little tool that let’s you see how many people visit your website, where they’re coming from, what browsers and search engines they use, and which of your contents, categories, tags and users get more visits.
This helps you get a higher ranking with Google. You can also use it to tell Facebook which image you want to show if someone shares your post.
There are more – lots more! But this will get you started.
<—— Did this article help you? If so, it would mean a lot to me if you would share it with others!!! And, share your comments below! I would LOVE to know more about you and your thoughts on this subject!
Let’s have some conversation!
By Lynn Huber
p.s. As you get going with your blog, you will find lots of plug-ins that will help you, and your arsenal of plug-ins will change over time according to your needs.
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