Working on WordPress is an amazing experience. The first of many things that I had to do to run my website was to install a WordPress plugin. And believe me, learning how to do so made my work easy and interactive.
WordPress plugins are explicitly developed to streamline your work and help you in adding an image gallery or optimizing the content and even add a Google Map and more. Exciting isn’t it? Well, let’s get started then and learn how to install a WordPress plugin.
Difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
Yes, there is a difference between the two, and it may affect your work if you do not have a basic understanding of both, WordPress.com and WordPress.org. To begin with, WordPress.org does not come free. It is a paid CMS which involves a monthly expense.
On the contrary, WordPress.com has two options. You can use it for free (up to 3GB storage space) and can also buy a premium plan. Because WordPress.com has both the versions, there are certain limitations to it.
For instance, if you are looking to install a WordPress plugin in the free version manually, you cannot do that. WordPress.com does not support it.
Nor can you monetize with ads, gain full theme support, or even leverage from analytics. Moreover, you cannot create your e-commerce store through WordPress.com even if you are using the paid version.
For that, you have to switch to WordPress.org. I would say that if you are looking for a long term engagement with your website go for WordPress.org.
The reason is that down the line you need to conduct manual WordPress hosting so it is better to start early and learn the process.
Installing a Free WordPress Plugin
You may have come across different methods to install a WordPress plugin for your website hosting. In total, there are three methods ( Free, Premium, with FTP), and I will walk you through two of these methods which require purchasing a plugin first.
So let’s first begin with installing a WordPress plugin which is available free of cost on your dashboard.
Step 1: Go to the Dashboard:
After logging in to your domain, ‘open the Plugins’ page. Here you will find a lot of free plugins that are available to install. We will take the example of the W3 Total Cache Plugin for WordPress.
Step 2: Search and Install:
There is a “Search Bar” located on the top of the dashboard. Enter here W3 Total Cache plugin and hit enter. In the results, you will see the plugin, Click install now and this is by far one of the best cache WordPress plugins.
It plays a significant role in boosting the speed of your website as it minifies the files such as CSS (style sheet) HTML and java.
Step 3: Activate
The last step in installing a WordPress plugin (free version) is to just click on Activate post-installation. Click on Activate, and you will be able to use the plugin. After this, you need to configure the plugin according to the website.
Installing WordPress Plugin (Premium Version):
The paid plugin installation method requires you first to acquire the needed plugin files. Worry not. This would be a .zip file.
Step 1 Acquire the Plugin from a Third Party Source
There are three best sources for adding plugins to WordPress. The most common one is Code Canyon. This source has a huge collection of different WordPress plugins. The other two sources are PickPlugins and Mojo Marketplace.
Step 2 Login to your WordPress Dashboard
Post-downloading the plugin, you will obtain a ZIP file. Now, the trick is to get this ZIP file on your WordPress directory so that you can manually install the WordPress plugin. For this, log in to your WordPress dashboard (domain name.com/wp-admin).
Step 3 Access the Plugin Directory
On the left-hand side of the WordPress dashboard, you will see a few tabs. Navigate to the “Plugins” tab.
This will take you to the WordPress plugins directory. Now, if you were to install a free plugin, then you need simply search it in the “Floating Social Bar”. But as we are installing a premium plugin this is not the right course of action.
Step 4 Upload Plugin
Go to “Add New” and you will reach the plugin installation page. The top of this page has an option “Upload Pugin”. Click on it and on the subsequent “Add Plugins” dialogue box, select “Add File”.
Upload the ZIP file that you had recently downloaded.
Step 5 Installation and Activation
After selecting the file, click on “Install Now”. This will add the required WordPress plugin to your website. When you see a successfully installed message, then click on “Activate Plugin” to use it.
How to Rollback or Disable a Plugin?
It may happen sometimes that a plugin you had earlier installed is not working properly or causing a disruption. For this, you need to disable the plugin and then resolve the issue. Here too, there are two popular methods and I will discuss both of them.
#Method 1: Deactivate the Plugin
This first method is fairly simple and straightforward. All you need to do is go the Plugins page, select the plugin and click on “Deactivate”. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, it is done. I don’t why I used that but it seems to fit here ^^
#Method 2: Rollback the Plugin Upgrade
Sometimes an upgrade to one of your existing plugins may cause a disruption in the website. In instances like these, you can also rollback the plugin upgrade instead of removing or disabling it completely.
Updating the WordPress plugin is an important exercise, but it costs you more than the benefit when the upgrade backfires. This may lead some not to install the new upgrades at all. But for such incidents, there is an additional plugin available namely “Wp Rollback”. You need to install this plugin first.
Step 1: Select Rollback
Post-installation, if you want to revert back to an older version of your plugin, just go the plugin that you want to roll back. You will see the “Rollback” option below the Plugin name.
Step 2: Select an Older Version
After choosing rollback, you will be given an option to choose the previous version. Select the one you would like (preferably the last one as it was working just fine). In the next dialogue box, click on “Rollback” once again.
Your last plugin version will install automatically. Activate it and you are on your way to using your website again seamlessly.
This Install WordPress Plugin informative guide takes you through an easy process of adding a plugin. You have also learned how to add WordPress plugins manually from a third-party source without using FTP.
Along with it, there are instructions to conduct a rollback. WordPress is the most utilized CMS today. It gives you many options to develop an excellent website. Learning to use it efficiently is a useful and fun exercise.
Stay tuned for more such informative guides.