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What Is a WordPress Plugin? a Full Guide for Beginners

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Amit is a web developer and writer turned digital entrepreneur. He loves writing on technology, online income, and self-improvement.

What is a WordPress plugin? Have you heard about it before? Are you new to WordPress? In this article, we will discuss all aspects of the WordPress plugin.

What you will learn in this article:

1. What is a WordPress Plugin?
2. How to Find Plugin?
3. How to Install Plugin?

So, open your WordPress dashboard, and let's learn about the WordPress plugin.

what-is-a-wordpress-plugin-a-full-guide-for-beginners

1. What is a WordPress Plugin?

The WordPress plugin is a tool to enhance design and to add new features to your website. In other words, a plugin is a piece of code that can be added to your WordPress website. If you want any special functionality on your WordPress website, you can add a plugin to fulfill your requirements.

It's as simple as that. It hardly takes 2-3 minutes to install a new plugin on your WordPress website.

Suppose you want a contact form for your website. For this, you can add a plugin that provides a ready-to-use contact form with a lot of functionality. In fact, you can modify the code as per your requirement. With just a few clicks, you can add a contact form to your website using contact form plugin, without writing a single code.

This is just an example of creating a contact form. The other benefits of using a plugin are as follows:

  • An eCommerce store can be created using a plugin
  • Any special functionality can be added to your website
  • Any type of contact form can be created very easily
  • Different types of social buttons can be added
  • Table layout can be made
  • A booking system can be developed
  • And many other things that can be done with the WordPress plugin

2. How to Find Plugin?

One of the best places to find a plugin is the official WordPress website (wordpress.org). WordPress itself also offers several plugins to use for free. Also, many other vendors provide plugins both for free and paid.

Another way to find plugins is WordPress's dashboard. Go to the WordPress Dashboard and click on the Plugins widget where you will see the option for ADD NEW. After clicking on it, you will see a different page. On this page, there are a bunch of plugins already appearing. Now search the name of the plugin in the search bar and install it accordingly.

The simplest way to find plugins is to Google it. Let’s say you want a contact form plugin, all you have to do is Google it with your keyword (e.g. contact form WordPress plugin) and select the appropriate plugin according to your requirement.

Simple!

3. How to Install Plugin?

Now, you know about the WordPress plugins. The next thing that might click in your mind would be how to install a WordPress plugin to your existing or new website.

Primarily, there are three methods that you can use to install the plugin.

1. The first method is through the WordPress dashboard where you can search and install any plugin. (Head over to Plugin widget and click to Add New, and search for the plugin you want to install)

2. The second method is to upload .zip files. (Head over to Plugin widget and click to Add New, where on the top left corner, you'll see a button called Upload Plugin)

3. The third method is to upload a plugin in the files via FTP. (Open the FTP and head over to the website files, select the theme, the click to wp-content, then click to themes and upload plugin's file.)

This is how you can install a plugin.

Activate Plugin

After installation of the plugin is completed, the next step would be to activate it. There are many ways to activate the plugin. If you have installed a plugin through the dashboard, once you install the plugin, you will see the active button, just click on it.

If you have pasted the .zip file into the theme files, then go to the WordPress dashboard and click on the Plugins widget. There you will be able to see all the plugins which are already installed on your website.

Scroll to the plugin name and under the name, you will see two options named SETTINGS and ACTIVATE, just click on the activate button and your plugin will be activated automatically.


Deactivate Plugin

If you want to deactivate or remove a plugin, once you activate the plugin, you will now see two options under the plugin name SETTINGS and DEACTIVATE. You get it here.

Essential WordPress Plugins

This is a list of plugins every WordPress website needs to install.

1. WordPress security: The security of websites is one of the first things that come to mind. In fact, this is what everyone should consider before doing anything. There can be lots of security and internet issues in the online world. So to protect your website from espionage and unknown attacks, you need to install a security plugin.

2. Backup: To save your important data, every WordPress website needs to install a backup plugin.

3. Contact form: Every website requires a contact form from which your targeted audience can come back to you.

4. SEO: If you are running a website then you need to install an SEO plugin to increase the rank of your website on various search engines.

Conclusion:

Before you use a plugin, it is advisable to read the documentation and watch the video if provided. This way you get the complete idea whether the plugin meets your requirement or not.

If any problem occurs, the comments section is open for you. You can ask me anything about plugins. I will be happy to help you. Thanks for reading!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Amit Masih

Comments

Amit Masih (author) from Jaipur, India on October 27, 2020:

Thank you so much, Risha!

Risha Khan from Bhilai, Chhattisgarh on October 27, 2020:

Great article on WordPress plugins, Amit. You have explained everything very well. This will be helpful for many people who want to add certain significant features to their website.

Amit Masih (author) from Jaipur, India on October 24, 2020:

Yeah, I will keep sharing such informational articles. I would like to give you a big thank you.

Vikram Brahma from Assam, India on October 24, 2020:

Good article, Amit. Keep writing and thank you for sharing this article.

Amit Masih (author) from Jaipur, India on October 24, 2020:

Yes indeed, Mr. Arun!

D Arun Prasad from Chennai on October 24, 2020:

Good insights... Keep up the good work

Amit Masih (author) from Jaipur, India on October 23, 2020:

Thank you, ma'am!

Nidhi Gautam Shailkam on October 23, 2020:

Nice article. Well explained