In this post we’re going to show you three ways to install a WordPress plugin. But first, let’s take a moment to make sure we all know exactly what a WordPress plugin is and what it does. A WordPress plugin is a php script that extends the functionality of your WordPress website, allowing your site to do something it otherwise wouldn’t be able to do such as integrate a newsletter service like mailchimp; sync your website with facebook; create an editorial workflow/calendar; and the list could go on.
A good rule of thumb to follow when locating a plugin on the official directory is to only install plugins with an average rating of four stars or higher. Granted, some newer plugins may not have had a chance to accrue this rating but as a general rule this should be effective in identifying quality design/development as well as safe/secure plugins. You’ll also want to make sure that the plugin has been updated recently and is compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
Ok, so now that you know what a plugin is and how to determine that you’ve found one of high quality, let’s go over the three ways you can install them on your WordPress website.
Perhaps the easiest way to find and install the plugin you’re looking for is by completing the entire process within the WordPress Dashboard itself. To do this simply navigate to Plugins > Add New and search for the plugin you’d like to install.
Once you’ve found the plugin you’re looking for, you can install it by clicking the “Install Now” button found to the right of the title of the plugin or, if you’ve clicked on “Details”, at the bottom of the resulting lightbox style information panel.