How to Install WordPress Plugins on InMotion Hosting
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, and for good reason. It’s incredibly powerful, and with a growing number of plugins and themes available, it’s possible to fit any need or desire into a functional and engaging WordPress website.
However, as with anything, there are things you need to know and do to make sure your WordPress website is as effective and useful as possible. One of these things is installing and configuring WordPress plugins. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of how to install and configure WordPress plugins so you can get the most out of your new site.
What Are WordPress Plugins?
WordPress plugins are small applications or tools that allow you to extend the functionality of your WordPress website. They’re stored in the WordPress plugin folder and are only available to be installed and used with WordPress. If you try to install a plugin for WordPress on a different CMS, it won’t work. This is because the plugin was designed to work with and be integrated with the WordPress platform.
When a visitor lands on your site, there are certain things they’ll need to see in order to engage with your content and navigate around your website effectively. For example, they’ll need a navigation menu so they can easily find what they’re looking for, and a search bar to search for content as they navigate around the site. These are both quite standard things to have on any website, but they wouldn’t be of much use if they weren’t integrated into and part of the WordPress platform. This is what makes them plugins really rather than just tools.
Why Should You Be Using WordPress Plugins?
Aside from the fact that WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world, there are numerous reasons why you might want to use WordPress plugins. Here are just a few of them:
- Integration With Other Platforms
- Extend Website Functionality
- Improve User Experience
- Create More Engagement With Visitors
- Make Presentation Of Key Information Simpler
- Make Site More Secure
- Reduce Backlash From Changes You Make
How Do I Install A WordPress Plugin?
Installing a WordPress plugin is very similar to installing any other kind of application or tool on a computer or server. First, you need to download and install the plugin’s ZIP file, and then you need to visit the WordPress dashboard and click on the plugin’s icon (the cog icon) to activate it. This will bring up the plugin’s settings page, where you can configure the plugin to your needs. Once you’ve done that, you can click on the Save Changes button at the top right corner of the page.
You need to do this for each plugin you install on your site. When you first install a plugin, it may not have all of its options configured correctly, which could make it unusable. So, as a general rule, make sure you enter your site’s credentials when you first install a plugin (e.g., username, password, and database credentials). Doing this will allow the plugin to connect to your site’s database and allow you to further configure it.
Do I Need To Uninstall A WordPress Plugin After I’ve Installed It?
No. There’s no need to uninstall a WordPress plugin after you’ve installed it. The plugin folder will remain on your server untouched, and you can always reinstall it later if you want to use it again. Just be careful not to overwrite any important files while doing this, as it’s often the case that WordPress installs a new version of a plugin each time it is updated, which could cause problems if you’re not careful.
How Do I Activate A WordPress Plugin?
Once you’ve installed a WordPress plugin and logged in to the dashboard as the user you created when you installed the plugin, you can click on the plugin’s icon (the cog icon) to bring up the plugin’s settings page. Alternatively, you can go to Tools > Plugins and click Install Now from the dropdown menu. Either way, you’ll be presented with a page that looks like this:
The first thing you need to do here is to Activate the plugin. To do this, click on the Activate button next to the plugin’s name. This will update the plugin’s listing in the dashboard, and it will make the plugin active on your site. You can click on the Deactivate button to do the same for a deactivated plugin, or click on the Install Now button if you haven’t yet installed it.
There are times when you might want to Deactivate a plugin and then Reactivate it at a later date. To do this, simply navigate to the plugin’s settings page and click on the Deactivate button next to the plugin’s name. This will update the plugin’s listing in the dashboard and mark it as deactivated on your site. You can repeat this process as needed.
Configuring A WordPress Plugin
Once you’ve installed and activated a plugin, you can go back to the dashboard and click on the plugin’s icon (the cog icon) to bring up the plugin’s settings page. Alternatively, you can go to Tools > Plugins and click Edit next to the plugin’s name to bring up the plugin’s settings page. Either way, you’ll be presented with a page that looks like this:
As you can see, there are a few different options here. You can set the plugin’s Title (in this case, My Cool Plugin) and Description (a short summary of what the plugin does). You can also set Enable/Disable the plugin, and you can choose from the Plugins tab to Select individual plugins or an entire group of plugins to activate or deactivate. You’ll want to make sure you have the Allowed Updates option on, as this will allow you to update the plugin when new versions become available.
You’ll also need to Configure the plugin to connect to your site’s database. For a local site, this is easy; just leave the Database Hostname and Database Username fields blank and enter your site’s domain name and database username in the Database Password and Database Name fields, respectively. For a remote site, you’ll need to enter the appropriate connection details.
Once you’ve done that, click on the Save button at the top right corner of the page to save the changes made to the plugin’s settings. You can also click on the Preview Changes button to see how the changes you made will affect your site.
When Do I Need To Configure A WordPress Plugin?
Configuring a WordPress plugin isn’t something you need to do immediately after you install it. It’s generally a good idea to leave the plugin’s settings as they are and only adjust them after you’ve used it for a while and know how you want your site to operate.
When Do I Need To Uninstall A WordPress Plugin?
You don’t need to uninstall a WordPress plugin after you’ve installed it, but it’s a good idea to do so eventually. There’s no need to keep a plugin that you no longer need, so it’s generally a good idea to remove it when you’re not using it. You can always reinstall it later if you need it again.
If you’ve ever worked with WordPress before, this may all seem very natural and easy, but just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s not important. Even experienced WordPress professionals can benefit from reading this article, as there are several things one could do to make the most of WordPress and its plugins.