For WordPress hosting: This guide assumes you have already installed WordPress but if you haven’t please see our other guide here.
Part 2: WordPress – Getting Started – Plugin Installation.
(For Part 1 : Starting your WordPress Site? The first steps after installing WordPress click here.)
After installing WordPress and getting started you might find you are slightly limited to what WordPress can offer you straight out of the box. That’s why plugins have become so popular – they allow you to expand your site and it’s features without having to know how to design and code these features yourself.
WordPress has a plugin directory that you can search directly from your WordPress dashboard – making it simple for you to find what you need and to install it easily.
Once a plugin is installed WordPress adds a menu option for you in your dashboard so you can manage your chosen plugin.
Examples of popular plugins include contact forms, SEO tools, security tools plus social media icons and share tools.
Always research a plugin before you install it and read the reviews. See how easy it is to contact the developer and check the plugin is being maintained with updates etc. As plugins are made by third party developers you need to be confident in the plugins you install and regularly check for updates for them.
This guide will show you how to search for, install and manage a plugin. This example will show you how to add a simple contact form to your website.*
Adding a plugin to your WordPress:
1. Log in to your dashboard and look for the ‘Plugin’ section on the left hand side.
2. Select ‘Add New’ – this will load the plugin directory. Search ‘contact form’ in the top right hand search bar.
3. Hit enter after typing your search results and WordPress will load your options.
4. Read through the different options available and select the plugin that is most suitable for the feature you need. Click the more details link to see more. Check these details including the screenshots of the plugin to make sure it’s suitable, the reviews to see what others are saying and the changelog to make sure the plugin is being maintained.
5. When you are happy you have found the right plugin for you click ‘Install Now’. You can always uninstall the plugin if it isn’t right so don’t panic too much if you need to test it first.
6. Once you click ‘Install Now’ you will be redirected to the install page which will confirm when the plugin has installed.
Wordpress Plugin install
7. Once installed you will see a green confirmation of activation on your plugin page.
Plugin upload complete
8. You can then manage the plugin by it’s new location – it will have been added to your dashboard for you to use.
Plugin install dashboard wordpress
9. Hover over the plugin for more options if available to manage your plugin.
Plugin options wordpress
10. Now your plugin is installed you can start work on the feature you want to add to your site. In this case it was a contact form. Some plugins (such as this one) give you a shortcode to paste where you want the plugin to load on your site but all the instructions for your chosen plugin should be available when you select it.
To show you how this plugin worked I have made an example contact form – I found the contact form option in the dashboard and selected Manager.
I then clicked ‘Contact Form 1’ to load the preview of the form that I wanted to add to my site.
This then loaded the form template that I could edit if I wished to make the contact form suit what I needed for my website.
I then saved the form and returned to the manager page.
I then located and pasted the short code on to my newly created ‘Test contact form’ page.
Once saved the form loaded live on my website – ready for people to use.
All plugins will be different to use but most come with useful guides and the WordPress community is very helpful too.
If you’ve found this article helpful, please be sure to forward it to a friend you think could also benefit from it too!
* We are in no way affiliated with this plugin or it’s developer & are not recommending it specifically for your use – it’s simply an example of how to install a plugin.