How To Install & Update WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugin Installation

This article is going to quickly run over the process of installing and updating your WordPress plugins on your site. This should help anyone that is new to WordPress and looking for help getting to know their WordPress system fast.

Once you have WordPress and the theme of your choice installed, you can start installing plugins that the theme might need or that you will need separately. The WordPress core install comes with the “Hello Dolly” and “Akismet Anti-Spam” WordPress plugins. Depending if you chose to limit login attempts during your WordPress install, you would have the “Limit Login Attempts” plugin also.

Hello Dolly is the world’s first official WordPress plugin. It generates a random lyric from Louis Armstrong’s song “Hello, Dolly” in the top admin bar.

The Akismet plugin constantly checks comments on your site against the Akismet web service. If they resemble spam comments, They are marked as spam. Old spam comments are deleted after 15 days.

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Updating WordPress Plugins

There seems to be a new version of the Akismet plugin available. Luckily, WordPress makes updating your plugins super simple. To update any outdated WordPress plugins on the plugins page, check for the orange bar under each plugin and click on “update now” to update that specific plugin.

It’s best practice to wait for each plugin to finish updating before trying to update another plugin. Just to avoid any conflicts.

To add a new plugin while on the plugins page, just click on the “Add New” button at the top of the page. Here you can choose to upload a plugin .zip that you have previously downloaded by clicking the Upload Plugin button or search the WordPress Plugin Database to find the best WordPress plugins for your website.

For an example, we want to add the Jetpack plugin to our new WordPress site. Start by using the search bar and typing “Jetpack”. The plugin we are looking for should show up first along with a bunch of related plugins.

You can see the plugin author, amount of downloads and the rating of each plugin from other users at this screen. The plugin we are looking for is “Jetpack by” and is created by Automattic.

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From here, we will click the “Install Now” button on the Jetpack plugin. Once the plugin installs, the button you just clicked should turn into a blue “Activate” button, click that button and your new plugin should be installed and activated.

The Jetpack plugin requires an initial setup which is just connecting Jetpack to a WordPress account for security and website stats. The plugin settings are usually located under the “Settings” or the “Tools” tab in the admin sidebar.

Some WordPress plugins will have their own custom sidebar tab that will hold the plugin settings and other options. You are now able to install and activate the plugins that your WordPress website needs to flourish.

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