Plugins 101

Installing, Removing, and Updating Plugins

In this WordPress video tutorial we’ll learn how to use WordPress plugins. We will cover the basics of installing, removing, and updating plugins. WordPress plugins are without a doubt, the most powerful component of WordPress. They can turn your WordPress website into a large elaborate website or add a few small enhancements.

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View on YouTube — Installing, Removing, and Updating Plugins


WordPress Tutorial Transcript

Hello and welcome to LifeGuard. In this video, we’re going to take a look at Plugins. You can access this page by clicking ‘Plugins’ in the sidebar. We’re currently on the ‘Installed Plugins’ page.

Installing plugins is incredibly easy and can be done one of three ways. After clicking ‘Add New’, we’re present with a few options:
First, you can search or browse the WordPress Plugin Directory (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/) by entering a keyword, or clicking on any one of the tags.

You can browse the “Featured”, “Popular”, “Newest”, and “Recently Updated”.
Once you find a plugin that you want, simply click “Install Now”, “OK” on the confirmation, and then “Activate Plugin”.

If the plugin is a premium plugin or it’s not available on the WordPress.org directory, the Second option is to upload the plugin’s zip file by clicking ‘Upload’ on the ‘Add New’ page.

From here, all you have to do is choose your file, and then click “Install Now”.
There is a Third option if you are familiar with FTP. You can add plugins by placing the plugin folders in /wp-content/plugins/

Remember that after you get the plugin files onto your WordPress install, you must activate the plugin either at the end of the install dialog, or on the plugin page here by clicking on the activate link.

If you do not wish to use the plugin, you can click “deactivate” to disable the plugin. Deactivating won’t remove the settings, so if you have to reactivative it, the settings will remain intact. You could delete the plugin entirely if you want to completely remove it.

If you have a large number of plugins, you can use the search dialogue in the upper right to find what you are looking for. If the plugin has an update available, you will see a yellow bar, like this. Also note that Updates appear with a badge indicator on the Admin bar at the top of your screen. You can update the plugin in one of two ways:
You can click “Update automatically” or you can manually download the plugin, and use FTP to change out the plugin files.

Be careful when updating plugins. Sometimes plugin updates can mess up features, break plugins that work with each other, or the new plugin may not be compatible with your version of WordPress. If the plugin is a quality plugin built by a developer who knows what tehy’re doing, this shouldn’t be an issue. But be careful when updating, always have backups of everything before updating, and make sure everything is working properly after performing the update.

Often plugins will have a settings page. The location for these Settings pages vary, but the vast majority of the time can be found listed under the plugin description.