The popular CMS WordPress is based on the modular principle. With plugins, WordPress can be adapted to any user requirements. We explain to you what WordPress plugins are and introduce you to three ways to install a plugin in WordPress.
A plugin is a PHP script which, after activation, extends the WordPress installation with a certain functionality. There is a plugin for almost every function, from simple linking to social media profiles to complex shop systems. The extensions are often available free of charge.
There are three ways to install a plugin in WordPress, which we will explain below using the example of the Monster Insights plugin.
Log in to your WordPress backend. Click on Plugins in the left menu bar. Under Installed Plugins you will see all installed plugins, no matter if they are activated or deactivated. To add a new plugin, click on Install. Enter a keyword or the name of the plugin in the Search Plugins search bar. In our example you can search directly for Monster Insights or Google Analytics. In both cases you would see our example plugin. Now click on Install now and the process will start automatically. The plugin can then be activated and appears in the left menu bar.
Some plugins are not offered directly in the WordPress Installer. On WordPress.org you will find a huge plugin library. Also here you can search by name or by keyword. Click on the desired plugin and choose Download. Save the zip file in a place you can find quickly. Switch to your WordPress backend and open the menu item Install Plugins. Now click on the button Upload Plugin. Select the file and click Install Now. After the upload a new page will open where you can activate the plugin.
For example, if you have developed your own plugin or if you get your plugins from other sources, you have to upload them manually via FTP to your server. Connect to your webspace using an FTP client (e.g. Filezilla) and upload the fully unpacked plugin folder to the folder wp-content/plugins. Then switch to your WordPress backend and update the view of the installed plugins. If the upload was successful, the plugin will be visible there and can be activated.
After the activation there are mostly several settings available. You should also check the functionality of your website directly.