WordPress Plugins How To Guide

How to do anything with a WordPress Plugin

WordPress is the best blogging and affiliate store software out there. In this Guide to using Plugins with your wordpress blog, we will show you how to add all kinds of new functions to your blog with a few clicks of a mouse! Also, you can click on this link to read an article on how to add 3 great, FREE Adsense Plugins to your wordpress blog to make money off of it!

How to use wordpress plugin


One thing that makes it so great (besides the fact that it’s free, easy to use and supported by every major web host out there) is that  you can add all kinds of great functions just by clicking a button and installing a new plugin.

  • A WordPress Plugin is essentially a pre-coded function that you can "Plug IN" to your WordPress Blog without coding or any major setup work,

In this Guide We are assuming that you have wordpress installed on a computer or host server and you have a admin login and can login to your wordpress software.

We are going to walk you thru finding, install and setting up/ configuring wordpress plugins. We will then finish up by giving you our list of the best WordPress Plugins out there!


Step 1  – the Basics

Note that Plugins can be installed and be either active or deactivated. Active plugins are plugins that installed and activated. Meaning they are "live" and should be working. Deactivated ones are ones that were not yet made active or were deactivated (you can activate or deactivate any plugin at any time just by clicking on the "Activate" or "Deactivate" word under the plugin description. This makes it easy to turn them on or off if you want to experiment trying different plugins.

1)      How To CHECK YOUR PLUGINS – Once you have logged into your WordPress admin panel, if you look on the left side you will see a list of functions you can access. These are what I call "Tabs" in your Admin Panels. You want to look for the "Plugins" Tab. The "Plugins" tab controls the plugins in WordPress and is the key to How to add plugins to WordPress.

2)      If you click on the plugins option it will expand and give you several choices :

3)      Clicking on the “installed” option will show you all the plugins that you have currently installed.

Clicking on the “ Add New” option will let you search for new plugins to install.

How To EDIT your Plugins -

Clicking on the “Editor” option will let you Edit an existing Plugin.

WARNING: IF YOU ARE READING THIS “Guide” then chances are that you are new to wordpress and you certainly do not want to try to edit a WordPress plugin. Modifying a WordPress plugin without really knowing what you are doing could lead to very unpredictable results!

4)     How To ADD new plugins to your blog – I am going to start by having you click on the “Add New” Plugin option and show you How to Install WordPress Plugins starting off by selecting  a new plugin and install it and then set it up to run. It’s Easy! Let’s start:

5)      Click on the “Add New” Option and you will go to the “install Plugin” Screen.

6)      There are 2 basic ways to search for WordPress plugins. You Can enter a term to search on in the search bar  or you can select one of the Tags (a tag is a group of like items) that sounds like what you are looking for.

7)      For example, if you want to find a plugin that lists related posts at the end of each post you would type in “related Posts” in the search field and hit search. It will bring back a list of WordPress Plugins that contain the term “Related Posts” .

8)     If you read each plugins description there are several key things to look for:

  • To the left is the name of the plugin. If you click on it will take you to the Plugin Creators page that gives a description of the plugin and how it works (in more detail than the “description” field you see).
  • There is also a version number (release number)
  • and a user rating which can help you judge which is better (although the newest ones won’t be rated yet).
  • To the far right is an “Install” word If you click on install it will install the plugin!

9)      How to add Plugins to WordPress – Click the Install word at the right of the description!

Once you have clicked the install word

  • you will get a pop up screen that describes the plugin in more detail and has an install button.
  • Clicking the install Button makes the pop up screen go away and one of several things will happen;
  • –  You may get a screen that displays the steps WordPress is going thru to install the Plugin
  • – or you may get a screen asking you to login to your Web hosting account in order to install the plugin. If you get this enter    your login and password and the plugin will start to install with the same descriptions as mentioned in the prior dashed line.

10)   How To deal with a plugin that doesn't install -Every once in a while I have a plugin take a while to install or even fail. Usually this is do to a temporary internet connection issue. One time the plugin had a problem. If this happens it is not a big deal and it is not because you did not know How to Install WordPress Plugins. All I do is redo these steps and install it again. If it fails I just try another plugin> There are often many (10 – 50) plugins that will fit the same need.

11)   What to do after its installed – Once the plugin is installed there are still 2 steps left.

  • First you must activate the plugin.
  • You can click on   “Activate Plugin"installing it  or
  • You can Click “return to plugin installer” to look for more plugins to install>
  • If I choose not to activate the plugin at this time I can do it any time I want by clicking on the “Installed” option from the plugins selection on the left hand side of the admin panel as described in the beginning of these “Wordpress Plugins How To” instructions.

12)   How To MAKE SURE THE PLUGIN IS INSTALLED - Clicking on the "Installed" option in the Plugins Tab (on the left side of the Admin Panel) will give you a list of all of your plugins , a brief description of the plugin and a link to either:

  • – Activate the plugin if it is not Activated yet
  • – Deactivate the plugin if it is activated and you want to turn it off
  • – Edit the plugin (remember you don’t want to do this unless you are a programmer

13)   There is also a box to the left of the plugin. You can check this on one or more plugins and Activate, deactivate or delete one or more plugins at a time with the “Bulk Actions” selection just above the “plugins” column of the Manage Plugins page that you are in.

Final Step!

Once you have activated your plugin There are usually options that can be set.

  • Most plugins I have installed work right out of the box.
  • But some require you to go into the “Settings” option on the right hand side of the Admin panel and select your plugin to modify its settings or configurations.
  • These plugin settings vary.  If it is a plugin to Add related posts to the end of a post, it may ask you how many you want to add (1 – 10). Or a plugin may ask you other preferences. So always check in the settings so you see what options you have to set or choose from.
  • Every once in a while a Plugin will have an additional Selection of its own in the admin panel.
  • This is usually below the settings tab with its own tab.

I hope this is enough information in this guide to get you started. I have a list of some of the best plugins in another article on this site in the “How To WordPress” section!

You can click on this link to go to our main page and read more great WordPress How To Articles!

Have fun! OK folks that is it for this Guide to using WP Plugins!

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