A WordPress plugin is a software that enhances the features of your website. There are a variety of plugins to use. It will depend upon what your website is for as to which plugin you choose.
To choose a plugin, go to your website dashboard. Here you can either install a plugin or update a plugin.
First, we will talk about how to install a plugin.
When you go on your website dashboard, you pick the plugin feature. The drop-down menu will give you a choice of install plugin, new, or plugin editor.
Adding a new plugin is easy and only takes a few moments.
Choose the new option from either the installed plugin page or from the drop-down on the menu bar. Then choose the new plugin.
Once on the page of plugins, there are more options to find a plugin. You can select the tabs featured, popular, recommended, or favorites. If you know the name of the plugin, you can search for that particular plugin located to the right in the search bar.
The list of plugins will tell you if you already have it by saying active in the top right of the plugin. More details will tell you more about the plugin. You can install it from there, or if you’re not sure, you can find more information by selecting the plugin. It also gives you a log showing the changes recently updated on that plugin. If you want to know how it’s rated, you can find that information here too.
After you’ve installed the plugin, and you decide that you don’t like it, you can deactivate it. So nothing is written in stone once you install a plugin.
The most critical part you need to be concerned with is that the plugin works with the version of WordPress that you have.
There are plugins that you can purchase, but I would use the free versions first to make sure that the plugins are the ones that you want.
Basic Plugins You should Have
I have an article here that tells you the plugins that you should install, but here is another overview of the top three that I use.
Akismet is an anti-spam plugin. You’ll want to keep your website healthy by controlling the spam monster. This plugin will help control it.
Jetpack by WordPress
Jetpack is an excellent plugin to use for your analytics of your website. It’s always good to know your stats, especially if you are a blogger.
For your SEO, this plugin will help to get you up into the search engines. I use the free version. The free version gives you a green, yellow, or red rating on how you’ll show up in the search engines.
I will go into the features of this plugin in a future article. There is a lot of value this plugin can bring to your website.
The plugin editor is more complicated, and I wouldn’t do any of this yourself unless you know more about it. It is a text editor. But I never touch this myself. It hasn’t hindered my articles or my website by leaving it alone. If, for some reason, you need to go into the plugin editor, I suggest that you seek out hired help for this.
In your dashboard menu on the left by plugins, there is sometimes number in orange that will appear. When you see this, it means that there are plugins that are ready for an update.
Choose Installed plugins. When it loads it will show which plugins need to be updated. Click the box to the left of each plugin that is ready for an update.
At the top and bottom of the list of plugins, there will is a button beside the apply button. Click on the button beside the apply button to bring up the list of actions. Choose update and then apply. It may look like nothing is happening at first. But if you watch, you will see that they are updating. They will do this one by one. Once finished, it’ll tell you that you have successfully updated them.
If this causes you a bit of anxiety because you are either afraid that you’ll ruin your website or that you’ll lose something, do not fear. I promise you, that it will be fine. Work past your fear and update the plugins. Or you can hire a VA to do this for you for a monthly fee. If you don’t regularly update the plugins, your website won’t be running at its top performance.
Mindset For Your Website
A website is crucial for your business, and you should have one. Don’t let fear prevent you from having one. Even a one-page website is better than nothing. You can expand your website with your business.
The most important thing is not to fear the tech side of things. If you have it built by someone else and you are unable to pay them to maintain it, you can do the maintenance yourself. I didn’t know how to do any of the technical things either when I built my website. But I learned.
Even if you have a customed built website, you should know how to maintain it. At least know the basics of it. It’ll help you to understand what is going on in case you do get stuck doing it yourself.
Once you have it built and if you need someone to update with your content, upload your blog or products, or do the maintenance, you can farm that out for a low monthly fee.
But don’t be afraid to use your website and learn a little bit about it.
What are some other plugins you swear by and couldn’t do without? Drop a comment below.