Another blogger episode and this time we look at installing your first WordPress plugin. Sounds easy, well it is! So why an entire blog article about it? You will be surprised at how many times people install any old plugin because it does what they want and forgets to check a few key things. One clue is in the last sentence, “any old plugin”. One of the most common reasons WordPress sites suddenly stop working or go wrong is because a plugin is installed that is very old and no longer supported by the developers who created it.
First, let us go through how to install a plugin (as the title of this article suggests):
- Login to your WordPress admin, you can find this by going to your website and adding ‘/wp-admin/’ at the end of the URL. For example https://www.yourblog.com/wp-admin/
- Once logged in you will see on the left-hand side the navigation bar, click on ‘Plugins’, hover over it and from the sub menu select “Add New”.
- From the plugins screen, you will see something similar to the screenshot below. Now type the into search bar in the top right: JetPack
- You will see your screen list all plugins with that keyword. Find the plugin named “Jetpack by WordPress.com” and click on the “Install Now” button as shown below:
- Once installed it will ask you to activate the plugin. Go ahead and activate JetPack by clicking the “Activate” button. Once it has completed you will see JetPack options in the left-hand menu.
- Done and you can see how easy it is to install a WordPress plugin.
So from our little how-to on installing a plugin, you will notice we installed a plugin that was updated 3 weeks ago and is fully compatible with our version of WordPress. This is a good example of a plugin that shouldn’t cause any issues because the developers are actively updating and patching any bugs within the plugin.
Now let’s have a look at a plugin we should be wary of installing:
You will notice it has lots of active installs but hasn’t been updated for over 5 years and is untested with our version of WordPress. We say you should be wary of installing such plugins because they may be completely secure and won’t break your WordPress site, but we always recommend only installing plugins that are actively being developed so you can have one less worry.
Most WordPress hacks are caused by WordPress plugins or the core WordPress installing being out of date. Out of date plugins/installs opens you up to a range of attacks.
That’s it for another blogger episode! If you have any suggestions on what you would like to see in our series please do let us know by Suggest a blogger series article or writing a comment below.