Today, there are over 55,000 WordPress plugins that exist — you can choose which ones to install on your WordPress website to begin reaping the benefits of added functionality based on your specific needs. No matter what your goal is, you’re bound to find a plugin (or a few) that can help you achieve it.

Increasing your website’s functionality with the addition of WordPress plugins is exceptionally easy. In fact, you can install, add, and begin using WordPress plugins in a matter of minutes.

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How to Install WordPress Plugins

Let's review the steps involved in installing your WordPress plugins both automatically and manually. 

Installing Plugins Automatically

To automatically add a plugin to your WordPress website, head to the plugin directory (through the plugins admin page on your WordPress dashboard) and search for one that helps you with whatever it is you’re trying to achieve.

Identify the plugin that seems like the right fit for you. Then, click Install Now and the plugin will automatically be added for you — that's it. 

Installing WordPress Plugins Automatically

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Installing Plugins via FTP

To begin the manual process, download the plugin you want to install (whether it’s from the WordPress directory or a third-party source) as a .zip file.

Extract, or Unzip, the file by following the instructions on your screen. The unzipped folder will appear with the same name as the .zip file.

Installing WordPress Plugins via FTP

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Then connect to your WordPress website’s server with FTP. To do so, you can use a free or premium FTP client software that connects to the host server to transfer files.

Once you open the FTP client, connect to your website with a username and password — depending on your hosting provider, you may or may not need to obtain this information from them.

connect your ftp client to wordpress

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Go to the wp-content folder, then the plugins folder. Here, Upload the unzipped plugin folder that you downloaded and extracted earlier.

unzip and extract your wordpress plugin

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Return to your WordPress dashboard and go to the plugins page. Your new plugin should appear — click Activate.

add plugins to your wordpress website

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And that’s it — your plugin should officially be installed.

Once you’ve installed or added a plugin to your website, it’s time to start customizing it to meet your needs.

How to Use a Plugin in WordPress

Most plugins that perform simple tasks begin working immediately after being installed — complex plugins with greater functionality may need interaction from you.

For example, if you install a forms plugin, it will automatically offer you form templates once activated. Then you can customize your forms as you see fit.

The best way to view all of your plugin’s customization features is by clicking Settings via the plugin admin page.

Next, let’s look at some popular plugins to make your WordPress website more functional for you and your audience.

HubSpot WordPress Plugin

HubSpot’s free WordPress plugin allows you to create free forms, offer live chat support, organize lists for email marketing campaigns, manage your advertising, and analyze your website’s performance.

free hubspot wordpress plugin

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Elementor

Elementor is an ideal plugin option for building aesthetically-pleasing, branded websites. It offers tools to design all aspects of your web pages as well as a customizable form builder so you can easily engage with your clients.

elementor wordpress plugin

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Smush

Smush is a plugin that will compress, lazy load, and resize your images. Since oversized images have large files that aren’t optimized for the web, they have the potential to significantly slow down your site. Smush can quickly detect and fix those images that are slowing your website down.

smush wordpress plugin

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Add Plugins to Improve Your Site

Plugins are essential for increasing the functionality of your WordPress website. They're quite simple to install, add, and use — follow the steps we’ve outlined above to get started using your newest plugins.

Use HubSpot tools on your WordPress website and connect the two platforms  without dealing with code. Click here to learn more.

 Use HubSpot tools on your WordPress website and connect the two platforms  without dealing with code. Click here to learn more.

Originally published Feb 10, 2020 9:47:52 AM, updated February 10 2020