I have had a number of emails from people asking various questions about “Plugins, How To Find, Download and Activate“?

For anyone who doesn’t have time to read the post, I have added this quick video on adding plugins to WordPress to give you an overview of the plugin process. I hope it gets you over the hump until you have more time.

Below is a screenshot of the “Plugins Page” from this site, The NicheDoctor. From this page, you could click on the “Add New” button to be taken to the “Add Plugins” page which will be the next screenshot you come to after the one below.

Before you move on, on the Plugins page you will see the listing for all of your plugins. Like the sample below all Plugins are listed by name, and they also have the version of the plugin, created by, and usually a link to the homepage of the website that the plugin came from?

In addition, as you can see below just under the Plugin name are links to settings, deactivate, and even links to upgrade to a Premium Plugin if you so desire?

The “Plugins Page” has a Listing of all plugins on Your website

This is the Plugin listings Page from the WordPress Dashboard on this website!

Another important point, updates! Keeping your plugins up to date is an essential task. When plugins are not updated regularly they become susceptible to hackers! That’s probably the main thing that gets updated on most electronic products is security details, as well as, version updates, bug fixes, etc!

When a plugin is not in use turn it off, or delete it unless you know you need it? That makes one less item putting a drain on-site resources and slowing things down! I am always looking for ways to clean things up. Besides, if you know those unused plugins can cause security issues, as well as, performance issues, why would you take the chance of that happening when you can avoid it?

On the next page, the “Add Plugins” page, you can click on the “Upload Plugin button” and it will open your computer so you can upload your plugins if you have them on your personal computer. If you don’t already have the plugins you need than there are several places where you can find them.

First, WordPress.org is the official site for self-hosted WordPress, not the free version. There is a free version of WordPress at WordPress.com That said, right on the WordPress.org site you can search for any plugins you want? There are literally thousands of them.

I don’t know the exact number, but believe me when I tell you that there is no shortage of WP plugins!
Now, there are always new plugins being created, and some I am sure have not yet made it to the WordPress.org site. I would certainly think that there are more than enough to choose from?

Screenshot of The Add Plugins Page

If WordPress was a salad, plugins would be the dressing!

This is a really important step with your WordPress sites. There are thousands of plugins that have been created to be used with WordPress. WordPress is really a great Content Management System or, CMS? Either way is fine, and normally people will know what you’re referring too?

Once you get accustomed to using WordPress you will see that the plugins are what adds all the custom functionality. Plugins are exactly what the name implies. You’re taking a software folder or file and loading it into WordPress, or Plugging it in? Once the plugin is activated, and the settings if there are any, are adjusted, you have just added a new function, or resource, to your site.

You may have added a Google Analytics plugin, or a Sitemap plugin, or maybe a caching plugin to make things run faster on your site? Whatever the case may be, with Plugins you have just learned a new process for extending or enhancing the functionality of WordPress.

There are plugins for just about anything you want your site to do. Forms for capturing email addresses and names, or maybe a font plugin to give you the desired lettering that you are looking for? Whatever you want it is there, and if it isn’t, and it is something that would be used by others, someone will probably make a plugin to accomplish that function.

There are software developers that are constantly looking for some new function that needs a plugin to do it. Once they find something they are back at work developing the code.

Plugins Can Be a Blessing or a Curse?

Plugins are awesome! I am fascinated by the sheer genius of many of my fellow WordPress brothers and sisters. I will be the first to admit that other than the absolute basics I know nothing about computer code? When I say basics I mean basics! HTML and that is just enough to get by and sometimes get me out of a minor bind with links, colors, missing alt descriptions, etc. Start talking about Javascript, PHP, CSS, or any of the rest and I am lost?

What I do know a little bit about is working with WordPress and some of the things to keep my eyes on! Just little things like keeping my WordPress version up to date, as well as, my themes and plugins.

Pagespeed is another thing that I check at least several times a week. I usually check it daily when possible. It’s simple, go to gtmetrix.com or Google Search Console.

 

The first place gtmetrix is really easy and it’s free! They have a paid version, and they also have some awesome web hosting for big sites, enterprise size stuff. Anyway, I use them for their PageSpeed software that is really nice. I will put a screenshot of a test I did on this site about a week ago. I did it today too but I downloaded this shot several days or a week ago?

 

Screenshot of PageSpeed Test performed at GTmetrix.com PageSpeed Testing Report

Screenshot of PageSpeed Test performed at GTmetrix.com PageSpeed Testing Site

The reason I added the screenshot above is because PageSpeeds are a big item with Google and the ranking of websites. Remember, Google has been at this longer than any of us. They know from their own analytics that people do not spend much time on sites that either have poor content, slow loading pages, links that lead nowhere, and just bad navigation in general. Think about it, when you run into any of those examples I just listed what do you do?

I know what I do, I go somewhere else in a hurry! Truth is, I have too much of my own stuff to do without wasting my time on a website that doesn’t work properly? Now, look up at those PageSpeed results from exactly 1 week ago, and I just checked it again a few minutes ago and got the same result with 2 – A’s but this time I had 97% instead of 98%. That is an outstanding result.

I tell you this because Plugins can have a dramatic effect on PageSpeeds! I have two plugins that cover several functions. I use Hummingbird plugin for help with caching my pages, browser cache, GZip compression for site coding and files, performance tests, and tweaks. I use Smush for optimizing images, photos, etc. Like I said earlier in the post, there are plugins for anything you need to do on your website. If you run into a situation where you don’t see what you need just do a search on WordPress.org and on Google and I’ll bet you find something to get the job done!

I hope you found enough here to help you out with your plugin needs. I hope you stop back again, and please leave me a comment or even a message through the customer support page and I will get back to you. Like us on Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn.

 

Thanks for stopping by, and please be safe and take care!

The NicheDoctor

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