We’ve talked a little bit about plugins, so you know what a plugin is, but let’s go over how to find and install them.
The WordPress site has a comprehensive list of every plugin available. From here, you can search for the functionality you’re looking for and see reviews of the plugins, number of downloads, installation notes, etc. Chances are, if you want to do it, there is a plugin for it.
We’ll start by installing a plugin that saves some real estate on your WordPress dashboard, the Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu plugin. By default, the WordPress dashboard menu is on your left.
When you install and activate Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu, the menu moves to the top, eliminating the need for lots of vertical scrolling.
There are two ways to install a plugin, through your WordPress dashboard, or through FTP.
- Navigate to Plugins → Add New
- In the search field, type in the plugin you want to install, in this case we’ll search for “Ozh Admin”
- When the search results appear, locate the plugin and click “Install” then “Install Now”
- Click “Activate Plugin”
If you have a zipped file of your plugin, you can also install it through the WordPress dashboard.
By now, you know that I love FTP and do the majority of my work in Core FTP (if you need a refresher on FTP, read this post). To install a plugin using FTP:
- Download the plugin that you want to install from the WordPress plugin repository
- Unzip it to a folder on your computer
- Sign into Core FTP, or your chosen tool
- Navigate to www.yoursite.com/wp-content/plugins
- FTP the plugin folder from your computer to your server
- In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins → Installed → Inactive and activate your new plugin
Plugins are addictive. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!