WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems in the world and offers countless useful functions for every need. WordPress websites get their functionality in particular through function extensions, the so-called plugins. Plugins are small programs that integrate additional features into your site and thus expand and change them.
There are now more than 59,000 plugins for WordPress. Even experienced WordPress users quickly lose track of the selection. Since there are many different plugins for every desired function, we explain how you can find, install and use the best WordPress plugins and what you should definitely pay attention to when choosing the plugins.
Surely you already have a concrete idea of what you are looking for. Even if you’re still looking for inspiration, we’ll help you find the right plugin for your website.
As a first step, you should consider which functional extension of your website you want a plugin or what you need. Should it be a cookie banner or provide more security on your website? Or something with social media? You should then clearly define your requirements: which functionalities must be fulfilled? This will make it easier for you to choose the right WordPress plugin later.
Write down the 5 most important functions and structure them according to their importance.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that not one plugin alone can meet all desired requirements. Different plugins often complement each other and thus coherently cover the desired requirements. You should also never install too many plugins as each installed and activated plugin can make your website a bit slower as each plugin adds some extra code to your website. The more code that has to be loaded, the slower your website will be.
There are several ways to find new plugins for your website. Firstly, you can use the plugin search via WordPress.org. There you can choose from over 59,000 free plugins.
With a specific search query in the repository (repo), the WordPress page will show you the appropriate plugins according to relevance. You get an overview of the name, description, author, and number of installations. You can also see the compatible WordPress versions for the plugin there, as well as ratings.
With so much to choose from, however, a non-specific repo search can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Therefore, it is sometimes easier to do a Google search in advance. The advantage here is that you can also see plugins that are not included in the WordPress repo! It is important to note that there are far more plugins than are shown in the WordPress repo. Not all plugins are listed in the repo because not every developer uploads their plugin to WordPress.
You can therefore find more plugins with a Google search and also find out more about user experiences and the plugin itself.
As soon as you have an initial overview of the WordPress plugins that are suitable for you, you can continue.
Do you already have a specific plugin in mind that you are interested in? Then it is now time to find out whether the plugin also meets all your requirements.
To find out more information about the plugin, simply click on the plugin name in the WordPress repo, which will open the plugin overview page. Here you will find detailed information about functions, possible uses, and tips that you can compare with other plugins.
An important criterion when selecting the plugin is the user ratings. With user experiences, you can compare different plugins to see if the application and the functions suit you and your needs.
On the right side, you will find the ratings for the plugin. On a scale from 1 (not at all satisfied) to 5 (very satisfied), users can give an overview of how satisfied they are with the plugin. Of course, the number of ratings increases the representativeness, but at the same time also shows whether the plugin is good overall. It is also worth reading the written reviews here, which allow you to quickly identify strengths and weaknesses.
When installing, you must note that there are two ways to integrate plugins into your WordPress site. Both options can be implemented quickly and easily.
Let’s start by installing a plugin via the WordPress repo. To do this, you should first open your dashboard and click on “Plugins” in the left bar and then on “Install” below.
Here the plugin “Shop” opens, so to speak, which searches for and displays the plugins in the WordPress repo. In the “Browse Plugins” bar you can now enter the name of the desired plugin. – A wild plugin appears. – Now you can simply install and then click activate.
The plugin will be automatically added to your installed plugins.
If the plugin you’ve chosen isn’t listed in the repo, you can easily download it to your computer from its provider’s website.
You can also find many premium WordPress plugins at Codecanyon.net, for example. There you can buy the plugin and then you will receive a zip file that you have to upload.
You will receive a zip file that you can now upload to the WordPress backend. To do this, go back to the “Plugins” and “Install” areas on your dashboard. At the top of the page, you will find the “Upload Plugin” button, which allows you to easily upload and install the zip file. Then simply click “Activate Plugin” again. Just like in the previous example, the plugin will be automatically added to your installed plugins.
Depending on which plugin you have installed, you can now edit it in its settings. But beware: not all plugins can be edited! To do this, you can simply click on “installed plugins” in the “Plugin” area. An overview of all your installed plugins on your website opens here. Here you can also see which plugins can be edited and which cannot.
If you click on “Settings” you will be shown all relevant content and options of the plugin that you can set and customize.
After you have thought about which requirements the desired plugin should meet, you can start looking. You have various options for this. Either you start by searching WordPress itself or you look via Google search, which also shows you plugins outside of the WordPress repo. If you are interested in a plugin, it makes sense to compare them to find the one that best suits your needs and your website.
Once you’ve decided, you can start installing. You either download the plugin through WordPress or from a third party. You may have to upload the plugin to your WordPress before you can install and activate it. Finally, you can set and adjust the plugin – depending on which type of plugin you have chosen.