How to Install and Use WordPress Plugins

Using and Installing WordPress Widgets

Many of my readers have found value in my post Moving From Blogger to WordPress. And they have asked for more posts along these lines. Today I’m going to share with you how to install and use WordPress plugins.


WordPress vs. Blogger

Blogger makes adding widgets very easy inside their template, but anyone with experience using Blogger knows that that ease comes at a price, less overall flexibility. So WordPress will give you much more flexibility, but you’ll need to spend a little upfront time setting things up. Once you get the hang of adding plugins you’ll be able to do it very quickly.

Getting Started

Once you’ve set up WordPress and picked your theme, then you’ll want to add plugins which are like widgets in Blogger. The first one you should add is SideBar Widgets By Automattic, Inc. which adds a “Sidebar Widgetsâ€? panel under the Presentation menu in your WordPress Admin panel. This will give you up to 9 widgets. Many people will need more. See my post on the easy way to increase the number of sidebar widgets beyond 9.

For plugins that require PHP coding, you’ll want to add Executable PHP widget by Otto. Both of these should be added to your plugins>widgets directory on your server.

Adding Plugins

  1. README. Each plugin usually has a text file called ReadMe. Read this! Better: print it out for ease of reference. It will have installation instructions, FAQ’s and troubleshooting information.
  2. UPLOAD. For each plugin you add including the two listed above, you’ll need to upload them via FTP to your server. In most cases you’ll be uploading to the Plugin directory, usually located in this order /public_html/wp-content/plugins/.
  3. CHMOD. (optional-see ReadMe file for the plugin)For some plugins you may need to make the file writable. To do this go to your FTP client and click on the properties of the plugin file. Then change the file attributes by typing in the number 755.
  4. ACTIVATE. In your WordPress Admin panel go to Plugins. Scroll down to your newly uploaded plugin and click on Activate.
  5. ADD. Go to Presentation in your admin panel. Then go into Sidebar Widgets. In here you can set how many text Sidebar Widgets you want. (If you want more than the default 9, you can get instruction for increasing that amount here.)

Using TEXT Widgets

  1. DRAG. Drag the sidebar widgets into your sidebar column.
  2. CLICK. Click on the X on the widget.
  3. TYPE. Type in the html code into the box that opens. Type the title for the widget.
  4. CLICK. Click outside the widget box to finish.
  5. SAVE. Click on save options.
  6. REVIEW. Check your site to see if it is loading properly.

Using EXECPHP Widgets

  1. REPEAT. Use the same steps as above.
  2. TROUBLESHOOT. If the element doesn’t show up properly on your blog, you probably need to add runPHP plugin by James Van Lommel for these widgets to work properly.

Hopefully this will help former Blogger bloggers to start using Wordpress plugins with ease. Good luck.

For more information subscribe to my blog to ensure that you don’t miss the upcoming post on some great useful Wordpress plugins that I use along with a reference on where to the users choice awards of plugins.

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