What is a WordPress plugin?
A WordPress Plugin is software that contains functions used to add specific features to an existing WordPress theme. Plugins for WordPress can be used to design or customize your blog, optimize your blog for search engine optimization, and many other things.
Once your blog is live, you can install a WordPress plugin to add specific features to your blog. Below is how you can install the WordPress plugin. But before we start, know that you can only install a WordPress plugin if you are using WordPress.org, but if you are using WordPress.com, You have to upgrade to a premium plan before you can install a plugin.
Login to your WordPress dashboard and go to plugins.
If you are already on your Dashboard page, you can ignore the above step and continue with the following step.
Click on add new
Now go to the keyword search box and write the name of the plugin you want to install. Once it appears, you can then click install. Wait for it to finish installing, and then click activate.
You now successfully installed your WordPress plugin.
Tips on choosing the best WordPress plugin.
When you search for plugins in WordPress, you will see many similar Plugins that perform the same functions. Beginner bloggers can be confused about which of the plugins to choose. That is why I decided to write the following tips that will help you choose the best plugin for your WordPress blog.
- Before installing any plugin, make sure to backup your blog. This is because, some plugins are not compatible with your blog theme, and if you install them, they can change many things on your blog.
- Check the details of any plugin before you install it to make sure that it has the features you are looking for.
- When you search for a plugin, check and install the one with higher positive reviews. Plugin with few reviews or many negative reviews might not be a good one or hasn’t worked for many bloggers and there is possibility that it might not work for you too, so you should avoid it.
- Intall the plugin that has shorter updates period. Plugin that has not been updated for too long, might not work for your blog because it might have bugs that can make your blug malfunction.
- Before installing any plugin, check the speed of your blog with gtmetrix.com or any other good website speed tester, take not of your site speed, and check the site speed after installing the plugin, if your blog load time increases significantly, then you should uninstall that plugin and look for another option.
- Check the number of installations to determine the popularity of the plugin.
- After installing a plugin, if possible, check all the most important functions of your website and make sure they are working as usual. This is because, some plugins can make your blog malfunctions.
- You might not find all what you need in one plugin. So you can use 2 plugins to get what you need.
If you don’t know much about blogging, read All about a blog, blogging, blogger, and blogging examples i explained everything you want to know about blogging there. Below are some of the most sought-after WordPress plugins.
WordPress plugin for Google Analytics
These are plugins that give you a snippet of your google analytics dashboard on your WordPress dashboard. There are many WordPress plugins with this function. Below I have selected the best 3.
- Site Kit by Google: This is the official plugin by google that has all the google products you need to know how people are finding your website/blog and how they are using it. It is 100% free and you can install it using the above method. It is also easy to set up and give you metrics for your entire site and for individual posts. The plugin has Search Console, Analytics, AdSense, PageSpeed Insights, Tag Manager, and Optimise all in it.
- MonsterInsights: It is the most popular Google Analytics WordPress plugin with more than 3 million installations. Many big and small companies use This plugin to setup Google Analytics on their website. They claimed to show you the only data that matters, which you can use to improve your blog/business.
- Exact Metrics:This is another WordPress Plugin that helps with setting up Google Analytics on your blog. They have more than a million Installations. They provide all the basic Google Analytics data.
WordPress plugin for membership
Do you want to create a Membership blog or website? Below I listed some of the best plugins to let you create a membership site that users can create profiles.
- Ultimate Member: This plugin is one of the best for creating membership form on your blog, it has 200,000 active installations. The basic features like user registration, user login, content restrictions and many more are free, but you need to go Premium if you want to allow members to add location, upload profile pictures, create and join groups, allow users to follow each other, private message, and many more.
- Profile Press: This is another good Plugin that have more than 400,000 active installations. They also allow you to use basic functions, like user registration, Login, profile creation for free. In addition to what Ultimate Member offers, This Plugin allow you to send costume emails to your members for free and there are Pre built templates of members profile, member directory and forms. However, Social login, User moderation, email confirmation, and many other functions are under Premium package.
- Members: This Awesome Plugin for Membership form is completely free to use and users have given them a lot of positive reviews, however many are complaining about their nagging message, asking for reviews, if they like the plugin. It has many features like role editor, content restrictions, Role hierarchy and many more.
- S2Member: This is another free wordpress membership plugin, it allows you to protect your content and allow only registered members access. It also has Premium package with more awesome functions.
WordPress Plugin for backup
Do you want to easily backup your blog with just a few clicks, using WordPress Plugin? The listed plugins below can help you with that.
- UPdraftplus: When it comes to backup on wordpress, UPdraftplus is the most popular plugin. It has more than 3 million active installations. Using this plugin, you can schedule automatic backups, and in case the worse happen, with just few clicks you can restore your blog.
- Jetpack for WordPress : This is an all in one plugin that has most of the functions you need in a plugin. Although its a Premium plugin but you can use some of its basic functions for free. Jepack in WordPress has backup options, you can backup your blog automatically with this plugin and it gives unlimited storage. The plugin is very popular, they have more than 5 million active installations with many positive reviews.
- Duplicator: This is another wordpress backup plugin. Although its main function is for wordpress sites migration, it also allows you to backup your wordpress blog. They have more than a million active installations, and positive reviews, its basic functions are free but you need to buy a Premium package to enjoy its full functions. However, the downside of this plugin is that you need technical knowledge if you want to backup your blog with it.
- All in one WP migration: This is another good WordPress backup plugin. You can easily backup your blog with no technical knowledge required. The plugin is compatible with most hosting, like Bluehost and Dreamhost. They have more than 4 million active installations, although with negative reviews, but they have many more positive reviews. This plugin is also good for blog or website migration.
WordPress plugin for Live Chat
WordPress plugin for chat allows you to have live chat with your visitors. This can make your blog to be more engaging, especially for online stores and blogs that sell digital or physical products.
Below are some of the best plugins for a chat.
- 3CX live Chat: With this plugin, you can chat with your visitors in real time completely free. It has been downloaded more than 1,900,000 and it has more than 40,000 active installations. It has voice and video chat options. Other functions of this plugin include, Anonymity for visitors, transfer of chat to other agents, set up departments, you can also add surveys or polls to your chat box.
- Zendesk Chat: This Plugin allows you to monitor your visitors real time when they are on your site and start chatting with them. It has more than 50,000 active installations and good reviews. But it is a Premium plugin.
- Tawk. Live Chat: This is another good wordpress Live chat plugin option. It is 100 free and they claimed that 3,800,000 Businesses downloaded their app. It allows you to Monitor your visitors and have a live that with them. They however have 200,000 active installations. The reviews users are giving on this plugin is almost 100% positive. You will find many options that only Premium plugins are giving with Tawk for free.
- Chaty: This plugin comes with special features that allows your visitors to chat with you via their favourite social media platforms like, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram and many more. Another interesting thing about this plugin is that, your visitors can chat with you even after leaving your blog. Its basic functions are free but more advanced options need a Premium package to use. They have more than 100,000 active installations. Another good thing with this plugin is that its reviews are 100% positive as at the time of writing this blog post.
- ActiveCampaigns: This is another plugin that helps create chat on blogs. It also has forms and site tracking to track your visitors. They have 100% positive reviews and 60,000 active installations. The only downside of this Plugin is that it is a Premium plugin, but they give trial period, after which you can go fully Premium.
- Facebook chat plugin: This is official WordPress Chat Plugin by Facebook, it is 100% free. You can continue chatting with your visitors even after they leave your blog. The plugin has some bad reviews and a few good ones. Another interesting function with this plugin is that even those without facebook account can chat with you in guest mode. The plugin has more than 100,000 active installations.
- Tidio: This is also a wordpress plugin for live chat. It has Premium package, many of its basic functions are free. It has 100% positive reviews and 100,000 active installations.
WordPress Plugin for security.
Are you looking for WordPress Plugin for security? Here I have mentioned some of the best plugins that can give your blog security.
- Wordfence Security: This is a very popular WordPress plugin for security with more than 4 million installations. It is a Premium plugin but you can use its basic functions for free. They claimed to have a team of experts that are 100% on WordPress security. They have many positive reviews and regular updates.
- Jetpack:Protect: This is included in the Jetpack plugin function. It provides security to your blog. Protect your blog against unwanted login attempts, and brute force attack. Jectpack is a popular plugin used by millions of bloggers.
- Sucuri Security: This is another plugin than can help you protect your WordPress blog. It has good reviews with 800,000 active installations. It has good security functions like, Effective security Hardening, post hack security actions, Security activity auditing and many more.
- All in one WP Security & Firewall: This is a free wordpress plugin for blog security, it is easy to use and uses WordPress recommend security practices. It has some good recommendations and 900,000 active installations.
WordPress plugin for Forms.
Do you want to create forms like contact form, Feedback form, Subscription form, or any other type of form on WordPress? You can do that easily with the right plugin.
There are many plugins that can help you create forms, below are some of the best plugins you can use for that purpose.
- Wpforms: This is among the best Plugins for creating all kinds of Forms, be it contact, subscription, feedback. It has easy drag and drop forms builder. The plugin has many positive reviews and more than 4 million active installations. It has Premium package but you can use its basic features for free.
- Contact Form 7: This is the most popular plugin for forms in wordpress. It is easy to use and 100% free. They have more than 5 million active installations with positive reviews.
- Ninja forms: If you are a beginner in blogging, this plugin is for you as you will be able to create forms without coding. They have drag and drop forms builder that is easy to use. They have more than a Million active installations and many positive reviews.
- Formidable Form Builder: This form builder plugin is also a good option. Although its a Premium one but you can use its basic functions for free. It has close to 100% positive reviews and more than 300,000 active installations. You can create almost any WordPress form you want with their drag and drop Form builder. Read How to choose best wordpress Theme for your blog i explained how you can design your blog there.
WordPress plugin for Gallery
Do you want to display picture galleries on your blog? Below are some of the plugins that will allow you to do just that.
- Slider, Gallery, by meta slider: This is a plugin that will allow you to place responsive galleries on your blog easily. You can add pictures and videos from your blog Library. The plugin is very popular with more than 800,000 active installations. They also have good reviews.
- NextGen Gallery: With this plugin, you can Easily Setup photo gallery on your blog, it has many styles you can choose from. But its a Premium plugin and the free version has limitations. They claimed to have 1.5m downloads every year. The plugin has positive user reviews.
- Photo Gallery by 10web: This plugin gives you what you need to add photo Gallery on your wordpress blog easily. It comes with templates to choose from and its responsive. Though its a Premium plugin but it allows you to use it for free with the basic features. The plugin has positive reviews and more than 300,000 active installations.
WordPress Plugin for Donation.
Do you want to ask your blog visitors for donations? Donation is one of the blog Monetization techniques you can use to make money. There are plugins that can help you collect Donations with ease. Below are some of the plugins you should consider.
- Give WP: It is one of the most popular wordpress plugins for donation. The plugin is free and easy to use for your fundraising need. It has functions like customizable donation forms Templates, view donations statistics and reports, manage donations and many more. It has more than 100,000 active installations and many positive reviews.
- Paypal Donations: With this plugin, you will be able to collect Paypal donations on your blog. You don’t need any coding knowledge to setup this plugin, it has some positive reviews and more than 30,000 active installations. Your donors can pay using Paypal or credit cards. This Plugin is the official PayPal Partner.
- Charitable: This is a completely free WordPress Plugin that allow you to do fundraising on your blog. The plugin doesn’t charge transaction fee and it is easy to setup, they have positive reviews and 10,000 active installations.
WordPress plugin for Social media.
Do you want to display social media buttons on your post that will enable your visitors to share your content, or you want social media buttons that will take your visitors to your social media pages? Below are plugins that can help you with that.
- Social Media Share buttons by ultimately Social: This is a very popular plugin that allows you to add social media sharing buttons on your blog. Its free but has Premium package that give more advanced features. You can add social media buttons that will allow your visitors to like your Social media pages, or allow them to share your posts on social media. It has 200,000 Active Installations with some good reviews.
- Simple social media share buttons by WpBrigade: this is a simple Plugin that will allow you to add social media sharing buttons on your blog. It is free to use but some features only work on its Premium package. It has more than 40,000 active installations With Positive reviews.
- Auto post to social media by Buffer: This Plugin will help you reduce the hassle of posting on social media, as it does that on auto setup. Once setup, the plugin can share your post immediately you publish. It has more than 7,000 active installations with 100% positive reviews.
WordPress plugin for Subscription.
Do you want to add a form that will allow you to collect your reader’s emails so that you can send your new posts and other campaigns to their emails? You can have that with the help of any of the following plugins.
- Email subscribers and newsletters: This plugin is among the best for collecting leads, sending emails notifications for new posts. The Plugin is very easy to setup and you can use its basic features for free. It has many positive reviews and more than 100,000 active installations.
- Newsletter, SMTP, Email marketing and Subscribe forms by Sendinblue: This is another good WordPress plugin for email marketing. You can easily create subscription form that can be integrated into your posts and pages. It has good reviews, and more than 80,000 active installations.
- Hustle: This WordPress Plugin allows you to create mailing list and display targeted ads across your site with pop ups. It also comes with the function of displaying social media buttons, it has positive reviews and more than 100,000 active installations.
WordPress plugin for calendar.
Below are WordPress plugins that you can use to add a calendar to your blog.
- The events calendar: This is the most popular wordpress for events. You can easily create and manage event calendar on your wordpress blog. It is free to use and has many templates you can use and is customizable. It has more than 800,000 active installations and positive reviews.
- All in one event calendar: This is among the best wordpress calendars, you can easily create, manage and share your event on your blog. Its also free and has more than 100,000 active installations.
- Event Manager: This an event registration plugin, its features includes, event registration, booking management, multiple ticket and many more. It has more than 100,000 active installations and positive reviews. Its basic features are free but you need Premium package to use its full features.
How to uninstall WordPress Plugin.
If you want to uninstall plugin, make sure you backup your blog, just in case. Go to your WordPress dashboard>Plugins>Installed plugins.
Now look for the plugin you want to Uninstall and click deactivate, then click Delete.
After Uninstalling, check your blog to make sure that it’s still functioning as it should.
You have learned how to install the WordPress plugin in this post. And it is believed that you can comfortably do that.
You also see some of the best WordPress plugins for, Google Analytics, Membership, Social Media, Security, Donation, Calendar, Subscription, Gallery, Forms, and Live Chat.
Most of those Plugins are essential, depending on the type of blog you are operating.
You have also learned how to uninstall plugin the safe way.
If you like this post, I believed you will also like my post on Web hosting, i explained all you need to know about web hosting or WordPress hosting there.
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