In part 8 of our Free WordPress Video Tutorial series, learn how to use install and use new WordPress Widgets on your WordPress website.
In this video, I will be showing you how to use and install wordpress plugins. Specifically, we will be looking at:
1. What are WordPress Plugins?
2. How can WordPress Plugins be used?
3. Example of the best WordPress Plugins
4. Installation and usage of Ninja Forms
5. Installing third party wordpress plugins
6. Installing WP Review Plugin
Alright so in the previous lesson, we learned about widgets. In this lesson, we are going to be learning specifically about plugins. And so what we are actually going to be talking about in this lesson is first off, what are plugins, what can we use them for. Then I am going to talk about, kind of just very briefly, the most important plugins.
I will give you a list of a few that kind of can improve, I guess the backend of your wordpress website. How do we install these plugins and also how do we install, I guess third party plugins. Plugins that are made by external developers that are not in the wordpress dot org directory. And I will show you what all this is.
The first thing is what are plugins. And so, pretty much plugins, you know, they are fairly broad what they can do. But we just say that they are add ons to provide some type of functionality. Either a functionality or look. But generally, they can do something, either in the backend or something that we can actually see in the front end.
And it’s going to be generally something that can enhance performance, that’s more of a backend related things, but yeah, they can enhance performance or enhance design. And I am going to show you exactly some of the examples of, I guess, the best plugins that I think that new websites should all have. Right.
And there could be variations of each of these. These kind of all fit under very broad general category. The first being some type of caching plugin. You can think very briefly, caching plugin is simply, it will speed up your website, right, so there is a couple of different ones w3 total cache is one of them and wp super cache is one of them.
And I believe actually, when you initially install wordpress, wp super cache is already installed. And the reason why we are not using that one is simply because if you ever want to get something called a content delivery network, and that’s what really actually enhances the speed and performance of your website.
W3 total cache specifically works with content delivery network called Mach cdn. So that’s why I use w3 total cache. You can use whatever caching plugin you want.
The second one being, it’s a type of social sharing. If we see different websites, they have some type of social sharing function right. You can like it or share it on Facebook, tweet about it and things like that. So the one that I use is floating social bar.
The third one is some type of contact form and I don’t actually use this one. I used to use this one, but ninja forms actually now is a plugin that you have to pay for which is called grab me forms. But ninja forms I think is the best alternative if you want something that’s a free alternative to grab be forms.
And the final one being some type of SEO plugin. Something that can kind of guide you in the way or enhance the searches and optimization and I use the one by Yoast. And that’s the one that a lot of people use.
So now we are just going to get right into it and actually show you how to use plugins or how to install them. I gave you a brief list before. What we are going to do is simply just go into plugins and let’s just install one of them. Right, let’s just install one of them and kind of see how it works. Right?
And the one that we are going to be installing is, let’s just add a contact form, for example the ninja forms contact form. And so. When we go into plugins, this is in our backend of wordpress. So I am assuming that everybody has this installed. If not, you can go back to the previous videos.
But just go into plugins and then, you can click add new here, add new down there. So just add new. And then what we are going to do is we are going to be searching and this is going to be searching the wordpress dot org directory. And the one that we are going to be looking for is ninja forms. And so we are just going to search that plugin and we are going to install it now.
So once this has installed, we are just going to click activate plugin. And then once it’s activated, we should see it somewhere within the settings or right here. So in the forms right here. so this is where all the, the plugins generally, when they are initially installed, we will see either in option and settings or we will see a brand new, completely new menu option over here.
And this is going to be in forms. And so what we are going to do is. I believe I already created a form before. Because I used ninja forms in the past. So what I am going to show you is very very briefly, how to add a contact form, a new contact form.
And so we probably won’t have this already because this is something I used in the past and I saved my settings. What we are going to do is just go into add new form. And what we are going to do here is let’s just title it. Let’s just title it contact and number 2 because, it’s the second one that we made.
And let’s just save that. So all these options, they kind of will be saved directly first and automatically for us. The from email address, who the email is going to be sending to once we you know, get the email that somebody has in fact entered in new entry into our contact form. And these other additional options, we can just browse through them in the future.
But what I am going to show you is very briefly. How do we actually create our form? So in a contact form, what do you normally have? You normally have something like your name, you have for example your first name. So what we are going to do is, we are going to click it and we will see that it will show up right here. So the first name, we want our user to enter their first name.
And we can specify lot of different options. We are not going to go into too briefly or not too much into detail with those. Let’s say we also need a last name. And you can specify whether or not this is required information or not, maybe their email as well. And then finally probably just a text box or a text area. I think a text box is just one little line. A text area will be much bigger.
And we can just save that, and when we save that, what we will see is a, we are going to form preview and kind of see what that contact form would look like on our website. And that’s exactly what we need. Just first name, last name, email and some type of text area.
So where exactly do we want to put this? And what we generally want to do is we want to put this on some sort of page. And so what we are going to do very briefly is. We are just going to add a new page. And so we will call this our contact page. And then in order to add this form, all we are going to do, is we are just going to specify right there, appended in your form contact to. And we are going to publish that.
And once this is published, just click view page. You can kind of see how that looks. And so this is exactly what we need. We want the contact page to have a first name, last name, and email and text area. Probably you don’t want these side bars, so very briefly I will show you how to remove those sidebars.
So if you don’t want any sidebars on your page, what you are going to do is you are just going to scroll down here, the default layout is whatever we set in out theme settings and it’s the one with the sidebar. We are going to specify the one with no sidebar.
And we are just going to update that. And when we view the page, we will see that in fact now, we have a contact page and nothing else onto it. So that’s exactly what we want, very simple, very easy to use. And you can just kind of go through all the different settings, ninja forms actually a quite robust. It has quite a bit of power.
But yeah. I mean I didn’t want to go too much into detail showing you how to install every single plugin. They kind of all work this way. You can scroll through that list that I mentioned before, the caching plugins, social sharing plugins. We already installed the forms.
So you can go through that, install whichever plugins you like. But another thing what you can do is you can actually search the wordpress directory. So you can search. This is at wordpress dot org slash plugins and these are all free plugins that different developers have made.
You can literally just make anything you want. For example, if you want a form, there is different plugins like, I believe it’s called bb press, is a popular form plugin. So you can add a lot of different functionalities. You can just search the wordpress dot org directory. Or you can just go search whatever you want.
And so the next thing that we are going to be looking at is actually, you know, one thing that we have on our website is this reviews plugin. It’s this reviews plugin you see right here. I mean add these little stars on your Google search. So actually underneath the name of, if you were to search. For example, if you label upon this page, you would see under it that it has a five star, because it’s the review.
So this was the review plugin. I mentioned before they have third party plugins. This is a third party plugin that I actually purchased. Its called author h review. They have a free and they have a premium version. So what I am going to show you now is actually, how do you install a plugin that, maybe you downloaded from somewhere else.
Either from the wordpress dot org directory or you purchased it from somewhere. So we are going into plugins and we are going to add new and what we are going to do here is, we are going to click upload. So what we are going to do here really quickly is, what we are going to do is, just upload it.
So if you noticed right here, I have saved kind of a file that actual plugin down here. It’s the wp dash reviews plugin. We are just going to install it. And so this is literally how you would install any third party plugin whether you purchased it or you downloaded from the wordpress dot org directory.
You have to just click activate. And this is going to work exactly the same as the ninja forms plugin. So I am not going to actually show. We will see down here that, that’s where the reviews are. That’s actually how you would install a third party plugin. You can use FTP access as well. But for me this is very simple. Just add new and then upload a file.
So that’s actually all I want to show you in this lesson. But in the next lesson we are going to be looking at how to add custom menus or customized menus and I mentioned this before in the top right header bar, what we are looking at widgets. So this is something that we will look right there. How to make different menu options for navigation and things like that.