WordPress Plugins are set of programming codes written mostly in PHP to improve, extend and expand functionality every WordPress website. Currently there are more than forty four thousands of plugins in WordPress Official Repository. The number would increase as not all plugins are listed in the repository. Some private and premium plugins are hosted in private server.
Upload and Activate or Deactivate Plugins
Each WordPress Plugins are saved in “wp-contents/plugins” directory. To enable the plugins we need to upload it into the directory specified earlier. To begin using the plugin, we need to activate it first. Here are few steps to Upload and Activate Plugins:
There are four simple steps to upload it, here are the most easiest and popular steps:
- Upload from WordPress Repository. This is the easiest and most recommended step. Open Admin Dashboard, navigate to Plugins and choose Add New. Choose the plugin or alternatively, search your desired plugin. There are thousands of plugins available for everyone. Most of them are free and it is so easy and fast to upload it into our server. The process will take instantly.
- Upload via WordPress Manually. This step is useful if we have a plugin bundled in .zip format in our computer. It is so simple to upload the plugin. We just need to open WordPress Admin Dashboard, navigate to Plugins and choose Add New. There is clickable button in upper left section near Add Plugins text. Click Upload Plugin and new menu will be available. In this page, you just need to click Choose File to select your plugin from your computer and press Install Now to upload it into WordPress. Once everything has been done, the plugin will be available in Installed Plugins.
- Use File manager which usually available in every Control Panel. Most widely used Control Panel such as cPanel has built-in application to upload the files into server. Another Control Panel also has the same software. Using native File manager available in Control panel is Recommended than using FTP.
- Use FTP software to upload the plugins to “wp-contents/plugins/” folder. Many popular and freeware programs are available for everyone. FileZilla is recommended software to upload data and files to server.
Actually there are more steps to upload the plugins into the server but most of them require more knowledge and not so easy for everyone. Uploading via SSH using Putty or WinSCP may sound easy for user with advanced knowledge but it could be disaster for most user. Wrong Ownership and another technical procedure surely would affect WordPress negatively. Four steps above are more than enough to upload Plugin into WordPress.
Each uploaded plugin is not being activated automatically by WordPress. This is done to prevent WordPress activating the wrong uploaded plugins. Each time a plugin is uploaded into WordPress, User are given the time to check installed plugin and present the menu to activate it or leave it deactivated.
Here are simple step to activate plugins:
- Go to Admin Dashboard. An admin dashboard usually presented by “Domain.TLD/wp-admin/” in the URL. Domain is where the WordPress site installed while TLD is an abbreviation of Top Level Domain (usually .COM, .NET, ORG, etc).
- Search for Plugins menu available in left area of the Admin Dashboard.
- There would be list of all plugins installed in your WordPress website. Some of them may have been Activated while the rest of them are Deactivated. Each deactivated plugin could be activated easily just by clicking Activate button/menu.
Activated plugins usually has greenish or bluish background along with blue left border. There is also “Deactivate” menu in bottom of each plugin’s name (look at picture).
If you were asking how to deactivate plugin, you were coming into the right place. To deactivate it, here are the simple steps:
- Go to Admin Dashboard.
- Navigate to Plugins.
- Click/select Deactivate and the plugin would be deactivated automatically.
Deactivated Plugin usually has white background and colorless left border (without blue left border). Deactivated Plugin always have “Activate” menu available in the bottom of each plugin’s name (Look picture).
While deactivating plugin sound so easy, here are few things everyone should understand:
- Some functionality may no longer available. Each functionality offered by deactivated plugin may no longer accessible or completely unavailable. This is normal behavior.
- Most of the times, deactivating plugins would not erase what the plugin has done. Some entry in database may exist and unused files may present in WordPress directories.
- WordPress may behave abnormally. While this is quite rare, some caching plugins may render the site weirdly and make the admin dashboard inaccessible.
Three conditions above has been anticipated by WordPress and Plugin Developers. The second and third problems above are quite rare in recent times and possibly would never happen anymore in future. Thanks to developers that working hard Developing WordPress to be easy and error free.
WordPress uses Plugins to extend and expand its functionality. A Plugin could be uploaded manually or automatically. Uploaded Plugins are not automatically being activated. To use it, the plugin need to be activated first. Activating plugin is very easy. Click Activate button in Plugins menu and it would be activated instantly. To deactivating plugin, just press Deactivate button. After deactivating a plugin, check whether the site work correctly or abnormally. If something goes wrong, always consult it with Plugin developer. If the site work normally after deactivating the plugin, it is safe to uninstall it. Pressing Delete button will uninstall the plugin completely.