How to install Plugins and Themes for WordPress – Part 5

In our last part of the series, we learnt about the essential Plugins that enable a blog to be a complete solution for online publishing. I am sure many of you have gone ahead implemented it, but for those of you who are pondering “How do I install a plugin?” read on as this part covers it all up.

To start off, you need a tool called FTP. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and connects your computer with your WordPress hosted server. I personally use SmartFTP, but you can use any of the available softwares in the market. For the sake of this chapter, I will be using SmartFTP.

Once you install and open SmartFTP, this is how the interface looks:

smartftp1.jpg

The small window on the left side shows a summary of your webhost content and the big window on the right side shows the specific folder contents. WordPress has 3 main folders called wp-admin, wp-content and wp-includes. Our business today is with the wp-content folder. You can find this with the public_html or www folder.

Alright, click on the wp-content folder. Now again, you will find 3 sub-folders called Plugins, Themes and Uploads folder. Our immediate concern is with the Plugins folder. Click on the Plugins folder. Once you are there, right click and in the drop down menu, choose Upload -> Direct -> Select. When you click, you will get a pop-up that will ask you to either add a folder or add files. Depending on what you are uploading, select one and start adding files/folders one after the other. Once done, click Ok.

The files will start uploading.

Let me quickly cover up the Themes part here. Just the way you clicked the Plugins folder and uploading the plugin files, go to the Themes folder, follow the same process and upload the themes folder.

If the files and folders are uploaded properly, it will show a Success message.

Your next job is to login to your admin panel and go to the Plugins section. You can do this by clicking on the Plugins link in the top navigational bar. Once you are there, this is how the Plugins page looks like:

plugins1.jpg

You will see the list of all the Plugins you have uploaded. One by one, activate each of them. Once activated, you can find their config panels under Options. You can do additional modification if you wish. Most of the Plugins come with default settings that you don’t need to tweak. Again, they differ by purpose. So, do take a look at their config panels under Options.

That’s about it with the Plugin management. Now, moving ahead with the themes, in the top navigational bar, click on Presentation and under Presentation, go to Themes. This is the page shown by default. The page looks like this:

themes1.jpg

The page will show you the current theme you are on as well as all the available themes that you have uploaded to your themes folder in the past. You can always click on them and the theme will change automatically. Under available themes, look for the theme you just uploaded and click on it to activate it. You are done.

In case you want to edit a theme, click on Theme Editor under Presentation tab and you will be taken to the coding page that looks like below:

themeedit1.jpg

On the right of the page, you can see a list of all the php files you can edit to tweak your blog’s look or add further functionality. If you are a programmer, you can definitely play with the codes; otherwise, your best bet is to hire a freelancer who can make the necessary changes for you for a fee.

Again, that’s about it with the themes.

With Part 5, we are actually closing the first phase of blogging. You now have a fully functional blog with the necessary Plugins and the design you want. In the second phase of the series, we will talk about the actual process of choosing your niche, building content and promoting it using various distribution outlets. Stay tuned!

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  1. […] and upload it to your Plugin directory. For information on how to upload a Plugin, refer to my post here. Again, the Plugins mentioned above are free and have no strings […]

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