How to Install WordPress Plugins and Some Recommended WordPress Plugin for Newbie- (Step by Step Guide for Beginners)

After buying a domain name and hosting plan, then installing WordPress and designing the appearance of your website, the next step every beginner needs to follow is learning how to install a WordPress plugin.


What are Plugins?


This is a piece of software that contains a group of functions that can be added to your WordPress website. They simply aid the functionality of any WordPress website and are so easy to activate and understand.


There are thousands of WordPress Plugins available for free download that can do various functions you desire on your website, however not all are of quality and this can pose a threat to your website security.

Before I proceed further, If you are using, then you cannot install plugins.

Plugins are only available for a self hosted website


From time past, most WordPress users keep complaining that they can’t see the plugins option on their WordPress dashboard.


This is because you are using, which has lots of limitations.


If you’re planning to move from a free hosted to a self-hosted website but you are afraid of loosing your site contents, and you do not know how to migrate your content over to the new site, then follow this link for a guide i wrote on achieving this.


You cannot install plugins on unless you upgrade to their business plan. On the other hand, you can install any plugin you want on your self hosted website right out of the box.

Must Have Plugins on a WordPress Website


How to Install a WordPress Plugin


The most simplest method of installing a WordPress plugin is to use the plugin search.


From your dashboard, navigate to Plugins » Add New


You should be directed to a page like as shown in the screenshot below.


search for plugins


Search for your desired plugin by typing the plugin name.

Then click the INSTALL NOW BUTTON next to the searched plugin


WordPress will now download and install the plugin for you.

Once it is successfully installed, you will be prompted to ‘‘Activate’.


Activate WordPress Plugin


NB: A plugin not activated will never work on your website. So go ahead and click on the activate button to start using that plugin on your WordPress site.


That’s all, you have successfully installed your first WordPress plugin.


I will be recommending some few basic must-have Plugins, how they aid your website and how to activate them.


Recommended Plugins and How to Set them Up






This is my number 1 most recommended Plugin to every WordPress website/blog owner.


SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugin of all time. It helps you get more visitors from search engines like GOOGLE to your website. It helps you add Meta tags, generate sitemaps, connect your site to Google Search Console, optimize it for social media and many more additional functionality.


When it comes to on-page search engine optimization, few or none other plugins can outsmart the functionality efficacy of Yoast SEO plugin.


Take for instance, you have conducted some basic keyword research, the Yoast plugin will guide you through the step by step process of optimizing your new content/post for search engines.


The summary of its functionality is that it gives your website a wider presence on popular search engines thereby getting you more visitors from even countries beyond your region.


You can download the free version here


For a definite guide on how to set up the core functions of this plugin, simply visit




Akismet Plugin


Here is a plugin required to keep spammers away from your website. You would not like a situation whereby some unwanted bots keeps spamming your site with some unwanted contents which could be harmful and most times go against the integrity of what your site stands for.


The plugin reviews and filters every comment that is shared on your website, and gives a status history for each comment so as to enable you determine which comments were found spammy by either the post moderator or Akismet itself.


It also grants you the ability to view the number of approved comments for each users registered on your site, checks through the comment to see if any spammy links were inserted and can auto-remove any unrelated links it comes across.

You can download the free version here




Here is another useful plugin for WordPress users. Once the plugin is installed and activated on any site, it will automatically create a XML sitemap that makes it very easier for search engine bots to crawl your website.


Just picture the need for a map in a desert; it gives guidance and direction. This is exactly the primary function for this plugin to your site; it makes it easier for search engines to navigate their way through your site to index. This surely boosts your ranking and adds some extra SEO to your site.


NB: Do not use this plugin alongside Yoast SEO, as this might cause conflict. It is only an alternative.


You can download the free version here




Updraft Plus


Here is the world’s highest rated scheduled backup plugin. It helps create a scheduled backup of your site, so in case of loss or theft you can always regain back your contents.


Truly, no one prays to lose their blog content or the entire website itself, but it is better to put measures in place in case of any eventuality. The entire content of a website can be wiped off within seconds from any web server glitch which might not have been foreseen. In such a case, how does the website owner gets back the loads of contents already existing on the site?


This is the reason why a backup is required to be put in place, which can be automatically scheduled to run regularly depending on how the site contents are being updated. It allows you set up automatic backups and safely store them on a remote location like Google Drive, Dropbox, email account etc. It also makes it very easy to restore your website from any of the backup source.


All you have to do is install and activate the plugin, the guide through on how to set the backup is provided in the plugin; this is seamless and easy to setup.


You can download the free version here


For a definite guide on how to set up the core functions of this plugin, simply visit




insert headers and footers


At some point in time when running your WordPress website, you might see the need to add some code snippets to either your WordPress header or footer. An example of this is, for verification purpose when applying for Google Adsense.


This plugin helps you easily add some lines of code to your WordPress website without editing your theme core files.


You can download the free version here






One of the ways of making people who visit your website interact with your content can be by providing an easy means for them to share your post on any of their social media handle. It increases your site traffic and engagement by helping people share your posts and pages to any of their social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, WhatsApp, etc.


You can download the free version here





This is another free top WordPress plugin that serves various functions, primarily for website management.


It can be used to check stats and analytics for better understanding of your website visitors. It also provides an option for creating a subscription list for your blog. Once a subscription box is enabled on the blog, visitors fill the form by submitting their email address.  This email address is stored in the website database, and immediately a new post is uploaded on the website, a notification mail is automatically sent to the subscribed email address.  This helps retain your visitor and boost your website traffic.


You can download the free version here


For a definite guide on how to set up the core functions of this plugin, simply visit




I do hope this tutorial guide helped you learn how to install WordPress plugins and also exposed you to few plugins you can get running on your WordPress website.


Kindly use the comment box below to share your experience with this process.


If you also have some plugins recommendations that you feel might be helpful to a complete beginner which I did not address in this post, kindly share below.