Video How-to: Install & Configure a WordPress Plugin

How to Install a WordPress Plugin image

One of the great things about the WordPress blog platform is how adaptable it is. Need some special functionality? There's bound to be a plugin – an extension – that will help.

This tutorial, complete with video, shows you how to install a WordPress plugin and, from there, how most easily to configure the plugin using "Show Me Options".

For example, I need to clean my database, purging it of redundant entries, hence speeding up my blog. So I've researched available plugins and found one that looks to be the best, in this case called "Clean Options". Here we go.

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Video: Install & Configure a WordPress Plugin

Watch the video for a better idea of how to do this.

Guv's on YouTube at

Choosing a Suitable Plugin

1. Research what you need. Query Google with something like, "Wordpress optimise database plugin". This will give you some initial ideas. Be sure to include the words "WordPress" and "plugin" in your search term.

2. Fine-tune your research. For example, I found a few possible plugins and, after reading up, whittled them down to two that looked about right. Then, I ran another google query, using the hyper-useful "versus" search criteria; ie, "this-plugin vs that-plugin". So I found valuable reviews from plugin users, comparing the two. Great. Now I know that X is good for this, Y lacks that, and so on. From this method, I could isolate my plugin.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin

3. Back to Google, type "Wordpress (my chosen plugin)", and you'll find most easily the download location, often at

4. Read the spiel and, importantly, check to ensure the plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress. Bear in mind, if you're WP version is recently updated, plugins are often obsolete until updated.

5. Download the file, locally to your machine.

6. Virus-check the plugin. If it's from, it should be safe. But is it worth the risk? Virus check all downloads, I reckon.

7. Transfer the plugin, ftp it, up to your remote server, to the plugins directory of your WordPress installation. If the blog is in your root directory, for example, this is found at .

8. Now open your blog's admin panel, something like , then click on Plugins > Installed. This brings up, guess what, your plugins' admin page.

9. Scroll down the page to Inactive Plugins, locate the plugin and, to the right of the plugin info, click Activate. Hurrah!

Configure Your Plugin with "Show Me Options"

This plugin saves time. No more searching for plugin options.

10. As soon as a plugin is activated, at the top of the Plugins admin page, Show Me Options provides a quick link to any plugin options. Set those accordingly.

11. There is no 11. You're done.

Er, one note, mind. To be ultra-cautious, activate the plugin on a test/throwaway, WordPress installation. Then if it cocks up your blog or database, it doesn't matter. Of course, this is only a safeguard if the test install is configured the same as the blog-proper. For any well-maintained blog of value, a test install is a must. I test my short-listed plugins locally, using XAMPP (WAMPP/LAMPP, something like that.) If you don't know how to do that, hmmn, that's for another time or, even better, just go here.

Thassit! Enjoy.


About the Author:

Olly Connelly (yeah, that's me) blogs at, polices WordPress security at and helps noobs build web servers at, so if you've got sleeping problems you know where to come.


  1. the_guv  May 2, 2011

    @Phyliss .. and – sorry if I’m wrong but I don’t think so – I rate your comment as spam 😉

  2. Phyliss Borcuk  February 13, 2011

    I am not real good with English but I line up this rattling easygoing to translate.

  3. the_guv  September 16, 2009

    @Sandra .. wow, bit late saying hi .. thank you very much. Guess you’ve retired by now!

    @Stewpot & @Jezza .. splendid and topping .. thank you too.

  4. Jezza  September 11, 2009

    Excellent site. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say your blog really rocks.

  5. Stewpot99  September 9, 2009

    Excellent site, excellent how to, thank you

  6. Sandra  March 4, 2009

    Hi Guv, nice blog, intelligent and informative writing! a definite keeper 🙂 Cheers, Sandra

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