How to install a WordPress Plugin

WordPress is driven by loyal ambitious wordpress developers who have created plugins to extend its out-of-the-box functionality and in fact,  you can find a plugin for anything. WordPress Plugin Directory contains a great variety of free plugins that anyone can use . And many premium WordPress plugins are available to help you supercharge your site. Using a wordpress plugin is the fastest and easiest way to extend the functionality of your WordPress site.

How to install a WordPress Plugin?

For the novice user, it is very easy to install a plugin right from your site dashboard. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps of installing and activating a Plugin on your WordPress Powered blog.

We can install a wordpress plugin using any of following 3 methods:

  1. Install a free Plugin from WordPress Admin Panel using Search Option
    Wordpress.org has a great collection of  free plugins thanks to loyal wordpress developers community. There are tons of free WordPress plugins available in wordpress Plugin Directory. You can search for a plugin from this directory and install it from your WordPress Admin Panel .  Click here for instructions ( in same page)
  2. Install a Plugin from WordPress Admin Panel using Upload Method
    This step is ideal if you purchased a premium plugin  from a plugin provider  and downloaded the plugin as a zip file.  Click here for instructions ( in same page)
  3. Upload a Plugin using FTP Manager and install from Admin Panel
    You can also upload the unzipped plugin folder using FTP and later install it from WordPress admin panel. This is the least preferred method, but will be useful, if you don’t have a plugin zip file or if upload feature in method 2 does not work due to server getting timed out. This step involves using a FTP client to upload your files to your server.  Click here for instructions ( in same page)

 

Method 1: Install a Plugin from WordPress Admin Panel using Search Option

 

  1. Log into your WordPress administration panel.
  2. From your sidebar on left side, go to Plugins > Add New

    Install plugin

    Install plugin

  3. In this page you can see a list of featured/popular plugins available in wordpress plugin directory. Locate search box, enter the name of the plugin into the search field and perform the search

    Search

    Search

  4. Select your plugin from the search results and click on Install button.

    Install

    Install

  5. Wait for a while to download and install the plugin onto your blog.In the next step click on activate plugin.

    Activate

  6. Now you are done. Note that some plugins need some additional settings. So go back to Plugin page >> Find your plugin and check if your plug requires any additional settings. If so, click on settings link to enter your details. You can also read more details about your plugin by clicking on details link.

    install Plugin

    install Plugin


 

Method 2: Install a Plugin from WordPress Admin Panel using Upload Method

 

You can find many premium plugins to enhance your site’s features on internet. Download the plugin as a zip file. Please follow steps below if this is the case.

  1. Download Plugin and save it somewhere on your computer.
    download plugin

    download plugin

    download plugin

    Save plugin zip file

  2. Log into your WordPress administration panel. Go to Plugins > Add New. Click on Upload Plugin.

    click on upload

    click on upload

  3. Use the browse button to select the plugin zip file that was downloaded.
    Upload plugin

    Upload plugin

    Select zip file

    Select zip file

    After uploading the zip, Click install Now button.

    Install

    Install

  4. In the next step click on activate plugin.

    Activate

    Activate

  5. Now you are done. Some plugins need to fill more settings. So go back to Plugin page >> Find your plugin and click in settings link to enter your details.

    install Plugin

    install Plugin


 

Method 3: Upload a Plugin using FTP Manager and activate from Admin Panel

 

This step involves Extracting plugin files, using a FTP client and FTP user to upload your files to your server.

Extracting Plugin files

Locate your downloaded Plugin file. Mostly the Themes are zipped therefore you’ll have to extract them in a separate folder

extract file

extract file

  • Find the downloaded .zip file in the hard drive.
  • Right click on the file and select “extract all”
  • Extract files

    Extract files

    Select the location to extract the files to and Click “ok.”

Launch FTP client FTP client lets you move files to your website Host. Personally, i use “FileZilla FTP Client” and it works for me. If you do not have FileZilla, follow  FileZilla installation tutorial to install and  connect to your host.

  • Launch FileZilla and connect to your hosting(Refer this tutorial if you need any help on this). After a successful connection, you can see Local Site displays data from your local machine. and Remote Site displays data from your Host web space directory.
  • On the left, i.e. Local Site, locate the directory where you extracted your plugin files.
  • On the right, i.e. Remote Site, locate the directory where your WordPress blog is stored from the main directory. Click and open it. WordPress has its files arranged in a special directory listing as: wp-admin/., wp-content/, wp-includes/. Plugins are in wp-content/plugins directory. Browse through to plugins folder and click to open. Now you’ll have all your plugins in their folders.
  • You simply drag plugin’s folder (for e.g. nofollow-for-external-link) from the local machine and drop to plugin folder, and then wait until transfer is complete.Upload plugin folder
  • Now, i need you to login to your WordPress blog. Go to dashboard, under Plugins, you will see all your plugins in place. Find your plugin and activate it.

    activate plugin

    activate plugin

How to create a sortable table in WordPress?

Last week,  I did a wordpress article that does a Speed comparison of Best ThemeForest WordPress Themes.

Initially I collected and compiled my data in a Google drive spreadsheet. Once data was ready, I wanted to present the data in a wordpress post, in a way that reader should be able to sort the data by any column(ascending or descending). So I was in search of a good plugin that can help me do so.

There are couple of good plugins for fancy table display in wordpress posts. But I chose Easy Table Plugin, based on its features as well as user ratings and reviews in wordpress.org site.

At the end of this article, we’ll also have a quick look at Posts Table Pro. This plugin is an interesting alternative to Easy Tables because instead of entering data to your WordPress tables manually, it automatically creates tables listing content already stored on your website.

Easy Table Plugin

easy-table-screenshot

 

Idea behind this plugin is to generate table data using CSV(Comma Seperated Values) format. With simple additions, you table data is ready for display in your wordpress page or  post or even inside a widget. Good thing is this is very simple to use and you don’t need advanced skills to use it.

Let me illustrate this with a simple table example here. Now, if you mouse over any column, a sort icon appears. You can click this icon to sort that column in ascending or descending order. So simple.

Year Make Model Length
1997 Ford E350 2.34
2000 Mercury Cougar 2.38

 

So let us see how to install this plugin and then how to use it.

Install Easy Table Plugin.

  1. Log into your wordpress admin.
  2. Go to Plugins >> Add New.
  3. In the search box enter ‘Easy Table’ and search.
  4. Select ‘Easy Table’ from search results and click on the link ‘Install Now’.
  5. Go to Plugins >> Installed Plugins. Find Easy Table and activate the plugin.

How to use Easy Table. A full example :

Generate table data using CSV(Comma Separated Values) format.

Table data in CSV format means text that is separated with a comma. You can create a CSV using a text editor such as Notepad, Microsoft Excel and Google Docs. Here we are using Google docs for demo purpose.
Open Google Drive >>Click on Create >> Spreadsheet.

Create CSV

Create CSV

Enter data and and click File, Download as, and then select CSV (current sheet).

easy-table-steps1

Generate table data using CSV(Comma Separated Values)format

Open CSV in Notepad.

Open CSV

Open CSV

Step 2: Embedd CSV data between <table> and </table> tags

Create a new post and embed table data. Actually you can embed csv data in 2 ways.

Method 1: Copy and paste CSV from notepad.

embedded

Embed table data

Look at the table data here. The entire table data is embedded between<table> and </table>.  First row is reserved for table titles(Note: you can also create table with no heading using table parameter.). And you see that next 2 rows in the example are data rows. So simple.

Method 2: Upload CSV file and insert the file path

Easy table

Embed file path

Look at the table data here.  Save and upload the CSV(Comma Separated Values) . Insert the location of your file  between<table> and </table>( See fig above).

The result:

Year Make Model Length
1997 Ford E350 2.34
2000 Mercury Cougar 2.38

Other Features

You can add additional parameter to this <table> tag and use cell attribute to control other features of table.

Table with initial sort order on load

You can control sort order on load in 2 ways. Add sort=”desc” or sort=”asc” to <table> tag.
Method 1: Using table parameter Table with initial sort order using table parameter. See the table example below. First column is sorted descending on load.

Year Make Model Length
1997 Ford E350 2.34
2000 Mercury Cougar 2.38
2010 Nissan Micra 4.38

Table with initial sort order

Table with initial sort order

Method 2: Using cell attribute

Initial sort order

Initial sort order

Table with first column descending, second column ascending
For example, the following table on load sort first column descending and then sort second column ascending.

Year Make Model Length
1997 Ford E350 2.34
1998 Maruthy Zen 3.38
2000 Mercury Cougar 2.38
2000 Nissan Micra 4.38
2000 Maruthy Zen 3.38
2000 BMW Micra 4.38

Table with initial sort

Table with initial sort

Disable sort for any column

Look at the table below. Sort for third column is disabled here.

no Item Kg Price
1 Orange 2 100.00
2 Grapes 1 75.25
3 Pinapple 5 130.00
4 Mango 8 250.00

You can do this 2 ways.
Method 1: Add a table parameter  ‘sort=,,false’.

table parameter

table parameter

Method 2: Add a cell attr  ‘sort=false’.

cell attr

disable sort by adding a cell attr

Set index to table

For example see following table with auto index, start from number 2

No.head1 head2 head3
2row1col1 row1col2 row1col3
3row2col1 row2col2 row2col3
4row3col1 row3col2 row3col3
5row4col1 row4col2 row4col3

 

initial sort order

initial Index

In addition to setting auto index to a table, you can give a title to that column and you can set width of that column.

auto index

auto index

Other features

For example see following code shows how to add table parameter to create a table with specific width, style etc.

 Adding table parameter

Adding table parameter

Following code shows how to use attribute in some cells.

attribute in cells

attribute in cells


Posts Table Pro

Alternative table plugin – Create instant WordPress tables with Posts Table Pro

As you can see, Easy Tables is a neat plugin that lets you display static data in a table on your WordPress site. Before we finish, I’ll tell you about another WordPress table plugin that lets you create instant tables without having to enter data manually.
Posts Table Pro works by generating tables of information already stored on your WordPress website. It’s a great alternative to Easy Tables if you want tables that will automatically update with the latest data. Here are some examples of websites that would benefit from this type of WordPress table plugin:
  • Index of blog posts or articles – It doesn’t take long for a WordPress blog to become so big that it’s hard for visitors to find your older posts. No one wants to scroll through multiple pages of posts! Use Posts Table Pro to create a blog post index or article directory, which will automatically update when you add a new post.
  • Document library or knowledge base – If you want to create a WordPress document library then you can create a ‘Documents’ post type and use Posts Table Pro to list your documents in a table view. Your visitors can either download the document directly from the table, or click through to a single page for each document. You can categorize documents and add filters to help customers find the documents they need. 
  • List of events or e-commerce products – Amazingly, Posts Table Pro can list any WordPress post type in a table. This opens the door to many other possible use cases. For example, if you’re using a WordPress events plugin or e-commerce plugin then you can list your events or products in a table layout too. 
The dynamic table plugin is easy to set up and comes with lots of options. There’s a detailed plugin knowledge base to help you configure your WordPress tables in any way you like. 


So we have seen how to use “Easy Table” plugin to create a nice sortable table. Have you created sortable tables using other plugins? Share your experience below.

 

Best WordPress Popup Opt-in Plugins

WordPress has become one of the most popular blogging and business website platforms used on the internet today. Unfortunately, many bloggers make the mistake of failing to build an email list. Email marketing is the 1 way to increase your subscriber count and sell your products or ideas. It is the most direct and personal way you have to reach out to your website visitors. Unfortunately, getting people to give you their email address isn’t easy. This is where popup plugins can help. By catching the attention of visitors to your site and letting them know in a memorable way why they should sign up for your newsletter, opt-in plugins can help you build your email list and raise your subscriber count. In this article, I cover my picks for the best free and low-cost opt-in plugin options for WordPress users.

Clifton’s Lightbox

cliftons light box wp popup plugin

cliftons light box wp popup plugin

Clifton’s Lightbox is a highly rated free WordPress plugin that will help you get more subscribers using a subscription form overlay. Content inside the box includes a customizable title, bulleted list, and a call-to-action for your site’s visitors to give their name and email address. This can be paired with either an image or video of your choosing, including YouTube videos. Currently, the plugin expressly supports GetResponse, Aweber, iContact, and MailChimp, though the developer states it should work with any other email marketing service as well.


Dreamgrow Scroll Triggered Box

dreamgrown-scroll-triggered-wp-popup-plugin

This free WordPress plugin displays a fully customizable box once your reader scrolls down the page. The excellent thing about this plugin is that it doesn’t limit you to a subscriber sign up form – you can direct your visitor to like your page on Facebook, use your social bookmarking option, or take any other call-to-action that you choose. The box triggers based on an event that you specify – percentage of scroll, reaching the comments section, or more. This ensures that your visitors are already engaged with your content when they are presented with the call-to-action, increasing the likelihood that they’ll follow through.


Popup Extension for Newsletter

satillo wp popup plugin screenshot

Satillo wp popup plugin

This free WordPress opt-in plugin was developed by Satollo and is intended to integrate with their Newsletter plugin. The ext of the popup is completely editable, as is the theme. Using various settings, this plugin allows you to control when the popup appears, as well as the theme, size, and border of the popup. The message shown is completely customizable, as is the placement of the subscriber form. Once your visitor enters their information, you can even configure a thank you message to be shown.


ITRO Popup Plugin

ITRO popup plugin screenshot

ITRO popup plugin

The ITRO Popup Plugin is a free option for WordPress that allows you to display a pop up message to visitors on your site. This can be anything from a subscriber form to an age validation for adult content. Your message can easily be configured using the WordPress post editor. Unlike other free WordPress plugins, this one offers a range of features, including fade-in and -out animation, automatic centering, automatic countdown for closing the popup, and a settable cookie expiration time. The message can be displayed on specific pages or posts, and every aspect of the popup is customizable. This is one of the most easy-to-use WordPress plugins you’ll find today.


Icegram

Icegram wp popup olugin screenshot

Icegram wp popup olugin

Icegram is another free WordPress plugin that allows you to promote your newsletter in a variety of ways. In addition to the common popup option, you can also choose to display a small box near the bottom of the page, a notification bar across the top of the page, or in a chat box style pop up near the bottom corner. Few popup plugins give you this many options. Additionally, Icegram is compatible with all other WordPress plugins, WordPres themes, and even auto responders. Choose from 20 different themes, as well as a number of animations. You can run unlimited campaigns, display unlimited messages, and even time your messages to display after a certain amount of time has passed. Few free WordPress plugins do so much.


wpmudev WordPress PopUp

womudev wp popup plugin screenshot

womudev Popup Plugin

This plugin developed by WPMUDev is available in both a free and paid version. In the free version, you are given a number of options, including displaying a fancy popover style popup to your site visitors. Target your entire network or a specific URL. You can further customize your targeting in a number of ways, including targeting users who are not logged in, etc. This plugin is compatible with any WordPres theme and can also be used on Multisite and BuddyPres pages as well. In the $19 paid version, you can also target your message to visitors from a specific geographic location.


Optin Revolution

Optin Revolution Popup Plugin screenshot
If you’re looking for a newsletter popup plugin that has everything, Optin Revolution could be exactly what you need. The free version provides you with a single unblockable popups that are completely customizable. Compatible with Aweber, Constant Contact, GetResponse, iContact, and Wysija, the free version is easy to configure and use. If you’re looking for a bit more, the professional version adds a number of additional tools including A/B/C/D/E split testing, adding popups solely to certain WordPress categories, posts, or pages, and analytics that allow you to track your conversion rates and statistics. In the paid version, you can choose to add Vimeo, YouTube, Wistia or self-hosted videos to your popups as well.


Popup Press

PopupPress Popup Plugin screenshot

PopupPress Popup Plugin

This simple popup plugin for WordPress only costs $15, but it lets you display far more than newsletter sign up forms. This plugin is compatible with just about any content, including HTML, banner ads, images, video, audio, PDF files, Iframe content, SlideShare content and more. Whether you need to display a contact form, alert message, work portfolio or even a Google Map, this popup can do it. Few plugins offer the amount of customization that Popup Press does; they bill themselves as “the most complete popups plugin” on WordPress. It’s even shortcodes compatible – something few other plugins offer.


Ninja Popups

plugin-ninjaThe Ninja Popups WordPress plugin costs $18, but gives you the features of a far more expensive newsletter solution. Whether you want to get more subscribers for you newsletter or like you on social media, Ninja Popups can help. By locking your content until your visitors take the action you describe, this plugin converts far more visitors than more traditional popup plugins. With support for mobile devices, even those visitors who are using their tablet or phone to access your site will see your popup. There are many layouts and colors to choose from, or you can customize the popup as you wish. You choose how and when the message displays, and Ninja Popups is fully compatible with most email marketing services and social networks (including Pinterest).


Subscriber’s Magnet

plugin-subscrIf you’re looking for versatility, this $37 WordPress plugin is what you need. Not only can you promote your newsletter via popup, you can also choose to place opt-in forms into your comment section, in the side bars, or even embed them into blog posts. This plugin is compatible with form auto fillers, including Facebook Connect. Analytics tracking allows you to see how well your message is working. You even have the choice of keeping your popup from displaying until your site visitor attempts to exit the page. One of the biggest benefits of this plugin is that once you’ve paid for your license, you receive free upgrades to newer versions for life.


Popup Domination

Popup Domination Popup Plugin screenshot

Popup Domination Popup Plugin

One of the best single-pay WordPress newsletter popup solutions is Popup Domination. At only $47, it’s difficult to find other solutions that will offer you so much for so little. This plugin uses lightbox popups to help you convert visitors into subscribers by allowing you to target your message to specific pages. In addition to being compatible with WordPress, Popup Domination has a stand-alone option that allows it to be used on any other website as well. The plugin supports all mailing list software, and allows you to completely customize every aspect of your popup. Add promotional images, bullets, customize your button text and security notes, and more. Unlike other popups that feel more spammy, these lightbox popups are very professional looking – which is what makes them so successful.


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