WordPress is one of the most used web building tools in the world. The tool is ideal for professional web builders and also amateurs as it can be very simple to use. There’re many ways a user can improve their user experience when working with WordPress.

Two ways a user can improve the usability of WordPress and their user experience, is by installing a plugin or a theme. Plugins and themes give users a lot more freedom when creating a website on WordPress.

Within this article, you will find three video tutorials from the ProfileTree YouTube. These tutorials will show you, how to install a theme, how to install a plugin and also how to customise a your theme to your needs and wants.

Plugins are the lifeblood of any thriving WordPress website. They add functionality, enhance design, and improve user experience. However, not all plugins are created equal. Choosing and using unsupported plugins can expose your website to significant risks, jeopardizing its security and stability.

Imagine pouring time and effort into building your online presence, only to have it compromised due to a vulnerability hidden within an outdated plugin. This is the harsh reality many website owners face when they neglect the importance of website security and choose unsupported plugins.

Guide about installing plugins and themes on wordpress

Before blindly installing the latest plugin claiming to revolutionize your website, let’s delve into the potential dangers of unsupported plugins and the crucial role website security plays in protecting your online haven.

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How to Install a Plugin Within Your WordPress Setup

With WordPress being so user friendly, it might surprise you that you can also en-list the hand of plugins to make the user experience of your site much more user-friendly. But first, what is a plugin?
A plugin is a piece of software, that contains a group of functions, that can be added to your WordPress site. These can be a multiple variant of things, such as extended functionality, add new features or even give the user the ability to change the design or look of the site. Without plugins, a site would look very generic and the user experience would be very basic.

To find all the plugins already installed on your site or to add a new plugin, simply navigate to the ‘Plugin’ option in the left hand side toolbar within your WordPress dashboard. Click on the options and all the plugins within your site will appear. You also have the option to add a new plugin to your site.

When a user clicks on the ‘Add new’ plugin, WordPress will show automatically a number of featured plugins in which they recommend. They’re the most popular plugins and in many cases can be a plugin that would be very beneficial to your site. 

You can also look at other popular plugins, recommended plugins and also favourite plugins. Again all of which are recommended by WordPress. A user can also search for a plugin if they already know the plugin they need for their site, or can insert a general term such as ‘SEO’ and SEO plugins will be recommend by WordPress.

Whenever you find the right plugin for you. Whether its a form plugin, an SEO plugin or something else. It is easy to add it to your setup. Simply click the install now button on whichever plugin you want. Two things to check before clicking install now is, when was the plugin last updated and is the plugin compatible with your theme and version of WordPress. 

You will want a plugin that is updated regularly as any bugs or issues with the plugin, you will want them to rectified quickly. A plugin also needs to be compatible with your version of WordPress otherwise it would simply not work.

Whenever you head back to all your plugins, you can deactivate any plugins on your theme easily as well as activate any plugin. Recommended Plugins include, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, Contact Form 7 and Akismet.

How to Install a Theme Within Your WordPress Setup

To get familiar with themes on your WordPress site, simply go to the left-hand side navigation and find the option themes. Themes is within the appearance option, alongside options such as widgets, menus, header, footer and customise options. Select the themes option. All the themes already installed on your site will appear. Most of the themes shown are either ones added by WordPress, or themes that have previously been used on the site. Only one theme can be active on your site at any one time.

To add a new theme to your site, click on the ‘Add New Theme’ option. This is shown in the list of installed themes. You can also click ‘Add New’ in the top left of the theme window.  Once you click on the add new theme, a new window will appear. Here WordPress recommends different themes that’re popular on the site builder.

You can also check some of the popular used themes and the latest added themes to the builder. There is also the search option to find different themes more suited towards your site.

Before adding a theme to your site, you can also preview the theme. This allows the user to see if the theme is right for you. One of the great features of WordPress is there’re lots and lots of themes to choose from. There’re themes that’re ideal for E-Commerce sites and others that’re better for blogs.

How to Customise a WordPress Theme

To customise and develop your installed theme. Simply go to customise within the appearance drop-down and a new window will open. One of the options you can customise is the theme options. Within the theme options there’re a lot ways you can customise your theme.

Within the theme options, you can edit the general settings, heading settings, colour settings, the different pages of the theme such as the about us page, service page, team page as well as the mobile layout of your site.

WordPress Usage Stats and the Growing Landscape of Plugins and Themes

WordPress Dominates the Web:

  • Market Share: WordPress powers a staggering 45.8% of all websites on the internet, making it the undisputed CMS champion.
  • Growth: WordPress usage has consistently increased by an average of 12% annually since 2011, demonstrating its sustained popularity and relevance.
  • Top Websites: WordPress fuels 36.28% of the top million websites globally, showcasing its ability to power high-profile and demanding online presences.

An Explosion of Plugins and Themes:

  • Plugin Abundance: With over 60,000 free plugins in the official WordPress plugin directory, there’s a solution for practically any functionality or need.
  • Theme Variety: The WordPress theme ecosystem offers a staggering 5,000+ free themes and countless premium options, catering to diverse tastes and design preferences.
  • Growing Marketplace: The demand for plugins and themes continues to escalate, with the plugin market estimated to reach a remarkable $4.7 billion by 2025.

Benefits of Plugins and Themes:

  • Enhanced Functionality: Plugins extend the capabilities of WordPress, adding features like contact forms, online stores, and social media integration.
  • Improved Design: Themes provide the visual foundation of your website, allowing you to customize its appearance and create a unique brand identity.
  • Increased Efficiency: Plugins automate tasks and streamline workflows, saving you time and effort in website management.
  • Accessibility: A vast library of free plugins and themes makes it possible to build a feature-rich website without significant investment.

The Need for Vigilance:

With such a vast array of plugins and themes available, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and choose wisely. Outdated and unsupported plugins can pose security risks, introduce compatibility issues, and hinder your website’s performance.

Key Takeaways:

The dominance of WordPress and the ever-growing universe of plugins and themes offer unparalleled opportunities for website creation and customization. However, it’s crucial to approach this landscape with awareness and prudence, prioritizing website security and opting for supported solutions to ensure a reliable and successful online presence.

Most Important WordPress Plugins | WordPress Plugin | WordPress Tutorial | Build a WordPress Website

Configuring Plugins: Step-by-Step Guide and Setting Examples

While plugins offer incredible functionality and enhance your WordPress website’s capabilities, it’s crucial to configure them correctly to unlock their full potential and ensure they operate as intended. This step-by-step guide, along with setting examples, will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to configure plugins effectively.


  1. Review Plugin Documentation: Before diving in, thoroughly review the plugin’s documentation. This provides valuable insights into its features, settings, and best practices for configuration.
  2. Back Up Your Website: Prior to making any changes, create a complete backup of your website. This serves as a safety net in case anything goes wrong during configuration.

Step-by-Step Configuration:

  1. Navigate to the Plugin Settings: Access the plugin’s settings page within your WordPress admin panel. This is typically located under the “Plugins” menu or within the individual plugin’s settings menu.
  2. Identify Settings Categories: Most plugins are organized into different settings categories, each focusing on a specific aspect of functionality. Familiarize yourself with these categories to understand the available options.
  3. Examine Individual Settings: Carefully review each setting within the category, considering its function and impact on your website. Utilize the plugin documentation for detailed descriptions and recommendations.
  4. Configure Settings: Depending on the plugin, settings might involve activating/deactivating features, choosing options from drop-down menus, entering values, or uploading files. Configure each setting thoughtfully, keeping your website’s needs and goals in mind.
  5. Save Changes: After configuring each desired setting, click the “Save Changes” button to implement the modifications.

Setting Examples:

  • Contact Form Plugin:
    • Enable email notifications upon form submissions.
    • Choose the recipient email address for form submissions.
    • Customize the success message displayed after form completion.
  • SEO Plugin:
    • Set the website title and meta description for search engines.
    • Configure schema markup for specific content types.
    • Generate XML sitemaps for improved search engine crawling.
  • Social Media Sharing Plugin:
    • Enable social media buttons on specific post types.
    • Customize the appearance of social media buttons.
    • Integrate social media login features.

Additional Tips:

  • Test Functionality: After configuring a plugin, test its functionality thoroughly to ensure it operates as intended.
  • Check for Conflicts: Certain plugins can conflict with each other, causing unexpected behavior. If you encounter issues, disable other plugins one by one to identify the culprit.
  • Update Regularly: Keep your plugins updated to the latest version for improved security, bug fixes, and new features.
  • Seek Support: If you encounter any difficulties during configuration, don’t hesitate to consult the plugin’s documentation, support forum, or contact the developer directly.
Install a Plugin - wordpress design
WordPress has a host of plugins that can make your site entirely customised.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Plugins and Themes for Website Functionality and Design



  • Extend core WordPress functionality: Add features not available in the base WordPress installation, such as contact forms, online stores, social media integration, and more.
  • Automate tasks: Save time by automating repetitive tasks, like image resizing, social media scheduling, and content backups.
  • Integrate with third-party services: Connect your website with other platforms and services for seamless workflows.
  • Improve user experience: Enhance user experience with features like user registration, membership systems, search functionality, and more.


  • Customize website appearance: Easily change the look and feel of your website without coding knowledge.
  • Choose from a wide range of options: Explore thousands of free and premium themes to find one that matches your brand and style.
  • Use pre-built templates: Utilize pre-designed layouts for specific pages, such as landing pages, product pages, and contact pages.
  • Create a professional and responsive design: Ensure your website looks great and functions smoothly on all devices.

Other benefits:

  • Reduced development costs: Plugins and themes can be more affordable than custom development, especially for basic functionalities.
  • Easy to install and use: Most plugins and themes are easy to install and use, even for beginners.
  • Community support: Access a vast community of users and developers for help and troubleshooting.
  • Updates and improvements: Developers regularly update plugins and themes with new features and bug fixes.



  • Performance issues: Some plugins and themes can be poorly coded and negatively impact website loading speed and performance.
  • Compatibility problems: Plugins and themes may not be compatible with each other or your current WordPress version, causing conflicts and malfunctions.
  • Security vulnerabilities: Outdated or poorly coded plugins can be vulnerable to security threats, putting your website at risk.
  • Feature bloat: Installing too many plugins can lead to a cluttered website interface and overwhelming user experience.


  • Limited customization: Some themes offer limited customization options, making it difficult to achieve a truly unique design.
  • Overused designs: Popular themes can result in websites that look similar and lack a distinct identity.
  • Design trends change quickly: Themes may become outdated quickly, requiring frequent updates to maintain a modern look.
  • Theme lock-in: Changing themes can be difficult and time-consuming, making it hard to switch to a different design later.

Other drawbacks:

  • Cost of premium plugins and themes: Some premium plugins and themes can be expensive, especially for complex functionalities or advanced features.
  • Reliance on developers: You may need developer assistance to install, configure, and customize certain plugins and themes.
  • Potential for spam: Some plugins inject unwanted ads or spam into your website.
How to Install and Activate Gravity Forms | WordPress | WordPress Plugins | WordPress Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q: What are the risks of using unsupported plugins?

A: Unsupported plugins can pose various risks, including:

  • Security vulnerabilities: Outdated plugins might contain unpatched vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to access your website and steal data.
  • Compatibility issues: Unsupported plugins may not be compatible with your current WordPress version or other plugins, leading to errors and malfunctioning features.
  • Performance problems: Deprecated code and inefficient functionality within unsupported plugins can negatively impact your website’s loading speed and performance.

Q: How can I ensure website security when using plugins?

A: Here are some steps to secure your website when using plugins:

  • Only install plugins from trusted sources: Stick to the official WordPress plugin directory or reputable third-party developers.
  • Check plugin reviews and ratings: Read user reviews and ratings before installing a plugin to assess its reliability and functionality.
  • Keep your plugins updated: Regularly update your plugins to the latest version to benefit from bug fixes, security patches, and new features.
  • Use strong passwords: Utilize strong and unique passwords for your WordPress login and plugin accounts to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Back up your website regularly: Create regular backups of your website to easily restore it if any security issues arise.

Q: What are some resources for finding high-quality plugins and themes?

A: Here are some resources for discovering reliable plugins and themes:

  • WordPress Plugin Directory: The official repository for free WordPress plugins, offering a vast library with diverse functionalities.
  • WordPress Theme Directory: Provides access to thousands of free themes, categorized by style, features, and popularity.
  • Premium Plugin Marketplaces: Many marketplaces offer premium plugins with advanced features and dedicated support, such as CodeCanyon and Envato Market.
  • WordPress Theme Shops: Explore a wide range of premium themes designed by professional designers and developers, often with customization options and support services.
  • WordPress Community Blogs and Forums: Stay informed about the latest trends and discover new plugins and themes through blogs and forums focused on the WordPress community.


Plugins and themes are powerful tools that extend the capabilities of your WordPress website and enhance its functionality, design, and performance.

However, it’s crucial to approach them with caution and prioritize security. By following the guidelines in this article, choosing trusted solutions, and staying informed about best practices, you can unlock the full potential of plugins and themes while ensuring your website remains secure and thriving.

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