WordPress plugins extend the functionality of your site. They offer new additions that enhance current features add new features. View the following WordPress article for further information on installing and managing Plugins:
Checking the versions of your plugins
Make sure they are compatible with the WordPress version
It's extremely important to make sure your plugins are compatible with the version of WordPress you're using. This is something you can verify at WordPress' Plugin Directory.
Locating your WordPress version
You can find the version of WordPress you're using in your WordPress panel. Click 'Dashboard' on the top left.
Installing the plugin
- Log into your WordPress site.
- In the left menu, choose ‘Plugins > Add New’.
- Search for the name of the plugin. This example installs ‘UpdraftPlus’. Once found click the Install Now button.
- Back on the 'Plugins' page, make sure to click 'Activate' under the plugin.
You should also confirm that the plugins are using the most recent version. Updating your plugins can help with security issues as well as performance improvements. You can see in your WordPress panel if a plugin has an update available:
Click 'Plugins' in the left pane. You can then view all of your plugins and which ones have updates available.
As stated above, make sure the new version of the plugin is compatible with the current version of WordPress you're using. You can usually find this information on the plugin's web page.
Confirming if a plugin is compatible with your WordPress version
The example above shows an update is available for 'Akismet'. You should then check its plugin page:
On the right you can see version information.
You can also click the dropdown at the top of the list. Select ‘Update’ from the ‘Bulk Actions’ dropdown, and then click ‘Apply’ to update all plugins in that list. However, it's recommended to confirm the newer versions are compatible with your version of WordPress first.
If you are experiencing site slowness, and you want to see if it's resource-usage related (and not something on DreamHost`s end), simply disable all your plugins, and switch to the default theme.
If your WordPress installation is suddenly running faster, then it’s recommended to go through your plugins and enable them one-by-one, to see if any of them is using more resources than the others.
How to disable your plugins
The fastest way to disable plugins is by renaming the folder on the server.
- Log into your server via FTP or SSH. (This example uses Filezilla).
- Make sure you're in your WordPress site's directory.
- Navigate into the '/wp-content' directory. Here you can see the /plugins directory.
- Rename the /plugins directory to /plugins_OFF. This immediately disables all plugins.
- Test your site again to see if this helped solve your issue.
If you find your site suddenly improves, you know one of your plugins was causing the issue.
- Rename the /plugins_OFF directory back to /plugins.
- Click into the /plugins folder to view all of your plugins.
- You can now rename them one at a time to disable them. As you rename them one at a time, load your site to see if that plugin was the one causing the issue.
- Once you find out which plugin is the culprit, contact the developer directly. All WordPress.org hosted plugins and themes have a support forum.
The Jetpack plugin
The Jetpack plugin is a bit special. You might try disabling individual modules in the plugin to improve performance.
While having a plugin that handles your stats (and displays them in your admin interface) is nice, they can actually inflate the database almost as quickly as unchecked spam. This means you should be cautious of using them and pay special attention to your database if you do so. Optimally, you'd use something that doesn't depend on your server environment like Google Analytics.
Updating plugin failed
If you notice your plugin failed to update, contact support for further assistance.