How to Manage WordPress Themes and Plugins

Themes and Plugins extend the look and functionality of WordPress. With these two features of WordPress you can create any type of website you need.

wordpress-manageThemes

You can easily change the look of a WordPress site with a theme. WordPress themes can be as simple or complex as you would want. Once you install a theme, it will be found in the wp-content/themes folder. You can also activate the theme in the admin dashboard panel.

How to Install Themes:

Themes and Plugins can be installed automatically through the WordPress admin dashboard or manually by uploading the files. There are thousands of free and/or paid for Themes available to WordPress users. WordPress Themes and Plugins will install into the wp-content folder of your WordPress.

Install from the Dashboard:

Search Method

  • Once in the admin Dashboard, navigate to the Appearance / Themes section.wordpress-theme-menu
  • Select the Install Themes tab.wordpress-theme-search

If a Theme is available on WordPress.org/extend/themes/, the Theme can be located using keywords in the search field at the top of this page.

Upload Zip

  • If a Theme was provided in zip format, select the Upload link directly below the Manage Themes tab.wordpress-theme-upload
  • Click on the upload or choose file button, navigate to your Theme’s zip file, and click on Install now.

Install a theme using FTP:

  • If a Theme was provided in zip format, you can always upload it by FTP.
  • Unzip to your local computer.
  • Log in to your FTP client.
  • Navigate to your wp-content/themes folder.
  • Drop the entire Theme folder inside wp-content/themes.

After a theme is installed via the dashboard or by uploading the folder by FTP, it still needs to be activated in the admin dashboard before it can be utilized on the WordPress site.

wordpress-theme-options

 

Disable a Theme in the Database:

To disable a Theme in the database, you will be resetting the theme to one of the WordPress default themes.

  • Check the wp-content/themes folder to see which default theme(s) are available for this WordPress installation
    • twentyten
    • twentyeleven
  • In the wp_options table
  • Find the following rows
    • template
    • stylesheet
    • current_theme
  • Change the field option_value to one of the default theme names in all of the above rows

The theme should now be reset to which ever default theme you specified. By setting the default theme, the custom settings for the prior theme are most likely lost.

Plugins:

Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine and will be found in the wp-content/plugins folder or on the plugins section of your WordPress dashboard. There are thousands of free and/or paid for Plugins available to WordPress users.

Install a plugin from the Dashboard:

Search Method

  • Once in the admin dashboard, navigate to the “Plugins / Add New” section.
  • If a plugin is available on WordPress.org, the plugin can be located using keywords in the search field at the top of this page.

Upload Zip

  • If a plugin was provided in zip format, select the “Upload” link at the top of the “Add New” page.
  • Click on the upload or choose file button, navigate to your plugin’s zip file, and click on Install now.

Install a plugin using FTP

  • If a plugin was provided in zip format, you can always upload it by FTP.
  • Unzip to your local computer.
  • Log in to your FTP client.
  • Navigate to your wp-content/plugins folder.
  • Drop the entire plugin folder inside wp-content/plugins folder.

After a Plugin is installed via the Dashboard or by uploading the folder by FTP, it still needs to be activated in the admin dashboard before it can be utilized on the WordPress site.

Disable a plugin in Webshell:

An easy way to disable a Plugin is to rename the folder. This way WordPress will no longer be able to locate the files.

  • In the webshell browse to wp-content/plugins.
  • Locate the plugin folder.
  • Rename the folder from “pluginname” to “pluginname_yourinitials_date_year”.
    • Example: from buddypress to buddypress_LF_April30_2012.

Disable a Plugin through the Database

To disable all Plugins from the database:

  • In the wp_options table
  • Find row active_plugins
  • Remove all information in field option_value

All plugins would now be disabled with this method and most likely the custom settings for the plugin will be lost.

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