While we all go to the WordPress Plugin Directory mostly to download free plugins, this is not only the way to find plugins. GitHub, a project hosting services, hosts multiple WordPress projects also. Though this is not that simple to find and install WordPress themes and plugins through GitHub, this is still not so tough.
In this article, we are going to talk about how to install WordPress plugins directly from GitHub. So let's get started!
GitHub is an open-source, code hosting service provider. It provides private and free repositories on the same account. It is the most popular project hosting service provider when it comes to open-source providers.
GitHub is a platform built on top of the Git version control system. This kind of software allows many developers to work on the same files simultaneously. Through it, developers can upload their code and files to a repository and share with anyone. They have control over who can access it.
In short, it is a perfect source for open-source collaboration. Here are some major reasons why developers get benefitted from using GitHub:
It is a major problem with GitHub when you use it to install WordPress plugins; it hosts numerous projects that are not related to WordPress. It makes it difficult to find what you actually require. The worst part is that sometimes searching for terms like "WordPress" and "plug-in" will not fetch the right results.
Here, to find the right results you need to search via Google, GitHub plug-in search is an advanced search plug-in to find the WordPress plugins. It connects to Plugins> Add New in the backend of your website.
First of all, make sure you are able to receive updates for it. Installing any plugin becomes easy once you find the file you are looking for.
Now, type in the name of the plugin that you want to install.
Download the zip file and go to the WordPress admin area. Now, go to Plugins> Add News. You need to manually upload the plugin here.
After uploading, click on the "Install Now" button. After installation, activate the plugin and then you are ready to move the further step.
See, if you download any file or plugin from wordpress.org, it will automatically look for a newer version. But when you download it from GitHub, it will not provide your automatic updates. There is a need for some extra efforts to receive updates directly from GitHub.
Generally, plugins and themes include code that provides automatic updates. If your plugin or theme does not have that code, install GitHub Updater Plugin. Moreover, you have the code or you download the Updaters, you still need to contact the plugin or theme developers to ask when they are going to release a new version.
There are some risks in downloading and installing plugins from GitHub. Apart from the regular updates, you will also have to make sure that you trust the developer.
If you download themes or plugins from inexperienced developers, there might be some errors in their code. It makes it easier for hackers to gain access to your website and exploit it.
The major difference between downloading themes or plugins from GitHub and WordPress directory is that before inclusion of theme/plugin, the WordPress Directory reviews it and ensures they are up to the mark in terms of quality and security requirements.
But in GitHub, anyone can submit their code and it is not reviewed or directly posts. It increases the risk of a bad quality theme/plugin with security issues.
Actually, on GitHub, you have to take on your own!
Overall, although it is risky, GitHub is an excellent platform for learning the ins and outs of your favourite WordPress plugin or theme. This is a great resource for first-time developers, as you can easily poke around 'under the hood' of each project, make tweaks if you like and also get involved in collaborations. Later, you can upload your themes and plugins to the website and ask for feedback from other developers.
We hope you liked our post on how to install WordPress plugins directly from GitHub. If you know any effective methods, let us know in the comment section below. We will be happy to hear from you and will talk about that process in the next article.
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