How To Install WordPress Plugins? (3 Different Methods)

Install WordPress Plugins

Plugins are the major reasons behind the success of WordPress. You just need to think of any feature to include on your website and you’ll surely find a plugin to add that feature in your site, really quick without making any hard code changes to your site. There are more than 50,000 plugins available on the official WordPress Plugin repository for Free. There are even more plugins available to access the Internet.

Most of the beginners using WordPress for the first time have this question in their minds, “How to Install Plugins in WordPress?”. So, for those people asking the question here is a quick and easy tutorial.

Different Methods To Install WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins can be installed in three different ways.

  1. From WordPress Add New Plugin Page
  2. By Uploading Plugin’s ZIP File
  3. Via FTP Upload

Installing a plugin using each of these ways is explained below.

Installing Plugins Using Add New Plugin Page (Simplest Method)

This is the simplest way to install a plugin in WordPress. It is also the most preferred way of installing plugins. The different steps to install a plugin using the Add New Plugin Page in WordPress Dashboard are given below.

1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard and click on the Plugins Option in the Left Sidebar Menu. The URL for the same page is https://your-website.com/wp-admin/plugins.php

Plugin Options In WordPress Dashboard Sidebar Menu

2. On the Plugins page, all of your installed plugins are listed. Here at the top, you’ll find the Add New button, simply click on it.

Add New Plugin Option On Plugins Page

You could also reach on the Add New Plugins page simply from the Dashboard by hovering over the mouse on the Plugins option in the Left Sidebar Menu and then choosing the Add New Option from the submenu.

Add New Plugin Option In WordPress

3. Now on the Add New Plugin Page, search the plugin by Keyword, author or tag. The plugins that match your query will appear below.

Search Plugin Bar

4. Choose the right plugin an click on the Install Now button corresponding to it. It’ll start installing the plugin, while installation, the button will show the text as “Installing…”

Plugin Install Button Before And During Installation

5. Once, the plugin is installed, it will show you the Activate button. In WordPress, a plugin is not functional until it is activated. You can keep plugins in your WordPress site in the deactivated state. Anyways, to proceed, simply click on the Activate button.

Activate Plugin

6. Once the plugin will be activated, you’ll be redirected to the Plugins page and it will show you the message of success if the plugin is activated without errors.

Plugin Activated Notification

Some plugin also offers special guidance, once the plugin is activated as shown in the following screenshot. That completely depends on the plugin. Most of the plugins simply show the above message and does not provide any guidance like the following one.

Plugin Guided Notifications

Anyways, all the steps of the plugin installation in WordPress with this method are completed.

Install A Plugin By Uploading Plugin’s ZIP File

You must know to install plugins using a ZIP File because all of the premium plugins or the plugins not available in the WordPress Plugin repository has to be installed using this method. The steps to install a plugin by uploading the plugin’s zip file are given below.

1. Get the ZIP file of the plugin that you want to install. For the demo, I’m just downloading a plugin from this URL of the WordPress Repository of plugins. You simply click the download button to download the ZIP File here.

GET Plugin ZIP File To Upload

2. Follow the same steps as the first method to reach upto the Add New Plugin page. On this page, click on the Upload Plugin button located at the Top.

Upload Plugin Button

3. It will show you the options to upload the plugin file. Simply choose the plugin’s ZIP File and click on the Install Now button. It may take some time to upload the plugin and it depends upon the plugin file size and speed of your Internet connection.

Choose & Upload Plugin ZIP File

4. Once the plugin will be uploaded, it will automatically extract the ZIP file and will install the plugin. It will ask you for activation once the plugin is installed successfully without any errors.

Activate Plugin After Upload, Extraction And Installation

5. That’s it. The plugin will be installed successfully and will show the same notification as shown in the first method.

WordPress Plugin Installation Via FTP Upload

This method is rarely used these days but is often helpful in case you’re getting errors installing plugins using any of the above-specified methods. Therefore for troubleshooting, we often use the FTP upload method. The steps to install plugins with the FTP method are given below.

1. Connect to your WordPress Site’s FTP Server using any FTP Client Software. We had published a list of different FTP clients available for different operating systems, which you can check out at the following link.

Once connected, go to the plugins folder in the WordPress installation folder. The exact path of this folder is usually, your-site-root-folder/wp-content/plugins

2. Here upload the plugin folder. Make sure you upload the plugin folder and not the Zip file. The plugin folder name should not match with any of the already existing other plugins folders.

Uploading Plugin From Computer To WordPress Via FTP Client

3. Once uploaded, you need to again log into your WordPress Dashboard and then have to go to the Plugins page to activate the plugin.

Activate Plugin In Plugin Page

4. The plugin whose folder you added, if it is valid will appear in the Plugin’s list, find it there and click on the Activate link given along with the name and other plugin details.

Note. You can also upload the plugin zip file to your WordPress site’s plugin folder with the file manager provided with many of the web hosting services. Most of the web hosting companies offer cPanel these days and in cPanel, you can easily manage all the files and folders of your server without the need of connecting to the server via FTP. In File Manager provider with cPanel, you can simply upload the plugin as Zip file and later on can unzip it using the Extract option provided in the file manager.

You may also find our other articles on WordPress useful.

I hope, you find this tutorial of installing plugins in WordPress users, if so, do share it with other WordPress beginners who might find this guide useful as well. You can subscribe to WTMatter for the latest updates and notifications of such useful articles. For any questions, feel free to make use of the comments section. 😉


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