How to install a WordPress plugin? Is that question bugging you for a while? If the answer is yes, you are at the right place to find a solution for it. In this tutorial for beginners you will find simple and easy steps to install WordPress plugin. But before we go ahead with it, what do you understand by the term WordPress plugin?

To extend the functionality of your WordPress websites WordPress plugins are added/installed to it. Installing a WordPress plugin provide you with the facility to add new features to your WordPress website like website speed improvement, website design customization, live chat support and so on. There is an enormous amount of WordPress plugins available in the market, some are free whereas some are paid. No matter which you choose I will guide you through the process of how to install them.

Install WordPress Plugin – Tutorial for Beginners

Some more basics. Most people get confused between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. These two are different platforms. You must be wondering how it is relevant to WordPress plugin installation. In fact, It is pretty much relevant as you cannot install plugins on WordPress.com until and unless you upgrade to a business plan. Even after upgrading to the business plan on WordPress.com you can only install the plugins available in the WordPress plugins repository. You cannot add/install a plugin from outside the WordPress repository or your custom made plugin in WordPress.com. Whereas you can install/add all types of plugins in WordPress.org as it is self-hosted, thus allows adding new features to it.

If you were working on WordPress.com till now, no problem you still can migrate from WordPress.com to WordPress.org quite easily. Now, when all the necessities that are required to install plugins are there. Without any further ado let’s go forward and learn the ways to install a WordPress plugin.

There are three ways to install a plugin in WordPress.

  • Installation Using WordPress Plugin Search from WP DashBoard
  • Install with WordPress Admin Plugin Upload
  • Installation Using FTP

Let’s learn about them one by one.

How to Install a free WordPress Plugin using WordPress Plugin Search

This is the simplest way of installing a plugin in WordPress. But it comes with a drawback that the plugin should be from the WordPress plugin repository only.

Follow the following steps to install a WordPress plugin:

  1. Start with opening the WordPress Admin Area.
  2. Click on Plugins.
  3. Next, click on the Add New option.
  4. Now you will be able to see a Search Box on the top right side of the screen.
  5. Further, type the name/category of the plugin or its functionality and click on Search.
  6. Once done you will be able to see a list of plugins related to your search.
  7. Find the best suitable plugin according to your requirements.
  8. When you have picked the best plugin, click on Install Now.
  9. Now the plugin will be downloaded and installed to your WordPress website automatically.
  10. Next, you will see a message saying installation completed.
  11. Further giving you two options Activate Plugin or Return to Plugin Installer.
  12. Now the plugin is installed but it’s not active yet.
  13. Therefore, activate it from your WordPress dashboard.
  14. That would be all, you have successfully installed the plugin.

This process of installation is valid for free plugins available under in WordPress plugin repository.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin using WordPress Admin Plugin Upload

This process of installation is used when you have a plugin file in zip form. The plugin is either paid, free or customized. For this very reason, WordPress has provided with an upload option.

Follow the following steps for installing WordPress plugin using WordPress Admin Upload:

  1. Start with Downloading the plugin you want to install from the source.
  2. The plugin file you obtained is in the Zip form, do not unzip it.
  3. Now open the WordPress Admin Area.
  4. Once there click on Plugins.
  5. Next, click on the Add New option.
  6. Further, click on Upload Plugin which is located on top-center of your screen.
  7. Now the plugin upload page will open up.
  8. Click on Browse or Choose File and select the plugin zip file that you downloaded earlier.
  9. Once you have selected the file click on Install Now.
  10. Now the plugin will be uploaded and installed by WordPress for you.
  11. Next, you will see a message saying installation completed.
  12. Further giving you two options Activate Plugin or Return to the Plugin page.
  13. Now the plugin is installed but it’s not active yet.
  14. Thus, activate it via your WordPress Admin Panel.
  15. That would be all, you have successfully installed the plugin.

This process of installation is only valid for plugin files in zip form.

How to Manually Install a WordPress Plugin using FTP

Sometimes you might not be able to install plugins from your admin area due to file upload size restrictions put by your WordPress hosting provider. In such scenarios, the best way to install a plugin is by uploading it manually using FTP. This method is very useful in cases when you can’t install WordPress plugins using the WordPress Dashboard. The plugin is either paid, free or customized.

This method using FTP can be a bit complicated for beginners so please follow the following steps closely:

  1. Start with Downloading the plugin you want to install from the source.
  2. The plugin file you obtained is in the Zip form.
  3. Therefore, extract the zip file.
  4. A new folder will be created with the same name consisting of the extracted plugin file.
  5. Next, upload this new folder to WordPress plugin library using FTP software.
  6. Usually  / wp- content / plugins /  contains all the uploaded plugin folders.
  7. Further, go to the WordPress Admin Area.
  8. Next, click on Plugins.
  9. You will see your plugin has been installed.
  10. The plugin is installed but it’s not active yet.
  11. Therefore, activate it to using the WordPress dashboard.
  12. That’s all, the plugin is successfully installed.

This process of installation is valid for plugin files of all types, not just zip files.

Conclusion

Hereby you are equipped with all the information you need to install any type of plugin in your WordPress website. Remember not all plugins are compatible with different versions of WordPress, hence you can always deactivate a plugin that is not working properly for your WordPress website. Probably by now, you might also be looking for How to Install WordPress Theme and if not then probably ways to WordPress theme customization. However, building a WordPress website is not really tough when you have a WordPress website builder like TemplateToaster available, you can do it in minutes.

Some relevant links:

Best WordPress Plugins You Need Right Now

WordPress Custom Post Type Plugins

Best WordPress Form Builder Plugins