How to install WordPress plugin

How to Install WordPress Plugins – Step by Step Tutorial for Beginner

How to install WordPress plugin

After installing WordPress for the first time, the first thing you need to know is how to install WordPress plugins. In this step by step tutorial, I’ll show you how to do that.

Let’s talk a little about WordPress plugins.

What are WordPress Plugins?

WordPress plugins are individual tools used to extend the functionality of the WordPress blogging platform.

For example, “social sharing plugin” – it will add a sharing functionality to your WordPress blog. So that, you readers can share your blog post to their favorite social media if they want.

There are many free and paid WordPress plugins available on the web. You just need to choose your desired plugins to install.

Read more: Must-Have WordPress Plugin for a New Blog

Note: you can’t install plugins in free “WordPress.com” blogging platform. You have to be on self-hosted WordPress blogging platform (wordpress.org).

How to install WordPress plugins

You Can Install WordPress Plugin in Three Different Ways –

  • Installing Plugins Using WordPress Plugin Search Function
  • Installing plugins by uploading file using WordPress admin area
  • Installing WordPress plugin using FTP connection

Follow the step by step tutorial below on how to install WordPress plugins in all three different ways.

How to install WordPress plugins using plugin search function

This is the easiest way to install WordPress plugins. Just follow the steps below –

Step 1: Go to WordPress Plugin Search page

Login to your WordPress dashboard by typing “yourdomain.com/wp-admin/” in your browser’s address bar.

On the WordPress admin area click on “Plugins > Add new

Step 2: Find your desired plugin

Once you clicked on the “Add new” link, a screen will be opened. Search your desired plugin by typing its name in the search box on the opened window. As you start typing, it’ll show you related plugins based on your search keyword.

Step 3: Install the plugin

Once you found your desired plugin, just hit the “Install now” link beside the plugin name as shown in the image below.

How to install WordPress plugins

If you don’t find your desired plugin in the WordPress plugin directory, you can’t install the plugin in this way (paid plugins are normally not found in the WordPress plugin directory). You have to install the plugin in another way which I’ll discuss later in this post.

Step 4: Activate the plugin

Once installed the plugin, you need to activate it to make it working (inactivated plugins will stay on your site but will not work until you activate it).

Step 5: Configure the plugin setting

Not all plugins setting need to be configured. But, some plugins setting need to be configured before it starts working. Such as “Social sharing plugins”.

So, check your plugins if it needs to configure settings. If it doesn’t, it will start working once you activate it. If it does, configure it by going to the setting menu of the plugin.

How to install plugins by uploading file using WordPress dashboard

If you don’t find your desired plugin in the WordPress plugin directory for some reasons, you can install the plugin by uploading its file from your computer using your WordPress dashboard.

For installing plugins by this way follow the steps below –

Step 1: Download plugin file

Go to the website of the plugin where it is hosted and download the file. The plugin file should be zipped. That means the extension of the file should be “.zip”. Save the file on your computer hard disk.

Step 2: Go to “Add plugin” page of WordPress dashboard

Login to your WordPress dashboard and go to “Plugins >Add new” page.

Step 3: Upload the plugin file

Once you are on the “Add new” plugin page, click on the “Upload Plugin” button at the top of the page.

Once you clicked on the “Upload Plugin” button, it will offer you to choose the plugin file from your computer’s hard disk.

Upload the file from where you saved it.

Step 4: Activate the plugin

Once you upload the file, it will be automatically installed. you need to activate the plugin to make it work by clicking on the “Activate” link on the page.

Step 5: Configure plugin setting

If the plugin’s settings need to be configured to make it work, do it by going to the setting menu of the plugin.

Plugin setting differs for different plugins. So, I am not discussing that here.

Besides these methods, you can also install WordPress plugins using FTP connection. Read on.

How to install WordPress plugins using FTP connection

Above two methods to install WordPress plugins can be done using your WordPress dashboard.

For some reasons, if you are not able to install WordPress plugins using your WordPress dashboard, another way to do it by using FTP connection.

Although beginners are not very familiar with FTP, you’ll need to learn it someday if you want to blog continuously.

Read More: How to use FTP

However, let’s learn how to install WordPress plugins using FTP connection in the following step by step tutorial –

Step 1: Download plugin file

You should be able to download your desired plugin file by going to the website of the plugin. Download the file and save to your computer.

Step 2: Unzip the plugin file

The downloaded plugin file will be zipped file. You can’t install the zipped file using FTP connection. So, you need to extract the file first. Once you extract the file, a folder will be created with same name on your computer.

Step 3: Upload the file to your server

Now open your FTP client and login. Once your FTP client is connected to your server, you’ll see a list of all the files hosted on your server as you see in your computer’s file explorer.

From there, navigate to “Wp-Content > Plugins” folder and upload the unzipped plugin folder to that folder.

Step 4: Activate the plugin

Once you successfully uploaded the unzipped plugin folder to your server using FTP connection, the plugin will be successfully installed.

Now go to your “WordPress dashboard > Installed Plugins“.

On the window that appears, you will see all your installed plugins.

Now find the plugin which you’ve just installed by seeing the plugin’s name (if your plugin is successfully installed, that should be on the list)

Once you found the plugin in the installed plugin list, click on the “Activate” link just below the name of the plugin.

If the plugin setting needs to be configured, do that and the plugin should work perfectly if everything is done correctly.

I hope this step by step tutorial helped you learn how to install WordPress plugins. If you liked this post, do subscribe my newsletter to get similar articles directly into your email.

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