Watch this video for a step by step process on how to Install a WordPress Plugin
Once you install WordPress, you need to learn about installing a WordPress plugin.
To make it simple, WordPress plugins are similar to apps for your WordPress website. You can add new features to WordPress such as a slideshow, contact form, shopping cart, and so on.
There are thousands of free and paid plugins needed for WordPress. You will see the step by step process of installing a WordPress plugin in this post.
Just Before You Start
If you have hosted WordPress on WordPress.com, then you aren’t allowed to install plugins.
This is because WordPress.com adds some restrictions.
Unless you upgrade to their business plan, you can’t install plugins on WordPress.com. However, you can install any plugin by yourself if your website is hosted on WordPress.org.
Now let’s take a look at the steps to install a WordPress plugin on your website.
Steps to Search and Install Directly from WordPress Admin Dashboard
This is the easiest way of installing a WordPress plugin for using the plugin search. The only disadvantage of this plugin is that the plugin should be present in the WordPress plugin directory that comprises of just free plugins.
1. At first, go to your WordPress admin dashboard and scroll down to Plugins > Add New.
2. As seen in the above screenshot, search for the plugin by typing the plugin name or the functionality that you are looking for. Next a list of the plugins available to install gets displayed as below:
3. Now you can select the plugin that is best for you. Here we have searched for WP Forms and so we will click on Install Now button next to it.
After this, the plugin will be downloaded and installed by WordPress. Next, you’ll find that the ‘Install Now’ button changes into the ‘Activate’ button.
4. A WordPress plugin will be installed on your site, but it won’t work unless you activate it. So, click on the Activate button to start using that plugin on your WordPress site.
That’s all, you now have successfully installed your first WordPress plugin.
Steps to Upload the Plugin’s Zip File on WordPress Admin
You won’t find paid WordPress plugins listed in the WordPress plugin directory. You can’t install these plugins using the first method.
Therefore, you get an upload option in WordPress to install such plugins.
1. To start, search and download the plugin from this link: https://wordpress.org/plugins/ (it will be a zip file).
2. Log in to WordPress dashboard with admin access.
3. Go to Plugins and click on Add New.
4. Then, click on the ‘Upload Plugin’ button on top of the page.
5. With this the plugin upload form will get displayed. In this window, click on Choose File button and select the plugin’s zip file you downloaded earlier to your computer.
6. After selecting the file, you need to click on the ‘Install Now’ button.
Then the plugin file will be uploaded from your computer and installed. With this, you will see a success message as below after the installation is finished.
7. After this, click on the Activate Plugin link so that you can start using the plugin.
Steps to Upload the Plugin Using FTP Client
Some of the WordPress hosting providers have restrictions on files and due to this you won’t be able to install a plugin from the admin area.
In this case, FTP can be used to install the plugin manually using FTP.
The FTP manager method isn’t easy for beginners.
1. At first, you will need to download the plugin’s source file (it will be a zip file). Then extract the zip file on your computer.
2. A new folder with the same name gets created after the plugin zip file gets extracted. You need to manually upload this folder to your website with a FTP client.
You can access the host via the FTP manager. In case you don’t have your FTP username and password and then contact your WordPress hosting provider and ask them.
3. Then open the FTP client on your computer and using the login credentials from your web host connect to your website. Then go to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder on your website.
4. Upload the folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder on your web server that you have extracted in the above step.
5. Once you upload the files, Log in to WordPress dashboard with admin access.
6. Click on the Plugins link in the admin menu. You will see the plugin you uploaded via FTP, installed on the plugin’s page.
7. In order to start using the plugin, click on the Activate link below the plugin.
Note: Now you will need to configure the plugin settings. The settings are different for each plugin.
In this way, you have learned to install a WordPress plugin in simple steps.