How to Install a WordPress Plugin – Complete Guide for Beginners

WordPress Plugins is one of the most loved features of the content management system. A plugin is a piece of code that brings special functionality to your WordPress. There are thousands of free and paid plugins are available for WordPress. In this article, we will show you how to install a WordPress plugin.

But Before we start, let’s take a moment to understand that, the plugin can only be installed on self-hosted WordPress blogs. You can’t install a plugin on blog unless you upgrade to their business plan.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin

Installing a plugin in WordPress is nothing more than plug and play. Here We will discuss three ways of installing WordPress plugins.

  1. Search and Install
  2. Upload and Install
  3. Via FTP

Install Plugin from WordPress Dashboard Search

This is by far the most easiest way to install a plugin in your WordPress setup. But the only catch is the plugin should be in the WordPress’ plugin directory which is limited for free plugins only.

To install the plugin you just need to know the name of the plugin or the functionality you want.

Login to your WordPress dashboard and head over to Plugins ›› Add New menu. You can directly search the plugin name or the keyword. Here we want to install a “Contact Form” plugin for my blog, So I typed “Contact Form” in the search bar.

How to Install Plugin from WordPress Dashboard Search

The list will appear matching your keyword. You need to select the one and click on the install as shown in the screenshot. You can check for the total number of installs, Last updated and compatibility with your WordPress version.

After installation the Activate button will appear, so the plugin files and code has been installed on your WordPress setup but still not in use, click on the activate button to complete the process of plugin installation.

activate wordpress plugin

You may want to configure the settings for the installed plugin which depends on the individual plugin. however here you are done with the installation and activation of the WordPress plugin.

Install Plugin by uploading in WordPress Dashboard

This method comes to your rescue when you want to install a paid plugin. As the paid plugins are not available in the WordPress plugin directory. The vendor will give you a zip file of the plugin to install. You can also download the free plugins from WordPress Website. Let’s start it one by one…

Login to your WordPress dashboard and head over to Plugins ›› Add New menu. Click the Upload Plugin button at the top.

Upload and Install WordPress Plugin

This will bring the options to upload a file just below it. Choose your zip file and click on Install Now to finally install the plugin on your WordPress.

Install Plugin Zip File

WordPress will install your plugin and display a success message with the option to activate the plugin. Click the Activate Plugin button and you are done.

Install Uploaded zip plugin on wordpress

You have to configure the plugin further as per your needs.

Install WordPress Plugin Manually using FTP

If you are a regular user of FTP and having issues with the first two methods, then you can install the WordPress plugin manually using FTP. This is not so friendly for beginners.

First you need to download the Plugin ZIP file and have to extract as a normal folder on your computer. Also, Manual Installation of Plugin will need few details from your hosting provider as mentioned below…

  1. Host Name
  2. Port
  3. Username and Password for FTP

Once you have all the information open your FTP application and connect to the server using the above information. Now navigate to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory on your remote and upload the plugin folder to this directory.

You are done with the installation of the plugin but to activate you need to login to WordPress dashboard and navigate to Plugins ›› Installed Plugins.

WordPress Installed Plugins

The plugin will list up and you can easily activate here.

We Hope the article helped you to install the WordPress plugin. If you like the article please follow us and share it to the world.

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