How to Install Plugin in WordPress

WordPress is an open source content management system. Its open ecosystem allows third party developers to create plugins to enhance the functionality of WordPress itself. WordPress users can install plugins according to the need of the website they are developing.

You can browse plugins on the official plugin directory of WordPress. In addition, there are also marketplaces like CodeCanyon where you can browse premium plugins from third party developers.

In case you are new to WordPress, plugin is a software that contains a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress. There are two ways to install a WordPress plugin: via WordPress dashboard and manually.

1. How install WordPress plugin via dashboard

As mentioned above, you can browse WordPress plugins on the official plugin directory of WordPress. There thousands or even hundred thousands plugins available there. Most plugins available on the official plugin directory of WordPress are free to use. CodeCanyon is another great resource to find WordPress plugins. However, plugins on this site are commonly paid plugins.

To install a new plugin via WordPress dashboard, you can either download the file of the plugin you want to install or search it on the search box that is available on the plugin installer page within your WordPress dashboard. The WordPress plugin file itself is available in the ZIP format.

1.a. Install WordPress plugin via file

You can use this method to install WordPress plugins from third party sources like CodeCanyon since plugins from third party sources are not available on the search box of plugin installer. Only plugins on the official plugin directory of WordPress available on the search box.

  • Download the plugin file you want to install.
  • Login to your WordPress dashboard. Hover your mouse over the Plugins menu and select Add New.
  • Click the Upload Plugin button followed by Choose File button and search the ZIP file of the plugin you want to install. Click the Install Now button.
  • Wait a moment until WordPress is done installing your plugin. Once done, click the Activate Plugin button to activate the plugin.

1.b. Install WordPress plugin search box

  • Login to your WordPress dashboard. Hover your mouse over the Plugins menu and click Add New.
  • Search the plugin you want to install on the search box. You can type the plugin name or a keyword related to the plugin you want to install.
  • Choose a plugin from the search results and click the Install Now button. Before clicking this button, just make sure you have selected the right plugin. Notice the developer before clicking the button.
  • Wait a moment until WordPress is done installing your plugin. Once done, click the Activate Plugin button to activate the plugin.

2. How install WordPress manually

For some technical issue reasons you might can’t install WordPress plugin via dashboard. If this is the case, you can manually install the plugin by uploading the files of the plugin to the plugins directory on your WordPress installation. In most cases, this directory has the full path of public_html/wp-content/plugins/.

To install a plugin manually, you need an access to login to your server. Ideally, you can upload the files to server using FTP client.

  • Download the ZIP file of the plugin you want to install and extract it. This will typically generate a folder with the name according to the associated plugin
  • Upload the extracted directory from the step above to the plugins directory of your WordPress installation. If you want to upload the directory via FTP, you can read this article to learn how to upload files to server using FTP client.
  • Your plugin has been installed, but is not activated yet. To activate it, login to your WordPress dashboard. Hover your mouse over the Plugins menu and click Installed Plugins .
  • Look for the new plugin you have just installed and click the Activate link.

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