How to Install WordPress Plugin in 3 Different Ways – Beginners Guide

WordPress is one of the easiest software to manage simplest of blogs to the complex of websites. Heck, even installing WordPress is pretty simple. After installing the WordPress, one of the first things that we do is to install a plugin or two. Plugins in WordPress provide increased functionality and makes your WordPress installation much more powerful and flexible.

Considering how important are plugins to a WordPress site, installing a WordPress plugin is pretty easy and only takes a few clicks. Technically, there are three different ways to install WordPress plugin. So, get to know all three of them as you will need one time the other.

Install WordPress Plugin from WP Repository

WordPress has a built-in plugin search feature so that you can easily search and install WordPress plugin. This approach is particularly useful if you want to install a plugin that is available through the WordPress repository.

To start off, open up the “Add Plugin” page in your WordPress dashboard by navigating to “Plugins” and then selecting the option “Add New.”

Install WordPress Plugin - Add new plugin.

Here, you can search for the plugin using the search bar featured on the right side. For instance, I want to install the Jetpack plugin. So, I’ve searched for “Jetpack.” Once you get all the results, simply click on the “Install Now” button. If want to know more about the plugin like the change log, reviews, etc.., then click on the link “More info.”

Install WordPress Plugin - Search and install a plugin.

This action will download the plugin from WordPress repository and installs it automatically. Once installed, you need to activate the plugin. To do that, simply click on the link “Activate plugin.”

Install WordPress Plugin - Activate installed plugin.

That’s all there is to do. You have successfully installed and activated the plugin.

Install WordPress Plugin - Plugin installed and activated.

Install WordPress Plugin by Uploading it

The other way to install WordPress plugin is by uploading it through the built-in plugin uploader. This is one of the most used methods to install premium plugins which are usually not available through the WordPress repository. Before you do anything, download the plugin from the official site.

To start off, open up the plugin installation page by navigating to “Plugins” and then selecting the option “Add New.” Here, click on the button “Upload Plugin” appearing at the top of the page.

Click on the "Upload Plugin" button.

The above action will take you to the plugin upload page. Here, click on the button “Choose file,” browse and add the downloaded plugin zip file and click on the button “Install Now.”

Browse for the downloaded plugin and click on the Install Now button.

With the above action, the plugin file will be uploaded to your site and WordPress installs it automatically. Now, just click on the link “Activate Plugin” to activate the plugin.

Activate the uploaded and installed plugin.

That’s all there is to do and you have successfully installed WordPress plugin using the built-in plugin uploader.

Install WordPress Plugin via FTP

Besides from using the WordPress plugin uploader to install WordPress plugin, you can also install WordPress plugin through FTP (File Transfer Protocol). This is particularly useful when you are facing problems with the above two methods or when just want to install your own plugin like the site-specific plugin.

To start off, download the plugin you want to install via FTP. Now, open the downloaded zip file and extract the folder onto your desktop.

Extract the plugin folder.

After that, launch your favorite FTP client and login to it. As you can see, I’m using Cyberduck as my FTP client. Once logged in, navigate to the folder /wp-content/plugins/.

Open plugins folder on your WordPress site using FTP.

Now, simply drag and drop the extracted folder into the FTP client. This action will automatically upload the entire plugin folder to the native WordPress plugins folder. Once uploaded, it looks something like this.

Upload the extracted plugin folder through the FTP client.

You are done installing the plugin, all you need to do is to activate it so that you can use the plugin. To do that, navigate to the “Plugins” page in your WordPress dashboard, find the plugin you just uploaded and click on the link “Activate” to activate the plugin.

Activate the plugin uploaded and installed through FTP.

That’s all there is to do and it is that simple to install WordPress plugin in three different ways. Don’t forget to learn how to disable plugin and theme editor for increased WordPress security.

Hopefully that helps and do comment below if you face any problems or just to share your thoughts and experiences about using the above methods to install WordPress plugins on your WordPress site.

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