WordPress is incomplete without its plugins. In fact, one of the reasons WordPress has been so successful, apart from being wonderful software, is the availability of plugins for almost any and every job that could be expected from WordPress.
Plugins allow you to add new features to WordPress such as add a gallery, slideshow, etc and have the potential to make your simple blog outstanding.
Read about the recommended plugins list for WordPress.
In this step by step guide, we discuss how to install a WordPress plugin.
Installation of a WordPress plugin can be done in more than one ways and we are going to discuss them all here.
There can be three methods for installation of WordPress plugin.
- Install a WordPress plugin using search
- Install by Upload
- Installing by using FTP.
If you remember, the three methods are similar to the methods used for the installation of a WordPress theme.
How to Install WordPress Plugin by WordPress Plugin Search Method
This is the easiest method and most of the plugins are installed using this. The limitation of this method is that the plugin must be in the WordPress plugin directory which is limited to only free plugins.
Go to your WordPress admin area and click on Plugins » Add New.
You will be taken to screen like the one in the picture below. There is a search bar where you can either type the specific plugin name you are looking for or the function of the plugin.
If you are looking for a specific plugin then it is fine but if you need to select from available plugins, you would need to a bit of work.
We would search for required by filling keywords in the search box.
When you locate the desired plugin, click the ‘Install Now’ button.
WordPress will now download and install the plugin for you. After this, you will see the success message with a link to activate the plugin or return to plugin installer.
After this, you would need to activate the plugin so that it can become functional on your site.
Tip: Inactive plugins are a security threat. Please remove any inactive plugin that you installed but do not use.
If you are not sure about what plugin you need to choose, you need to spend some time in choosing the plugins. Read people’s reviews, judge by a number of downloads, the reputation of the plugin maker and the compatibility of the plugin with your WordPress version.
That’s all, you have successfully installed your first WordPress plugin.
The next step is to configure the plugin settings. These settings will vary for each plugin, therefore, we will not be covering that in this post.
Install a Plugin using the WordPress Admin Plugin Upload
Like paid theme installation, this method is for the paid plugins mostly. These plugins cannot be installed using the first method.
These plugins need to be uploaded and installed.
The desired plugin should be purchased and downloaded on your device.
Now, go to WordPress admin area and visit Plugins » Add New page.
After that, click on the Upload Plugin button on top of the page. It is shown below.
This will bring you to the plugin upload page. Here you need to click on the choose file button and select the plugin file you downloaded earlier to your computer.
After you have selected the file, you need to click on the install now button.
WordPress will now upload and install the plugin file. A success message like before would be flashed after installation is finished.
You can activate plugin after that.
Manually Install a WordPress Plugin using FTP
This usually is not needed. But some hosts do not allow admin area upload and this method may be useful in such cases.
After you have downloaded the plugin file, it needs to be unzipped before upload.
Access your host through the FTP manager by using credentials provided by your host.
Once connected, you need to access the path /wp-content/plugins/
Next, upload the folder you extracted from the zip file to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder on your web server.
After uploading the files, you need to visit the WordPress admin area and click on the Plugins link in the admin menu. You will see your plugin successfully installed on the plugins page.
You need to activate the plugin.