How to install a WordPress plugin- A complete guide (with pictures)

Those are the plugins which make the WordPress a full fledged platform powering millions of websites and blogs. Plugins are installed to enhance functionality and to add features so that every blogger can control the way their blog looks like and behave. So it becomes very important for every blogger to know how to install a wordpress plugin .

WordPress plugins can be installed using any of following 3 methods:

  • Search plugin and install  (beginner friendly)
  • Upload plugin and install  (moderate)
  • Install using FTP manager  (a little harder method)

Now , let me show you how to install a wordpress plugin using above 3 methods:


 1.  Install a plugin using wordpress dashboard search option

This is the easiest and quickest method to install a wordpress plugin. Only problem with this method is that the plugin you want to install must be there in  Wordpress Plugin Directory . If you know the name of plugin , you can directly search using plugin search option in dashboard and can install plugin in less than a minute .

  • Login to your wordpress dashboard >> Click on plugin in left panel >> Add new

install a wordpress plugin from dashboard

  • Enter the exact name of plugin you want to install . Let’s say you have to install “theme check” plugin , then enter “theme check” in search box  and hit Enter. You will see a screen like this

how to install a wordpress plugin

  • There are lot of options as you can see in above picture . Click on ‘more details’  to see more information about the plugin . You can also check whether the plugin is compatible or not with the wordpress version you are using.
  • Click on ‘install now’ to install plugin. A popup would appear on screen, asking if you are sure , you really want to install the plugin-

how to install a wordpress plugin

  • Click on the OK button and you are done. Plugin will be get installed with in seconds . After this you will see something like this on the screen:

how to install a wordpress plugin

  • You can simply activate the plugin by clicking on ‘activate plugin’  as shown in picture above. Now you ready to configure your plugin.

 2. Upload plugin (.zip file) and install

This method allow you to upload the pre-downloaded plugin file (must be a .zip file) . If the plugin you want to install is not available in wordpress plugin directory or its a paid plugin downloaded from third party website , then you can upload the plugin file (.zip file) from wordpress dashboard.

NOTE: You should always download plugins from trusted sources.

  • Download the plugin file  (should be a .zip file)
  • Login to your wordpress dashboard >> Click on plugin in left panel >> Add new >> Click on the ‘upload plugin’ at the top as shown in the picture below

How to upload a plugin file

  • When you will click on ‘upload plugin’ , you will see a screen like the one shown below

How to upload wordpress plugin file

  • Click on the ‘choose file’ and after selecting plugin file , click on ‘install now’ . The process of uploading may take some time depending upon plugin file size. Once you are done , you can activate and configure plugin as shown below-

how to upload a wordpress plugin


  3.  Install plugin using FTP manager

Installing a wordpress plugin using FTP manager is little harder for beginner.  So I will discuss about it in another post some other day . Although I am listing out all the points you need to follow to install wordpress plugin using this method.

  • Download your preferred FTP application and install on your PC. I would suggest you to try out FileZilla because its free and available for both window and mac.
  • Download the plugin you want to install . If it is compressed zip file , then unzip it to get all the files inside it.
  • Connect to your website using FTP application you are using. You may need to enter some information like hostname, server type , username and password.
  • Now you will see folders and files. You have to find ‘wp-content’ because this is the place where you will find plugins and themes folder. I would suggest you to look for ‘wp-content’ in the main root directory ‘public_html’
  • Upload your unzipped plugin files there in plugin directory
  • Now go to your wordpress dashboard and check installed plugins. You will find your plugin there. Activate it and you are done.

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