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How to Install WordPress Plugin in 3 Easy Ways

The fine ability to customize and breathe soul into your WordPress website with an install WordPress plugin is one of the WordPress platform's most significant advantages. WordPress plugins give you the power to pack your site with feature-rich interactivity.

The main feature that makes WordPress stand from the rest is plugins.

Plugins lets you add features to your WordPress site without hiring a developer or playing with coding. There are thousands of free and premium WordPress plugins out there.

And the significant part is, installing a WordPress plugin is insanely more straightforward.

You need to follow some simple steps, and you are done. Here I’ll be sharing different ways to install a WordPress plugin.

As WordPress is open-source software, anyone with the skills and the experience can create a plugin. Therefore, it is important to choose a plugin from a trustworthy and reputable source.

Ways to Install WordPress Plugin

Before diving into the tutorial, let’s see what a WordPress plugin is.

What is a WordPress Plugin?

Ways to Install WordPress Plugin in Easy Steps
Ways to Install WordPress Plugin in Easy Steps

A plugin is a simple software written in the PHP programming language that contains functions. It integrates with WordPress seamlessly, and the functions included helps you add different features without touching a line of code.

For any function you can imagine, WordPress has a plugin for that most of the time. WordPress has almost every type of plugin you’ll need to successfully run a WordPress site, from SEO to website design.

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Now let’s see what you need to check before installing a plugin.

Things to Check Before Installing a Plugin

The WordPress Repository is the official reservoir of plugins. Every plugin in the repo has been designed following detailed guidelines and has undergone a series of initial tests to ensure malware-free. The repo is monitored and moderated to ensure continued compliance with the policies, but when acquiring any software from the internet, use common sense and good judgment. Bad eggs exist.

As I said, thousands of plugins are already available to install and activate on your site.

Don’t miss the many great themes available to you as well.

Ways to Install WordPress Plugin

But first, there are a few things to consider before installing any plugin. After all, you will find multiple plugins that help you do the same thing; here is how to choose which one to install on your site and which to ignore.

  • Last Update: When was the plugin last updated? If it was updated in a few weeks or months, it’s a good plugin to install. If the plugin has not been updated for two or more years, avoid the plugin.
  • Version Compatibility: Is the plugin compatible with your current version of WordPress? If not, then why bother and install it on your site. Ignore it, and find one that is compatible with your site.
  • Reviews: What do other people think about the plugin? Read the reviews and decide.

Once you’ve found your desired plugin, it’s time to install it. I’ll show you different ways to install a plugin.

Install WordPress Plugin With Official Method

This is the simplest way to install a plugin. A matter of a few clicks will do your job.

The only pre-requisite is that the plugin you install should be available on the WordPress repository.

Now let’s see how to install a plugin using the search method.

At first, go to your WordPress admin area and then click on Plugins > Add New.

3 Ways to Install A WordPress Plugin in Easy Steps
Add New Plugin – Ways to Install WordPress Plugin

After that, type the plugin name in the search box, and WordPress will start showing the plugins according to your search. Your desired plugin will be on top of the list most of the time.

3 Ways to Install A WordPress Plugin in Easy Steps
Search – Ways to Install WordPress Plugin

Then simply click on the ‘Install Now’ button and activate the plugin.

Add New Plugin - Ways to Install a WordPress Plugin
Install – Ways to Install WordPress Plugin

WordPress will then download the plugin and unpack it. Once that’s over, it’ll ask you if you want to activate the plugin.

At this point, your WordPress database is not modified by the plugin, and the plugin doesn't have any access to your WordPress database. This is similar to uploading the plugin folder in your wp-content/plugin directory. Only when you activate the plugin will it have access to your database.

If you want to activate the plugin right away, click on Activate Plugin. You can also return to Plugins > Installed Plugins and click on the Activate button.

Install WordPress Plugin Using Upload Method

This method is perfect when you have a plugin not available in the plugins directory, like paid plugins that are not available in the plugins' directory.

And it is simple to add plugins without them being in the plugins directory.

After you have the plugin file downloaded (in a zip file), The next step is to go to your WordPress admin dashboard > Plugins > Add New.

3 Ways to Install a WordPress Plugin in Easy Steps
Add New – Ways to Install WordPress Plugin

After that, you click on the ‘Upload Plugin’ button available at the top of the page beside Add Plugins.

3 Ways to Install a WordPress Plugin in Easy Steps 4
Upload – Ways to Install WordPress Plugin

Then you can drop the file or browse to add the file.

Ways To Install A WordPress Plugin
Done – Ways to Install WordPress Plugin

After that, WordPress will unpack the file and install it.

Ways To Install A WordPress Plugin
Activated – Ways to Install WordPress Plugin

You can then activate the plugin and configure it to the settings page.

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Install WordPress Plugin Using FTP Manager

The FTP method is the most concrete and fail-proof way to install a WordPress plugin. You need FTP access to your server. Most web hosts and managed WordPress hosting companies provide you with FTP access, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Login to your FTP server using an FTP client like FileZilla and navigate the WordPress installation directory and the wp-content/plugins folder. The complete path would be:

WP_INSTALL_DIR/wp-content/plugins/

Ways to Install WordPress Plugin in Easy Steps
Plugin Directory – Ways to Install WordPress Plugin

Extract the plugin archive and paste the plugin folder (and not the folder's contents) in the wp-content/plugins folder. If you upload the archive, WordPress won’t recognize it.

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 admin menu's Plugins link. You’ll see your plugin successfully installed on the plugins page.

Ways To Install A WordPress Plugin
Activate – Ways to Install WordPress Plugin

To activate the plugin, we navigate to Plugins > Installed Plugins, find the plugin we uploaded, and click on Activate.

Upon activating, you may need to configure the plugin settings. WordPress plugins have their own settings, which differ from one plugin to another, so we will not describe them here.

However, you could upload the archive and extract it using a suitable file manager provided by your web host.

Ways to Install WordPress Plugin in Easy Steps
Extract – Ways to Install WordPress Plugin

Shared hosts like HostGator and BlueHost provide you with cPanel, whose powerful File Manager can extract zip archives in a breeze, amongst other essential file operations. FatCow provides custom file management software, which also supports archive extraction.

FAQs – Ways to Install WordPress Plugin in Easy Steps

  1. How many ways can you install WordPress plugins?

    Technically, WordPress offers three ways to install WordPress plugins on your blog: Search and install. Upload and install. FTP.

  2. Are WordPress plugins free?

    WordPress has thousands of plugins, some of which are free and some you have to pay for if you buy them from third-party vendors.

  3. Is WordPress still the best?

    Self-hosted WordPress is the best choice for most people who want to build a website because It's affordable. It's still accessible to non-technical users. You can extend your site using pre-made themes and plugins.

Conclusion – Ways to Install WordPress Plugin

You now have the knowledge you need to turn your WordPress website into whatever you want it to become! With over 56,000 plugins in the repository, you have a daunting yet exciting time in front of you. Be sure to look at the Showcase section of wordpress.org, where many other WordPress websites are on display. It’s a great way to collect ideas for what you can do with your site.

Adding plugins is essential for customizing your WordPress blog without needing developers to do everything you need.

And adding it can’t be easier. In this post, you discovered different ways to install plugins on your site.

Now, start adding plugins, but don’t add too much so your loading speed isn’t affected.

Have fun, be creative, and have the best of luck designing your masterpiece. Any questions on how to install a WordPress plugin? Feel free to ask away in the comments below.

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