How to Install A WordPress Plugin – Step by Step for Beginners

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Install A WordPress Plugin

After installing WordPress, the first thing every beginner needs to learn is how to set up and install a WordPress Plugin, Plugins allow you to add new features to WordPress such as add a gallery, slideshow, etc. There are thousands of free and paid plugins available for WordPress. In this step by step guide, we will show you how to set up a WordPress plugin.

If you are using WordPress.com, then you cannot put in plugins.  We often get complaints from users saying that they can’t view the plugins menu in their WordPress dashboard.

It is because you are using WordPress.com, which accepts its limitations.  In order to use plugins, you will ask to use self-hosted WordPress.org (See the differences between

In order to use plugins, you will ask to use self-hosted WordPress.org (See the differences between self-hosted WordPress.org vs WordPress.com).

If you desire to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, then read our tutorial on how to properly move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin

However, if you just want to follow text instructions, then you can follow our step by step tutorial on how to set up a WordPress plugin.

We have encompassed all three methods: installing a WordPress plugin using search, uploading a WordPress plugin, and manually installing a WordPress plugin using FTP.

Install A WordPress Plugin using Plugin Search

The most comfortable way of setting up & installing a WordPress plugin is to use the plugin search. The only downside of this option is that a plugin must be in the WordPress plugin directory which is limited to only free plugins.

The first thing you necessitate to do is go to your WordPress admin area and click on Plugins » Add New.

You will watch a screen like the one in the screenshot above.  Find the plugin by typing the plugin name or the functionality you are looking for like we executed.

After that, you will understand a bunch of listings like the example below:

You can pick the plugin that is best for you. Since in our search, we were looking for Floating Social Bar which happens to be the first plugin, we will click the ‘Install Now’ button. WordPress will now download and install the plugin for you.

After this, you will find out the success message with a link to activate the plugin or return to plugin installer.

A WordPress plugin can be completely setup & installed on your website, but it will not work unless you activate it.  So go ahead and click on the activate plugin link to activate the plugin on your WordPress website.

That’s all, you have successfully set up 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 WordPress Plugin using the WordPress Admin Plugin Upload

Also, Some of the Premium WordPress plugins are not listed in the WordPress plugin directory.

These plugins cannot be installed using the first method. That’s why WordPress has the Upload method to install such plugins.

We will show you how to install WordPress plugin using the upload option in the admin field. First, you need to download the plugin from the source (which will be a zip file).

Next, you need to go to WordPress admin area and visit Plugins » Add New page.

After that, click on the Upload Plugin button on the upper side of the page.

upload plugin

This will get you to the plugin, upload page.  Here you just need to click on the choose file button and then select the plugin file you downloaded earlier to your computer.

After you have chosen the file, you need to click on the install now button.  WordPress will now upload the plugin file from your computer and establish it for you.

You will consider a success message like this after installation is finished.

Once set up, you need to click on the Activate Plugin link to start using the plugin.  You would have to configure the settings to fit your demands.

These settings will vary for each plugin, therefore, we will not be covering that in this billet.

Manually Install A WordPress Plugin using FTP

In some cases, your WordPress hosting provider may have file restrictions that could define your ability to install a plugin from the admin area. In this situation, your best wager is to install the plugin manually using FTP. The FTP manager method is the least friendly for novices.  First, you will demand to download the plugin’s source file (it will be a zip file).

In this situation, your best wager is to install the plugin manually using FTP. The FTP manager method is the least friendly for novices.

First, you will demand to download the plugin’s source file (it will be a zip file).

Next, you need to extract the zip file on your data processor.  Extracting the plugin zip file will create a new folder with the same figure.

This is the folder that you need to manually upload to your site using an FTP client.

You would need to access your host through the FTP manager.

If you do not have your FTP username and password, then contact your WordPress hosting provider and require them.

Open the FTP client on your computer and connect to your website using the login credentials provided by your network 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 host.

After uploading the files, you need to visit the WordPress admin area and click on the Plugins link in the admin menu.

You will take in your plugin successfully installed on the plugins page.

You need to snap on the Activate link below the plugin.  Upon activating, you may require configuring the plugin settings.

WordPress plugins come with their own settings, which differ from one plugin to another, then we will not describe them here.

We hope this helped you determine how to install WordPress plugins.  You may also want to see our plugins category where we compose about the best WordPress plugins that you can use to accomplish whatever you’re looking to do.

Each of those articles come with step-by-step instructions on how to setup individual plugins.

You need to snap on the Activate link below the plugin.  Upon activating, you may require configuring the plugin settings.

WordPress plugins come with their own settings, which differ from one plugin to another, then we will not describe them here.  We hope (Install A WordPress Plugin) this helped you determine how to install WordPress plugins.

You may also want to see our plugins category where we compose about the best WordPress plugins that you can use to accomplish whatever you’re looking to do. Each of those articles comes with step-by-step instructions on how to Install A WordPress Plugin.

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