How to install a WordPress plugin

Are you new to WordPress and wondering how to install a WordPress plugin? If yes, then you are at the very right place.

For WordPress, there are thousands of both free and premium plugins. This step-by-step tutorial will walk you through the process of installing a WordPress plugin. In case if you do not have a WordPress blog yet, you can read our beginner’s friendly tutorial to start a WordPress blog.

First of all, let us know what a WordPress plugin is.

What is a WordPress plugin?

WordPress comes with a powerful backend dashboard where you can do multiple things, from publishing posts, pages to adding users and much more. The WordPress dashboard is designed in a way that it offers benefits through its features and functions to a large audience. However, these features might not be enough for various website owners, and they may want to extend the features. This is where the WordPress plugins come into functionality.

WordPress plugins are addons which you can install through your WordPress dashboard to extend or sometimes depreciate certain functionalities and features of WordPress.

For example, by default in many WordPress themes, the comment box in posts has ‘Name’ , ‘Email’ , ‘Comment’ and ‘Website URL’ field. If you want to remove the ‘Website URL’ field from WordPress comments, then you can install the URL Field Remover plugin.

This way, you can add or depreciate functionality in simple steps without having to change the code of the website.

WordPress plugins are addons that extend or depreciate specific features or functionality to a WordPress website. They can be installed and activated within the WordPress dashboard, and they allow users to customise and extend the functionality of their website without needing to know how to code.

There are thousands of WordPress plugins available, covering a wide range of functions and features such as SEO, security, e-commerce, social media integration, and more. Some plugins are free, while others are premium and require a purchase.

To use a plugin, you will need to have a WordPress website and be able to install and activate the plugin within the WordPress dashboard. You can search for your desired plugin and install plugins directly from the dashboard, or you can download a plugin from the WordPress plugin repository or from a third-party website and upload it to your website manually.

Once a plugin is installed and activated, you can configure its settings and options to suit your needs. You can also deactivate or delete a plugin if you no longer need it or if you want to try a different plugin that does the same thing.

How to install a WordPress plugin?

There are various ways to install a WordPress plugin. Let us start with a widely accepted and simple method.

1. Installing Plugin through WordPress plugin repository

Installing a plugin available on the WordPress repository is simple and easy. 

  • First, you need to login to your WordPress website through 
  • After you have logged in, you will see a WordPress dashboard. From the dashboard, hover over to Plugins and click Add New.
Installing a plugin through WordPress dashboard
Fig: Installing a plugin through WordPress dashboard
  • After that, you’ll see a plugin library, where you can search for thousands of plugins available in the WordPress plugin repository.
WordPress plugin repository
Fig: WordPress plugin repository.
  • After you find your desired plugin, click on Install and then Activate.
Searching & installing WordPress plugin
Fig: Searching & installing WordPress plugin.

This way you have installed and activated a plugin available on the WordPress plugin repository. 

However, after installing and activating a plugin, you may need to customize certain plugin-specific settings from that particular plugin setting. For that, you need to go to Plugins >> Installed Plugin and then choose your plugin’s settings to customize it.

2. Installing a plugin through the WordPress plugin upload method

For this method, you need to have a .zip file of plugin already downloaded to your computer.

After that, you need to go to Plugins >> Add New from the WordPress dashboard and click the Upload Plugin button from the top left side of the dashboard.

After clicking on Upload Plugin, you’ll be able to upload the .zip file of your plugin, following which you need to click on Install Now and Activate the plugin, respectively.

Installing & Activating WordPress plugin after uploading it
Fig: Installing & Activating WordPress plugin after uploading it.

3. Installing a plugin through hosting file manager

This is a rarely used method of installing WordPress plugins. In this method, you first download a WordPress plugin to your computer and then extract it.

After that, you go to your website’s root folder through a file manager or FTP.

Then you need to go to WP Content >> Plugins and then upload the contents of the extracted files saved on your system to the Plugins Folder.

Finally, return to the WordPress dashboard, where you can see the uploaded plugin. Click on Activate and voila, you are done.


How many plugins are available for WordPress?

More than 55 thousand plugins are available in the WordPress repository alone. Thousands of more free and premium plugins are available to download on other platforms as well.

Are every plugins free?

No, every plugin are not free. You may need to pay a certain price to use the functionality of certain premium plugins.

Wrapping Up

In this post, we discussed three different ways of installing a WordPress plugin. However, we suggest you use the first and second methods only. Because the last method (uploading plugin files to the file manager) can sometimes break your site if you make a simple mistake.

If you have any queries, feel free to ask in the comment section.

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