The WordPress as CMS is designed to be lean and lightweight. Plugins are utilities that allow you to add more functionality to the WordPress. After you have installed WordPress on your website, the first thing every blogger should learn is How to install a WordPress plugin. In this article, I will guide you about different ways of installing WordPress plugins.
WordPress plugins will only work on the self-hosted WordPress blogs and not on the WordPress.com blogs.
There are 3 different ways of installing plugins on your WordPress website.
- WordPress plugin database
- Uploading a plugin to your Website
- Installing a plugin using FTP method
Installing A Plugin from WordPress Plugin Database
The easiest way of installing a plugin is from the WordPress plugin database. You just need to search for the plugin you want and install it.
First, you need to login to your WordPress Admin dashboard.
Next, click on Plugins >> Add New
Next, search for the desired plugins in the top right search box as shown in the screenshot above.
Now you will get a few search results for your query. Before you install any plugin it is always recommended to read all the information which is provided along with the plugins, click on ‘More Details’ for more detailed information about the plugin. Also, check if the plugin is compatible with your version of the WordPress.
Next, you can pick the plugin which best suits your requirements, then click on the ‘Install Now’ button.
After clicking on install now button you need to wait for few seconds for WordPress to download and install the plugin.
A new WordPress plugin is installed on your website, but it will not work until you activate the plugin, so next, you will need to click on the ‘Activate’ button.
After the successful activation of the plugin, you will get a confirmation message.
Congratulations, You have successfully installed and activated your first WordPress plugin.
Important: A simple mistake many users make of not configuring the plugins after installing them. After installing and activating your plugin, go to the plugin settings and configure the plugin settings.
Install A WordPress Plugin by Uploading it to Your Website
Premium or Paid WordPress plugins are not directly listed in the official WordPress directory. The installation process of these plugins a bit different and they cannot be installed by our first method.
First, you need to source the plugin from premium plugin marketplaces or plugin stores like Code Canyon. Then download the plugin on your desktop/laptop.
Next, you need to login to your WordPress Admin dashboard then click on Plugins >> Add New >> ‘Upload Plugin’ button
Now click on ‘Choose File’ to select the plugin you want to upload from your computer.
Important: Most plugins you download from marketplaces are in master zip files i.e. including plugin, licensing, help files etc, you first need to unzip the master plugin file on your desktop/laptop and then upload only the plugin zip file to your website and not the whole master zip file.
Next, click on the ‘Install Now’ button to let WordPress upload and install the plugin on your website.
Now, just click on the ‘Activate Plugin’ button to activate the installed plugin.
Congratulations, You have learned how to manually install a WordPress plugin.
Installing a WordPress Plugin using the FTP Method
Another way of installing a WordPress plugin is by using the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) method. Sometimes many web hosts put restrictions on file sizes that can be uploaded from admin dashboard, then FTP method can be used to install plugins on your website.
This method can be a bit complicated for beginners, as it requires you to use FTP Clients like FileZilla.
First, you need to download the plugin file and unzip the file on your computer, unzipping the file will create a folder of the same name of the plugin.
Then using the FTP client you will need to connect to your website server, then you need to copy the plugin folder to public_html/wp-content/plugins directory.
Important: To connect to your website server with FTP client you will need your FTP username and password. If you don’t have your FTP login details contact your web hosting provider.
After uploading the files on your server, you need to login to your WordPress dashboard and activate the plugin from Plugins >> Installed Plugins.
In this article, we have shown you 3 different methods of installing plugins on your WordPress website. With access to thousands of plugins, you have endless customization possibilities for your blog.
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