How to Install a WordPress Plugin
After installing WordPress, the first thing every beginner needs to learn is how to install a WordPress plugin.
In simple words, WordPress plugins are like apps for your WordPress website. They allow you to add new features to WordPress like a contact form, slideshow, shopping cart, and more.
There are thousands of free and paid plugins available for WordPress. In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to install a WordPress plugin.
What is a Plugin?
By making your own plugin you are extending WordPress, i.e. building additional functionality on top of what WordPress already offers. For example, you could write a plugin that displays links to the ten most recent posts on your site.
Or, using WordPress’ custom post types, you could write a plugin that creates a full-featured support ticketing system with email notifications, custom ticket statuses, and a client-facing portal. The possibilities are endless!
Most WordPress plugins are composed of many files, but a plugin really only needs one main file with a specifically formatted DocBlock in the header.
Can You Use WordPress Plugins at WordPress.com?
For most users, the answer is, “No”. You cannot use WordPress plugins at WordPress.com – plugins are something that only people who use self-hosted WordPress, AKA WordPress.org, can benefit from.
Recently, Automattic slightly tweaked this policy by allowing WordPress.com Business Plan users to install third-party plugins. But still, the average WordPress.com user cannot install their own plugins.
How Do Plugins Work?
You’ll learn all of this in more detail below. But generally, to start using WordPress plugins on your site, you’ll need to:
- Find a WordPress plugin that you’re interested in
- Install that plugin on your WordPress site
- Configure the plugin inside your WordPress dashboard
How to install a WordPress plugin
To make it easy, we have created a video tutorial on how to install a WordPress plugin that you can watch below.
However, if you just want to follow text instructions, then you can follow our step-by-step tutorial on how to install a WordPress plugin.
We have covered all three methods: installing a WordPress plugin using search, uploading a WordPress plugin, and manually installing a WordPress plugin using FTP.
1. Go to “Plugins” in your WordPress dashboard
Start by going to your admin panel –
http://your-domain.com/wp-admin/ and click on “Plugins” in the sidebar menu:
2. Click on “Add New”
You can find the “Add New” button near the top of the page:
3. Find your plugin via search
What you’ll see next is a page that shows you a short list of featured/recommended plugins, and a handy search field on the right – this is the one we’re going to use.
Input the name of the plugin that you want to install in that search field. In my case, I’m going to demonstrate how to install our Revive Old Post plugin:
Now, the great thing here is that you don’t even need to input the plugin’s whole name. For example, I’m just going to use “revive” and press the enter key on my keyboard.
4. Install your plugin
Once you see the plugin you’re looking for on the list, all you need to do now is click on the “Install Now” button. When you do that, WordPress is going to fetch the plugin and have it installed on your site. It works much like installing a new app on your phone.
5. Activate the plugin
There’s one final step. When the installation is complete, click on the “Activate Plugin” link that has just appeared.
How to install a premium / paid WordPress plugin
The process of how to install a WordPress plugin that’s premium or paid is a bit different. Purely because premium plugins are not available in the official plugin directory – the one you can access via the search option in your
1. Get the plugin archive
The first thing you need to do is somehow obtain the plugin itself. This step you need to handle on your own. Most commonly, this involves going to a marketplace or a plugin store and buying a copy of the plugin from there.
Long story short, as a result of your purchase you should have the installable plugin file saved as a ZIP archive.
2. Upload your plugin archive
From there, click on the “Upload Plugin” button visible at the top:
On the next screen, you will be able to upload your plugin’s ZIP file straight to your WordPress. Just select the ZIP from your desktop and confirm the upload by clicking on “Install Now.”
3. Go to “Plugins” in your WordPress dashboard
Once you have your ZIP file, go back to your WordPress
wp-admin the panel, click on “Plugins” in the sidebar menu, and then on the “Add New” button:
4. Activate the plugin
When WordPress finishes doing its magic, you’ll only need to activate the plugin:
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