How to Install WordPress Plugins- Beginner’s Guide
As one of the most popular content management systems (CMS), WordPress offers high flexibility and numerous customization options. It offers a wide variety of WordPress plugins, which allow you to tweak your website’s functionality.
WordPress has its own plugin directory, which includes free and premium plugins. These plugins let you add various features, ranging from contact forms and custom newsletters to website caching and WordPress security.
Some plugins can also alter your WordPress site to make it a functional online store with a WooCommerce plugin or an eLearning platform with LMS plugins. In fact, you can even create your own WordPress plugin.
In this tutorial, we will show the step-by-step process of installing WordPress plugins using three different methods. At the end of this article, we will also include a few tips you can follow when looking for new WordPress plugins to improve your site.
How to Update a WordPress Plugin
Updating all of your plugins is essential to keeping your site functioning and secure.
As with installing WordPress plugins, you can usually update WordPress plugins directly from your WordPress dashboard. For more information, read our post on how to manually update WordPress plugins.
There are also ways to have your plugins automatically update, though it’s often better to manually update plugins so that you have more control over when your updates happen.
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
Using an FTP Client to Install WordPress Plugins
There are several premium and custom WordPress plugins that require you to install them manually using an FTP client. For a beginner, the process might be slightly more complicated because you will need to learn how to configure an FTP client first.
Not to worry – the following guide will walk you through the process step-by-step. All you have to do is simply follow the steps.
First, extract the ZIP file of the plugin and save it to a folder on your computer. Keep in mind that the extracted plugin file folder will be the one you need to upload through the FTP client.
Then, connect your website to the FTP server. To do so, find the FTP details from your hosting provider.
For Hostinger users, simply login to your hPanel and open your hosting account Dashboard. Then navigate to the sidebar menu → Files → FTP Accounts.
Once the transfer is complete, the WordPress plugin will be installed on your site.
To activate the plugin, you need to access your WordPress dashboard. Go to the plugin section -> Installed Plugins, locate the plugin, and click Activate
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.
Install a Plugin using the WordPress Admin Plugin Upload
Paid WordPress plugins are not listed in the WordPress plugin directory. These plugins cannot be installed using the first method.
That’s why WordPress comes with an upload method to install such plugins. We will show you how to install WordPress plugins using the upload option in the admin area.
First, you need to download the plugin from the source (which will be a zip file). Next, you need to go to the WordPress admin area and visit the Plugins » Add New page.
Install WordPress Plugins Manually
Another way to install WordPress plugins is by manually uploading the plugin files through your WordPress dashboard.
This method allows you to install a plugin that may not be in the official WordPress directory but is available from third-party directories instead, such as CodeCanyon and Codester.
Before starting the plugin installation process, you need to first download the plugin ZIP file from your chosen source.
Install a Plugin using WordPress Plugin Search
The easiest way of 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.
First thing you need to visit the Plugins » Add New page inside your WordPress admin area.
You can pick the plugin that is best for you. Since in our search, we were looking for WPForms which is the best WordPress contact form plugin, we’ll click the ‘Install Now’ button next to it.
WordPress will now download and install the plugin for you. After this, you’ll notice the ‘Install Now’ button will change into the ‘Activate’ button.
A WordPress plugin can be installed on your site, but it will not work unless you activate it. So go ahead and click on the activate button to start using that plugin on your WordPress site.
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