How to Install Plugins with WordPress

This tutorial walks you through how to install Plugins with Wordpress with 4 different methods and a complete description of each.

In this tutorial we’re going to explore how to add plugins to a WordPress website. Most WordPress plugins are available via the plugin repository. This can be found by navigating to your WordPress dashboard, then to plugins. From here you can manage your existing plugins to decide whether they’re active or not and check any updates.

You also have the option to upload a plugin or to add a new one which will then take you to the repository.

Option 1:

Adding a plugin via the WordPress repository:

To do this follow the above instructions to navigate to the repository page. From here you have the option to search for the name of the plugin that you’d like to add. You can search by Keyword, Author or Tag. Most plugins can be found here however in some cases developers may not add them to this and you will instead have to follow one of the other options.

Once you find the plugin that you’d like to add you can explore further details for that plugin by clicking the ‘More Details’ button this will allow you to see reviews, screenshots and recent updates. It’s important to bear in mind that if your WordPress installation isn’t up to date some plugins may not be compatible with the version that you’re running and so you won’t be able to install them from here.

After viewing the details of the plugin and deciding that you want to add it to your site the next step is to click install, once the plugin has installed it will give you the option to activate it. Each plugin’s settings will appear in different places on your WordPress site, for example some may appear under settings, others may appear under tools or appearance, others may add a link directly on the sidebar of your site. You may find this information within the installation details or you may have to check around your dashboard for it. 

You can then configure the plugin settings and you should be all set up! 

Option 2:

Uploading a plugin directly:

You can upload a plugin directly to WordPress if you have it in a correctly formatted Zip file. In most cases if you’ve purchased a plugin from a developer or marketplace it’ll be downloaded ready to simply be uploaded. You can do this by going to the plugins page and then clicking add new at the top and selecting the file.
The same steps as above will then apply in terms of finding the settings page. They are most often under settings, tools, appearance or their own title within the dashboard. 
Option 3:

Uploading the plugin via FTP:

You can get plugins direct from marketplaces or developers however you can still upload plugins via FTP from the repository. If you find a plugin that you like simply click more details and then in the right sidebar click the link to view the plugin on the WordPress Plugin page.

With any plugins they will be downloaded as a Zip file, once that happens simply extract them from the zip so that you have the folder as a regular folder.

You’ll then want to connect via FTP to your site and navigate to the wp-content folder. You should then see a plugins folder simply upload the plugin folder from your computer to here and then navigate to your WordPress dashboard and the plugin should be installed. 

Option 4:

Uploading the plugin to the hosting file manager:

This option is very similar to uploading the files via FTP however many web hosts these days have a graphical user interface that allows for file management,  it can sometimes be easier to work with this than to use FTP.

If you’d prefer to use this method the approach is the same: simply navigate via the file manager to your wp-content folder then to your plugins folder from here you can upload the ZIP plugin file.

From there once uploaded you should see it within the plugins directory, most hosts will have the option to extract files, click this and it should create the folder within your plugins directory. Navigate to your WordPress dashboard to check the plugin install.

Overall there are a tonne of great and relatively simple ways to add plugins to your WordPress site. We’d appreciate a share or any comments if you found this useful, thanks!

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