How to Install a WordPress Plugin – Step by Step for Beginners

How to Install a WordPress Plugin – Step by Step for Beginners

After you have installed WordPress, the first thing as a beginner you need to learn is how to install a WordPress plugin.

In easy wording, WordPress plugins are similar to apps for your WordPress website. They enable the users 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, you will learn to install a WordPress plugin.

Before starting, if you are using WordPress.com, then you will be unable to install plugins as it has some limitations.

Method 1) Installing a Plugin using WordPress Plugin Search

The easiest way of installing a WordPress plugin is to use the plugin search. The only drawback of this option is that a plugin must be in the WordPress plugin directory, which is limited to only free plugins.

Firstly, visit the Plugins » Add New page inside your WordPress admin area.

Add-new-Plugin-in-wordpress

You will see a screen like in the above screenshot above. Search the plugin by typing the plugin name or the functionality that you want. Now, you will see a bunch of listings like the example below:

You will see a screen like in the above screenshot above. Search the plugin by typing the plugin name or the functionality that you want. Now, you will see a bunch of listings like the example below:

Activate wordpress plugin

A WordPress plugin can be installed on your site, and will work once you activate it. Click on the activate button to start using that plugin on your WordPress site.

You have successfully installed your first WordPress plugin.

The next step is to configure the plugin settings.

Method 2) Installing a Plugin using the WordPress Admin Plugin Upload

The WordPress plugins that are paid are not listed in the WordPress plugin directory. If you use the first method, you will not be able to install it.

Firstly, download the plugin from the source (which is a zip file). Next, you need to go to the WordPress admin area and visit Plugins » Add New page.

Click on the ‘Upload Plugin’ button on top of the page.

You will see a plugin upload form. Click on the ‘Choose File’ button and choose the plugin file you downloaded earlier to your computer.

upload file in plugin wordpress

After you have selected the file, click on the ‘Install Now’ button.

WordPress will now upload the plugin file from your computer and install it for you. A success message is displayed like this after the installation is finished.

Activate uploaded plugin

Once installed, click on the Activate Plugin link to start using the plugin.

Now, you need to configure the settings according to your needs. These settings change for each plugin therefore we will not be covering that in this post.

Method 3) Manually Install a WordPress Plugin using FTP

There may be times that the WordPress hosting provider may have file restrictions and could put a certain limit on the installation of a plugin from the admin area.

In such cases, you can install the plugin manually using FTP.

The FTP manager method is the least friendly for beginners.

First, download the plugin’s source file (it will be a zip file). Next, you have to extract the zip file on your computer.

Extracting the plugin zip file creates a new folder with the same name. This is the folder that you need to manually upload to your website using an FTP client.

Access your host through the FTP manager. If you do not have an FTP username and password, then you can contact your WordPress hosting provider and ask them.

Open the FTP client on your computer and use the log-in credential provided by your web host to connect to your website. Once connected, go to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder on your website.

Next, upload the folder you extracted from the zip file to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder on the web server.

After the files have been uploaded, visit the WordPress admin area and click on the Plugins link in the admin menu.

WP Mail SMTP Pro

Click on the Activate link below the plugin to use it.

Once activated, you might need to configure the plugin settings. WordPress plugins come with their own settings that vary from one plugin to another.


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