How to install a WordPress plugin

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How to Install WordPress Plugins

After installing WordPress, you may want to extend or expand the functionality of your website. WordPress plugins are what push the boundaries of your WordPress website by adding additional functionality not provided by WordPress or your theme. This guide teaches you a number of ways of how to install a WordPress plugin.

WordPress Plugin Install Video Tutorial
If you would prefer to watch a visual guide on the three ways to install a WordPress plugin then this video is for you.

Step by step guide
Plugins allow you to add features such as slideshows, contact forms or popup windows for example. You can find tens of thousands of plugins on the WordPress directory or other premium plugins from places such as CodeCanyon.

Before you begin, it is important to understand that WordPress plugins are for self hosted WordPress installs. You can not install these plugins if you are logging into a WordPress.com hosted website because they do not support plugins the way that WordPress self hosted does.

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How to Install a WordPress Plugin

Once you have logged into your websites WordPress backend, you should see the plugins menu in the left hand sidebar.

If you do not see the plugins menu and you are not using WordPress.com, then you might not have sufficient privileges to install WordPress plugins. If this is the case, you will need to ask an admin user of your site to increase your access privileges.

This guide covers the three most common methods for installing plugins:

Install a Plugin using WordPress Plugin Search

By far the simplest and most straightforward way of installing a plugin is by searching the built in WordPress directory in the backend of your site.

The WordPress plugin directory has well over 50,000 plugins freely available for you to use. It is likely that you will find the plugin you are after in the WordPress plugin directory however this does not include all of the other premium plugin providers such as CodeCanyon.

If you have a plugin from an external source, you will have to use one of the other install methods.

Success!
Your new plugin is installed and ready to start using.

This guide should have helped you learn how to install a WordPress plugin from the plugins search page. From here, it is a matter of either finding where the functionality added from the plugin is (usually a menu item in the sidebar) or the plugin may redirect you to its page upon successful plugin install.

Setting up and using your plugin varies on a per plugin basis so you will have to scout out the next steps for yourself. Just know that you have installed your plugin and you can now use it.

Install Plugin via WordPress Admin Plugin Upload

Premium and other third party plugin providers such as CodeCanyon are not in the WordPress plugin directory. This means you are unable to search and install them as instructed in the previous section.

So you will have to install them from the plugin upload area in the admin panel. This part of the tutorial teaches you how to install plugins from your computer using the upload plugin field.

Your plugin needs to be on your computer in a .zip file format. All reputable plugin authors will provide their plugins in a zip format for you so all you need to do is download it ready for upload.

Success!
Your new plugin is installed and ready to start using.

This guide should have helped you learn how to install a WordPress plugin by uploading it on the plugins search page. From here, it is a matter of either finding where the functionality added from the plugin is (usually a menu item in the sidebar) or the plugin may redirect you to its page upon successful plugin install.

Setting up and using your plugin varies on a per plugin basis so you will have to scout out the next steps for yourself. Just know that you have installed your plugin and you can now use it.

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Manually Install a WordPress Plugin using FTP

In some cases, your WordPress hosting provider may have certain restrictions that prevent you from being able to upload the plugin through the admin area.

If this is the case, then you can install your plugin by uploading it using an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program to manually copy it directly to the server.

FTP’ing into your server is the least easiest way to install a plugin for beginners but is fairly straight forward when following these steps.

Your plugin needs to be on your computer in a .zip file format. All reputable plugin authors will provide their plugins in a zip format for you so all you need to do is download it ready for upload.

You will also need an FTP application such as Filezilla to be able to connect to your WordPress hosting.

Success!
Your new plugin is installed and ready to start using.

This guide should have helped you learn how to install a WordPress plugin manually by FTP connecting to your server. From here, it is a matter of either finding where the functionality added from the plugin is (usually a menu item in the sidebar) or the plugin may redirect you to its page upon successful plugin install.

Setting up and using your plugin varies on a per plugin basis so you will have to scout out the next steps for yourself. Just know that you have installed your plugin and you can now use it.

Conclusion

Learning how to install a WordPress plugin is super easy if you follow the steps. Hopefully this tutorial helped you gain a good understanding on how to install a WordPress plugin for yourself if you did not know how.

Have you installed your desired theme yet? If not then follow our guide to teach you how to install a WordPress theme.

Make sure you check out our top recommended WordPress plugins for any site owner. It is a guide on the best WordPress plugins we recommend to anyone who has a WordPress website.

Need help with installing WordPress plugins on your website? This guide should have given you a good understanding on how to install a WordPress plugin but every setup can differ. Let us know in the comments if you need a hand.

We also have WordPress video tutorials on YouTube and you can stay up to date with our latest posts on Facebook.

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