How to Install WordPress Plugin: All the Three Methods

WordPress is the most widely-used CMS (Content Management System) with 18 million installation and currently 33% of all the websites around the world are powered by WordPress. This is mainly because of its structural flexibility to shape up for any sort of website; especially for its unique capability to adapt with thousands of PLUGINS that increase features and functionality. So, for any WordPressers, it is a must-know fact— how to install WordPress plugin. We’ve presented all the three methods available easy way for your complete understanding.

Simply Plugin is an accessory software program that extends the capabilities of an existing application. Plugin is also known as Add-in or Add-on. There are many renowned programs in which you can add plugin to perform extra functionality.

As a matter of fact, this post (Post-6) is the part of a series of seven posts that provide ultimate guide on ‘How to start and manage WordPress Blog/Site’.

What is Plugin? Why to install WordPress Plugin

For instance, you can add PageRank (PR) Lookup Tool with Mozilla Firefox as an extra plugin to look up page rank of any website you visit with this Browser.

Install WordPress Plugin focus
Now what is this WordPress Plugin?

Your total WordPress site is structured on three layers—

  • WordPress Core File
  • Theme
  • Plugin

WordPress Core File which you download from WrodPress.Org is the keystone of the WordPress Website Structure. Theme is like skin on that bony frame. Theme reshaps your site with Graphical Interface with underlying design.

Themes also involve image files, style sheets (*.css), custom Pages, as well as different necessary code files (*.php). Among the .php files function.php files are added to accomplish different functionality. This files are Plugins. But without adding function.php files, you can install and use separate software specially designed to perform a specific function. This is called WordPress Plugin.

What can WordPress Plugin do?

Thousands of WordPress plugins available in the market (Free and paid) can do hundreds of works. Some of these are as follows—

  • Turning WordPress into Woocommerce site
  • Turning WordPress into Business or other site platforms.
  • Adding Statistic features
  • Optimizing site for SEO
  • Adding Social Media
  • Adding Downloading feature
  • Image size reducing

and so on.

Now let’s enter the plugin installation process directly.

How to install WordPress Plugin? How to find them?

The main source where you can download WordPress plugins from is Plugin Repository at These are free plugin bank. Beyond these, there are paid plugins built by different developers.

If you have expertise in PHP and skilled in Coding with other web languages, you can also develop a plugin aiming to making it perform a definite task in WordPress. There are many websites and tutorials to help you do that job.

Now you can question; how do I find an appropriate plugin for a for a definite function?

The answer is: There are numerous tutorials on WordPress plugins around the Internet. You can find them by googling. If you can pick a plugin by name, you can find it by searching→ Plugin. Again if you are not sure of which plugin to use for a specific WordPress function; just search it Google. Suppose you need a plugin to reduce your image size. Just google the phrase “best image optimization/reduction WordPress plugin“. That’s all; you see that many an expert has come forward to stand by you.

However, on the basis of plugin source, we can install them in WordPress site three different ways—

  • By WordPress Plugin serarch
  • By uploading
  • Using FTP Client

Now let’s enter the whole process in each case.

Install WordPress plugin by searching WordPress Plugin Repo

This process is straightforward and easiest. It is just installing any free plugin from directly without needing to download it. If you find out a plugin up to your liking and decided to use it; use this method—

Install WordPress Plugin by searching
  • Log in to WordPress Admin Panel. Go PluginsInstalled Plugins from left menu. Plugins page appears.
  • Click Add New from upper left. Add Plugins page appears.
  • Now look at Plugin Search Box upper right. Input your search term— Plugin name, keyword or author name. Hit Enter.
  • Related plugins as per your Search will be displayed below list. Find your desired Plugin to pickup. Click Install Now on upper right. Your plugin will get installed in a few seconds.
  • Now click Activate to activate the plugin. You’re done.

Now you can deactivate, delete or update the plugin and configure setting anytime from Installed Plugins page.
After installation and activation, you may go through set-up process in case of many plugins. In other cases, no-setup may be applicable.
However, you’ll get a menu link for each plugin to handle with in your Admin Dashboard.
Where do you get the plugin link?
Experience shows that Plugin links appears in different location such as In the left Menu Panel, within Setting, Within Appearance, on Top bar or even with Post Editor. You have to find that out.

Install downloaded WordPress plugins by Uploading

You may have to follow this process if you have plugins previously downloaded or use a premium plugin not available in WordPress Plugin Directory. Whatever the plugin source may be, your downloaded plugin is a zip file. To upload, install and activate it; just follow—

Install WordPress Plugin by uploading
  • Log in to WordPress Admin Panel. Go PluginsInstalled Plugins . Plugins page appears.
  • Now click Add New.
  • In Add Plugins page, click Upload on upper left.
  • Here is Browse option. Click it and select the .zip plugin file from your HDD and click Open.
  • Next click Install Now. Your plugin be installed in a few seconds.
  • Now click Activate to activate the plugin. You’re done.

Manually install WordPress plugin throgh FTP channel

FTP channel is oftentimes used to upload files to one’s Website Directory in Hosting Server. Same process can be applied to upload WordPress plugin. This process is somewhat complicated compared to two others; but you may face situation when there might not have other alternative to install your plugin without FTP.

This happens when your hosting provider have file restrictions that limits your capability to install a plugin from the admin area.

Pre-words before uploading plugin via FTP

It would be better if you have experience of uploading and downloading files through FTP channel. If you haven’t, read up our article on File Transfer Protocol (FTP) at once and then follow the tips below—

  • Uploading and downloading files through FTP channel is easier and faster.
  • You need to use an FTP Client software to connect to the FTP Server of a website
  • Nowadays every Web Hosting Provider provides FTP Server privileges to their clients
  • FileZilla, Core FTP, Cyberduck etc are popular FTP Clients. In this tutorial we’re using FileZilla.
  • To access FTP Server, you have to provide Hostname, Username and Password to FTP Client. Noted Hostname is your Domain name without www and Username and Password are your Cpanel’s Username and Password.
  • You’ll upload unzipped plugin file to /wp-content/plugins/ folder of your web server.

Now let’s proceed through the following way—

Install WordPress Plugin by FTP
  • Open FileZilla
  • Provide Host, Username and Password and connect with your Server
  • If everything goes OK and you successfully get connected, you’ll get the FileZilla screen divided into two parts- left and right. Left part is your Local Site containing all of your Hard Drive files and folders. And right part is your Remote Site containing the files and folders of your site in Hosting Server. You can move and copy any files and folders from left to right and right to left.
  • In the left, find your unzipped plugin folder
  • In the right, find /wp-content/plugins/ folder
  • Now drag the plugin folder from left to /wp-content/plugins/ folder in the right.
  • You’re done. Now you’ll find this uploaded plugin listed in the Installed Plugins page of your WordPress Admin Dashboard.

Hope you all got a lucid understanding of how to install WordPress plugin in 3 different ways. Feel free to share your experience and queries about using WordPress plugins and their installation process by commenting.

Now jump to the next post. Have a happy WordPress journey!

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