How to Install a WordPress Plugin
A query that we often get is “how to install a WordPress plugin”. Many people feel that this is very complicated well it is definitely not as complicated as you think it is. We always try to ensure that we can solve most of the problems that our readers are facing so we thought of coming up with this step by step and detailed guide. We have tried to keep the article simple so that we do not land up confusing the readers. We hope you will find the article of help. The installation of WordPress plugin is easy and you can learn it with ease. In this article we install a WordPress plugin in details and we will try to answer all the questions that you may have regarding the topic.
Once you have installed the WordPress what you will have to do is learn how you can install the WordPress plugins. These plugins are important because they can add new features to WordPress. Unless you have the WordPress plugins you will not be making the full utilisation of WordPress. For example suppose you need a gallery or a slideshow you will have to have WordPress plugin. You will see that there are many free as well as paid plugins that are available for WordPress. This is basically a step by step guide that can help you realise how the WordPress plugin can be installed and used.
The first thing that you need to know about WordPress plugin is that you cannot install them if you are using WordPress.com. Many users often complain that they are not able to see the plugin menu in the WordPress dashboard. This is simply because they are not using the self-hosted WordPress. You will have to use WordPress.org in order to install the plugins because WordPress .com has its limitations.
How to install a WordPress plugin
Now that you have a basic idea about installing WordPress plugin we will move on how to do it practically. There will be many videos available online that will teach you about how to install WordPress plugin. Some users may find these videos confusing that is exactly why we are now going to discuss in details about all the steps that you need to follow. We have covered all the three methods using the search and they are:
- Install a WordPress plugin using the WordPress plugin search option.
- Installing a plugin using the WordPress Admin plugin upload.
Manually install a WordPress plugin using the FTP.
We will recommend that you read the text as well as have a look at these videos created by WordPress so that you are in a better position to install and use the WordPress plugins.
- How to install a WordPress plugin using the WordPress plugin search
We would say that this is the easiest way of installing a WordPress plugin. However, this method comes with a limitation and that is the plugin you want to install must be in the WordPress plugin directory and that is limited only to a few plugins.
First go to the WordPress admin area and then click on the options plugins and then Add New. Put the name of the WordPress plugin that you want to search in the search box as mentioned below. We have included a screenshot to explain this. You will get a list of options once you put the search as shown below. Once you have all the plugins just chose the option that is best for you.
After you have selected the plugin that you want you will have to click on Install now button. WordPress will then start to download the plugin that you want. After the installation is done you will see a success message. You will also get a link to activate the plugin or return to the plugin installer.
The WordPress plugin is now installed and can be used on your site. However, you cannot use it until you activate it. As you can see in the screenshot below that an “activate plugin” option is there, unless you click on that the plugin will not get activated. So you have successfully installed the WordPress plugin and now you will have to configure the settings of this WordPress plugin so that it works as you desire on your WordPress site. The settings will differ from plugin to plugin. That is exactly why we will not discuss that in this article.
- Installing a plugin using the WordPress Admin plugin upload
The first method that we discussed was only for those WordPress plugins that are free. The paid WordPress plugins cannot be installed using this method. For the paid WordPress plugin you will have to use WordPress plugin upload. As you did in the first step get to the admin area of WordPress and then download the login from the source which will mostly be a zip file. Then you will have to visit the plugins and click on the Add New page option. Once you get there then click the upload plugin button on the top of the page.
This will get you to the WordPress plugin upload page and here you will have to click on the choose file button and select the plugin file that you had downloaded earlier to your computer.
Now that you have selected the file you will have to click on the install now button. WordPress will now upload the plugin file from your computer and install it for you. Once you have done that you will get a success message that will look like the one we have attached below after the installation is complete.
So you are done with the installation. The WordPress plugin will stay in your system but will not work on its own. You will have to activate it and ensure that it works on your site. As you can see the “activate plugin” option in the screenshot that we have enclosed above you will be in a position to start using the plugin. After all this is done you will have to configure the settings that will fit your need. The point here is that each of the plugin has a different setting pattern. It is not possible to cover all the settings in one article so we will not be discussing about the settings now. We will concentrate only on installing the WordPress plugin.
- Manually installing a WordPress plugin suing the FTP
Let us first understand why we use this method of installing the
WordPress plugin at the first place. Well we do so if the WordPress hosting provider has a file that is restricted and could limit your ability to install a plugin from the admin area. If this happens the only way for you will be to download the plugin manually by using the FTP. We have to say that this method is not a friendly one if you are new to WordPress plugins. If you have been using the WordPress plugins for some time you will be in a better position to use this. We will try to explain the steps in such a way that you can understand the process better.
As a first step go to the plugin’s source and try to download the source file. This file will mostly be a zip file. After you have done so extract the zip file to your computer. As you extract the plugin’s zip file you will automatically create a new folder that will have the same name as the plugin itself. This is the folder that you will have to manually upload to the website using the FTP client. We hope you have got it till this point.
You will have to access the host through the FTP manager. In case you do not have a FTP user name and password you will have to contact the WordPress hosting provider and ask them how you can get the user name and the password. So now that you have the FTP user name and password you will have to move to the next step. Open the FTP client on your computer and connect it to your website suing the login credentials that were provided to you by the web host. After you are connected you will need to access the following path mentioned below:
Path/wp-content/plugins/ after you have given this path you will have to upload the folder that you had extracted from the zip file to the /wp-content/plugins/folder on your web server. We have enclosed the following screenshot to give you a certain idea.
After you have uploaded the files manually you will have to go to the WordPress admin area and then click on the Plugins links that you see on the admin menu. You will get to see that the plugin was successfully installed in the plugin page.
After you are done with all this you will have to simply click on the “activate link” that you will see just below the plugin. Once you click this the WordPress plugin will get activated. You cannot stop at just activating the WordPress plugin you will have to ensure that the WordPress plugin settings are configured. We have mentioned earlier in the article that each WordPress plugin will come with a different setting and so it is not possible to discuss all of them in this article so we will take them up separately.
Many people often get confused on how the WordPress plugin must be installed and which method must be followed to install the WordPress plugin. We hope that this article will help you understand how to install WordPress plugins and how you can make the most of these plugins. Do follow the steps that we have mentioned and you will definitely not have any issues with installing the WordPress plugin. We will be discussing about configuration and setting the WordPress plugins in the next few articles they too will be a step by step guide like this article. We did not want to include them in this one article as that would make it very confusing for the readers. First you understand the process of installing the WordPress plugin and then you can gradually work on setting the WordPress plugins.