Once done installing WordPress, the next thing you will possibly do is choose a perfect theme, after which you start installing WordPress plugins.
But now the big question is “How do you install plugins to your WordPress”?
Installing WordPress plugins is not at all a big deal, especially for someone who has been working with WordPress.
WordPress plugins allow you to add more features to your WordPress project; there is no limit to the number of WordPress plugins you should install.
There are thousands of free and paid plugins developed by both WordPress and third parties.
Note: For WordPress.com users – this post is not for you, WordPress.com does not make use of plugins, this post is strictly for WordPress.org – the self-hosted WordPress.
Methods of Installing WordPress Plugins
1. Search and Install Method
This method is the simplest method of installing WordPress plugins, but it is limited to only plugins which are available on WordPress.org. Therefore, this method can not be used to install third-party plugins.
One fantastic thing about plugins on WordPress.org is that they are free, although, some may include some premium features which you may choose to buy or not.
On this method – you search for any available plugin from your admin dashboard and activate it.
To use this method, go to your WordPress admin dashboard and click on “Plugins” >> “Add New.”
See image below:
Find the plugin you are looking for either by typing the name of the plugin or the functionality you need. Let’s search for Google Map. See image below
WordPress has over 50 options for the “Google map” search above. If you are not sure about the particular plugin to suit your need – click on “more detail” on each of the plugins to read full information about the plugin.
Click on the “Install Now” button to install any plugin you choose for free. WordPress will download and install the plugin for you and show “Activate.”
See the image below:
Click on “Activate” to activate the plugin immediately or may decide to activate later.
After activating the plugin, from your admin dashboard, go to “Plugins” >> “Installed Plugins” to configure the plugin.
If you did not activate the plugin immediately after installation, you could activate it in this step before you go ahead with the configurations. For some plugins, you will have to search where the installed plugin is before you can go ahead with the settings.
2. Upload and Install Method
The upload and install method is specifically for third parties plugins, especially the paid ones which you won’t find on the WordPress.org plugin directory, unlike the first method where you will have to search for plugins and install them. On this method, you will have to buy or download the plugin which should be in a zip file.
Always make sure that you are downloaded from a trusted site – to prevent issues such as “hacking.”
To install the WordPress plugin with this method, go to your WordPress admin dashboard and click on “Plugins” >> “Add New” >>” Upload Plugin.”
Click on “Choose File” to choose the zip file of the plugin you want to install, then click on the “Install Now” button to install the plugin.
See the image below:
Note: Any plugin you choose to install must be in a zip file, and sometimes when you buy a WordPress plugin from a third party – they may merge the plugin folder with the documentation and license file.
In this kind of situation – you will have to extract the plugin folder zip file from other files in the zip file you downloaded before you can upload it.
There are also cases where the plugin folder in the zip file you downloaded will not be zip format, with the inclusion of other unnecessary folders, in this kind case, after locating the plugin folder you will have first to zip it yourself before you can install it.
It is the issue most people face with third parties plugins, and that’s why they keep getting errors in the attempt of installing the plugin.
After clicking on the “Install Now” button, WordPress will install the plugin for you and show you a successful page.
See the image below:
After the installation success message, the plugin will not be active until your list has activated it. Click on “Activate Plugin” to activate the plugin immediately or “Return to Plugin Installer” to activate it later.
After activating the plugin, from your admin dashboard, go to “Plugins” >> “Installed Plugins” to configure the plugin, If you did not activate the plugin immediately after installation you could enable it in this step before you go ahead with the configurations.
For some plugins, you will have to search where the installed plugin is located before you can go ahead with the configurations.
3. Use of File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Method
This method is referred to as WordPress manual Installation. This method may not be user-friendly for most people, but there are very few cases when it is just the only option you have.
Sometimes host providers may have a kind of restrictions that may prevent you from installing plugins, or the plugin size is too large based on your server configuration.
A poorly coded plugin can also be another reason. But in the case of the poorly coded plugin, I will advise you to let go of the plugin, because it may cause more harm than good, and also you may have issues while deactivating the plugin.
In the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) method, you upload the plugin using FTP software such as FileZilla (many people have considered FileZilla as the best FTP software).
The plugin upload folder will be under “wp-content/plugins.”
Once done with the plugin upload, login to your WordPress admin dashboard go to “Plugins” and select “Installed Plugins,” search for the plugin you uploaded and activate to configure it.
I hope this tutorial helped you in resolving any issue you may encounter while installing a WordPress plugin. Do you experience any problem installing and activating a WordPress plugin, please let us know, make use of the comment box?