After the successful installation of a WordPress theme, the next essential step for you is to install WordPress plugins on your website.

And increase functionality, add features, or simplify your work on your website in the best possible way.

Among several reasons, one reason behind the popularity of WordPress is it allows you to add plugins on your website.

Here is the simple explanation for plugins by WordPress:

WordPress Plugins are PHP scripts that extend the functionality of WordPress. They enhance the features of WordPress, or add entirely new features to your site.

According to WordPress, there are 56,000+ plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory.

And these numbers keep on increasing.

WordPress Plugin Directory

With that number of plugins, you may have at least one plugin available for the feature you want to add on your website.

Most of them are completely free, and some are free with limited features.

# LIGHT BOX

You can install, activate, deactivate, delete or update a plugin, only when your role on the WordPress website is of an administrator or super admin (available only in WordPress multisite setup).

Learn more about the user roles and capabilities in WordPress.

All these things are good, but how to install them?

Installing a WordPress plugin is a very easy and simple process, but I can understand it may be a little confusing for a person who has just started with WordPress.

It was for me also when I first came on the WordPress platform.

And if you have the same question in your mind, you are in the right place.

Because today after reading this post, you will surely be able to install a WordPress plugin by three different easy methods.

Plus, infographics are also available in this post, which can help you as a quick guide while installing the plugin.

So are you ready?

Yes, of course you are. 😀

Method #1: Install plugins by searching in the WordPress plugin directory

I think this is the simplest and fastest way to install a plugin on your website. The only condition is, the plugin that you are searching for should be in the WordPress plugin directory.

Install WordPress plugin by searching in the WordPress plugin directory - Click to View Infographic

Let’s start.

First, you need to go to your WordPress admin area.

If you’re not logged in, log in with your username or email address and password.

In the next step, you will need to navigate the Plugins » Add New option.

Go to Plugins option then Add New option in the WordPress admin area

After that, the plugin directory page will open.

Here you can also filter plugins list by Featured, Popular, Recommended, and Favorites.

Filter plugins list

And yes, you can always search plugins by Keyword, Author or Tag.

Search WordPress plugins by keyword, author, or tag

For now, I’m searching a plugin by keyword.

Randomly I have searched plugins for SEO, and I got 3600+ results.

Search the plugin by keyword

From that too many results, I need to install a plugin that’s the best fit for my website needs.

Before installing a plugin on your website, you must check for these basic things in that plugin:

Check for basic things in the plugin
  1. Rating: Displays quick feedback by showing stars count from the peoples who have installed and used the plugin on their website, where five stars indicate the highest rating, and one indicates the lowest.
  2. Active Installations: Indicates the popularity of a plugin by showing the number of websites on which the plugin is installed.
  3. Last Updated: Indicates the date of the last change made to a plugin by its plugin author. You can also see all the previous changes in a plugin by going to More Details » Changelog option.
  4. Compatible: Indicates if the plugin is compatible with the version of WordPress you have installed or running.

Sometimes you may see “Incompatible with your version of WordPress” or “Untested with your version of WordPress” warning message in place of “Compatible with your version of WordPress” message.

Read: Why WordPress Plugins Show Untested or Incompatible Warning Message?

If you want to know more about the plugin like its detailed Description, FAQ, Screenshots, Changelog, or Reviews.

You can click on More Details option as shown above in the image.

These are the quick things you must consider on every plugin while searching in the WordPress plugin directory.

So after checking all the things, I’m installing one of the most popular SEO plugins in the market – Yoast SEO.

Yoast SEO plugin

I have taken Yoast SEO as an example.

The process will be the same if you want to install a different plugin for your website.

In the next step, you need to click on the Install Now button to install the plugin that you want.

Click on Install Now button to install the plugin on your site

On clicking the Install Now button, the plugin will start installing on your website.

After installation, Install Now button will turn into Activate button like this:

Click on Activate button to activate the plugin on your site

Now you can easily activate the plugin by clicking on the Activate button.

One thing I like to mention, the plugin will only install on your website when you click on the Install Now button.

But to configure or make the plugin work for your website, you will need to click on the Activate button.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to activate it right now.

You can also activate the plugin later by going to Plugins » Installed Plugins option in your WordPress admin area.

Activate plugin by going to Plugins then Installed Plugins section in the WordPress admin area

That’s all, and you have successfully installed your first WordPress plugin on your website.

Easy. Isn’t it?

# LIGHT BOX

You can also search plugins in the WordPress plugin directory without login to your WordPress admin area.

Search plugins without login to the WordPress admin area.

But if you want to use that plugin, then it is recommended to do the process of installation by searching for the same plugin in your WordPress admin area, as discussed above (easy method).

Alternatively, you can follow the next second or third method to download, upload, and install the plugin.

With the end of the first method, let’s come to install WordPress plugins through the second method.

Method #2: Install plugins by uploading using the WordPress admin area

Plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory are free.

But there are also some plugins which are paid.

And completely paid plugin can’t be found in the plugin directory because WordPress won’t allow adding the paid version of a plugin in the directory.

Then, how will you install those plugins?

In that case, you can install them by uploading using the WordPress admin area.

Not only paid, if you have any plugin file either free or paid, available in .zip file format.

You can easily install it using this method.

All processes are the same. Only you need to upload the plugin instead of searching them in the plugin directory.

Install WordPress plugin by uploading in the WordPress admin area - Click to View Infographic

Let’s start.

Here, I have again taken the example of the Yoast SEO plugin.

Though the free version of Yoast SEO plugin is available in the WordPress plugin directory.

But if you want its paid version, then you have to purchase and download it from the Yoast website.

# LIGHT BOX

The plugin that you want to install by uploading method, should be in .zip file format.

In general, plugin providers will always provide you the file of the plugin in .zip format but if the .zip format of the file is not available.

You should contact the plugin provider or you should covert the plugin files in a .zip format file before uploading it.

You can see below that when I downloaded the paid version of Yoast SEO plugin from their website.

They provided me the plugin file in .zip format.

Yoast SEO paid version plugin

In order to upload the plugin file, first you need to go your WordPress admin area.

If you’re not logged in, log in with your username or email address and password.

Then navigate to Plugins » Add New option.

After that, a page will open, and you’ll find an Upload Plugin button at the top of that page.

Click on the Upload Plugin button

Clicking on it, you’ll be told to choose file from your computer.

In my case, I have the paid version of the Yoast SEO plugin on my computer.

So, I’m uploading it by clicking on the Choose File option.

Click on Choose File button

You may have a different plugin in your case, but the process will be same.

After uploading, you need to click on the Install Now button, available next to your uploaded file.

Install the plugin by clicking on Install Now button

And the plugin will start to install on your website.

Again please keep in mind that the plugin is now only installed on your website but not activated yet.

So in the next step, after clicking the Install Now button and the installation of the plugin, you will be automatically redirected to the activation page to activate the plugin.

You can easily activate the plugin by clicking on the Activate Plugin button there.

Activate plugin on your website by clicking on Activate button

In case if your plugin is not installed correctly.

You can try again to upload and install it by clicking on Return to Plugin Installer option, available on that same page.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to activate it right now.

You can also activate the plugin later by going to Plugins » Installed Plugins option in your WordPress admin area.

Activate plugin by going to Plugins then Installed Plugins section in the WordPress admin area

That’s all, and you have successfully installed and activated the plugin by uploading using the WordPress admin area method.

Let’s come to install WordPress plugins with the third and last method.

Method #3: Install plugins by uploading using the FTP client software

You may find this method a little advance, but don’t worry.

I have tried my best to make this process easier to understand for you and trust me; it is simple.

Still, you have to be very careful if you are using this method to upload and install the plugin.

Before installing the plugin using this method, let’s understand about FTP client software in brief.

Basically, FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software helps you to connect your device with your server.

FTP client software needs to be installed on your computer, and it can be used only on a live connection to the internet.

Here are some free FTP client software:

  • FileZilla
  • Cyberduck
  • FreeFTP
  • WinSCP
  • FireFTP

For now, I’m using FileZilla.

It is a very popular free FTP client software available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

However, the basic process will be similar for other FTP client software too.

I’m providing a link for the FileZilla download page below.

You can easily download it on your device by going there.

Go to the FileZilla download page.

After downloading and installing the software correctly on your computer.

You need to open it, and you will see a dashboard something like this:

FileZilla dashboard

In the next step, you’ll need to enter your Host, Username, Password, and Port.

Enter your Host (address of the server), Username, Password, and Port

You may be wondering, what’s this Host, Username, Password, and Port?

So, here I’ve explained all these things for you and it is easy to find these pieces of information.

  • Host: It will be your domain name or server IP address. In most cases, you will need to enter the domain name because it is correctly pointed towards the server.
  • Username: This will be your FTP account username, the same that you will create in the FTP accounts section of your cPanel.
  • Password: This will be your password for your FTP account, again the same that you will create in the FTP accounts section of your cPanel.
  • Port: The port will be 21 for FTP.

In some cases, Username and Password may be your cPanel username and password, the same one that you use to log in to your cPanel.

If you are having difficulties in finding this information, you should contact your hosting provider, and they will help you out.

After filling all the information, you need to click on the Quickconnect button to connect the software with the server.

Click on Quickconnect button to connect the FileZilla with the server

As you connected, you need to go public_html » wp-content » plugins folder in the Remote site section.

Remote site section of FileZilla

And you will be able to see all your plugins if they are already installed on your website.

Since, I have no plugins installed on my website that’s why it is not appearing here.

# LIGHT BOX

If the plugin is downloaded in a .zip file format on your computer, this time you need to extract it before uploading using the FTP client software.

Let’s start with the uploading of a plugin on the website.

First, find the plugin file that you want to upload to your website in the Local site section.

After you find the file, click the right button of your mouse on it.

And then click on the Upload option.

Local site section of FileZilla

At the moment you click the Upload option, the plugin will start to upload and install on your website.

Once the uploading process completed.

Go to your WordPress admin area (if it is already open in your browser, just refresh the page).

You will notice that the plugin is now appearing in your Plugins » Installed Plugins option.

Plugin in the Installed Plugins section

Now one more step left is to activate the plugin.

Because without activating, you will not be able to configure the plugin.

To activate the plugin, click on the Activate button below the name of the plugin.

Activate plugin by going to Plugins then Installed Plugins section in the WordPress admin area

That’s all the process, and you have successfully installed the plugin using the FTP client software method.

This method is easy, but you will need to be extra careful if you are using it for the first time.

Conclusion

I hope this article helped you with the installation of WordPress plugins.

Now I’d like to hear from you.

How was your experience with the installation of a WordPress plugin?

Or maybe you have found any difficulty while installing a plugin.

Please let me know below in the comment section. 🙂

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Author

He is the crafter and founder of Bindhexa, contributing to organizations like WordPress, Wikimedia Foundation, and NASSCOM Foundation. He loves open-source, helping people to maximize their potential, and providing values to make the web a better place.

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