How to Install a WordPress Plugin – Step by Step for Beginners

How to Install a WordPress Plugin - Step by Step for Beginners Install WordPress PluginWhen you’re just getting into WordPress, one of the first questions is how to install a WordPress plugin? 

Plugins play an important role in a WordPress blog. In this article, you will be able to learn how to install WordPress plugins. There are 3 Different Ways to Install WordPress Plugins. Since WordPress is based on dynamic CMS(content management system) hence It is empowered with many rich killing features that give you an amazing experience while making and growing your blog, the blow you always wanted to be established. If pre-installed features don’t match up your standard, plugins are here to help you. You can install the plugins to add extra functionality to your blog. You should learn how to install WordPress plugins because installing WordPress plugins is one of the things that every self-hosted blogger should know.

, I am going to discuss all of you how to install WordPress plugins. There are three different ways to install WordPress plugins on your blog.

Some Important  tips when installing new plugins

Make sure that plugins are from the trusted source. It’s a good practice to check compatibility score with the WordPress version your blog is running on because many WordPress plugins don’t work right on WordPress multisite and may have compatibility issues. Always try to activate your new plugin on a test site to see if it works as expected. Similarly before moving on to a new theme, first check new theme on a test site.

If you are a complete beginner to WordPress, you should be aware of the installation of a plugin. This is one of the necessary things for any WordPress blog. Let’s see what are the ways to install WordPress plugins.

Here are some helpful guides to get you started:

3 different Ways You Can Use To Install WordPress Plugins. They Are  given below:

  • Install WordPress plugins From WordPress Dashboard (Search and Install)
  • Upload and Install (download ->  upload and activate from WordPress dashboard)
  • Install WordPress plugins via FTP

Step1: Install WordPress plugins From WordPress Dashboard

You can install WordPress plugins on WordPress dashboard. WordPress dashboard is probably one of the easiest ways to search, find, install and activate a plugin. If you know the name of the plugin, you can directly search and install it from WordPress dashboard. login to your WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins>Add New

you will see some default plugins like Akismet and Hello Dolly on your freshly installed WordPress blog. Akismet protects your site from spam comments. Hello, Dolly is just a dummy plugin and you can deactivate and uninstall it anytime.
Click on Add New button to add a new plugin. this action will lead you to the next screen as below:

Install WordPress plugins From WordPress Dashboard Install WordPress Plugin

This screen allows you to select a plugin basis your requirements. Type in the plugin name of the function, like I did and you’ll get a plugin ready to install.  Now click on Install now to get it installed on your blog. A pop-up would appear on screen which asks if you really want to install the plugin

Click on OK and WordPress will install the plugin. Once it is installed you need to activate it to work.

The plugin is successfully installed and activated on your blog. Now you should configure the settings to fit your needs. These configuration setting may be different for each plugin hence I am not covering that in this post.

Always be sure to check compatibility score of the plugin with your WordPress. If a plugin is not compatible with your WordPress, you may have to upgrade to the latest version of WordPress.  If the plugin you’re searching for is already installed on your blog, you will get a pop up that says ” plugin is already installed”

Once you have activated the plugin, you should configure it to get the maximum out of it.

It’s time to configure it. Go to the settings panel of that plugin and configure it to the best optimum way so that you can get best out the box.

As a blogger, most of the time, after installing and activating the plugins, we either don’t configure the plugin or misconfigure it, which is one of the common mistakes most of the bloggers do.

Always read the documentation before installing a new WP plugin.

Step  2: Upload And Install

uplod Install WordPress plugins From WordPress Dashboard Install WordPress Plugin

This is another important way to install WordPress plugins. By this method, you need to search and then install WordPress plugins. I still remember when I purchased a premium plugin and got a zip file but I wasn’t aware how to install it on my blog, I know how bad it feels when you paid for something and you are not able to use it, hence I did some research and found a way out.

Remember that you should always download a plugin from a source that is trusted else plugin may harm you in several ways. is a well known trusted source to download paid or free plugins as well as themes. The plugin will be in a zip file format. Once you have downloaded, you need to upload and then activate it. To upload, go to WP dashboard>Plugins>Add New. There is an option called upload. Click on upload, browse the location where you downloaded the plugin, changes select the plugin and then OK.
Please remember, at this point in time, WordPress only accepts .zip file format for themes and plugins that can be uploaded. You can download plugins from various sites. Since You will download plugins and themes from third-party sites, their chance you may come across with corrupted or invalid plugins or themes, so don’t be a fool if you get a theme or plugin other than a zip file format.

Here are some helpful guides to get you started:

Step 3: FTP Method To Install WordPress Plugin

Another greatest way to install WordPress plugins. FTP method to install WordPress plugins requires an FTP client like FileZilla and access to your FTP server. Once I encountered an error when trying to install WordPress plugins from my WP dashboard. It was so annoying to me bcoz I was not able to install WordPress plugins. The steps I am about to list down helped me to get rid of. Let’s have a look.

This is another way to install WordPress Plugins when you don’t find any of the above-explained methods (search and install WordPress plugins from WP dashboard  & upload and install WordPress plugins)

Download a plugin from, you will get a zip file. Extract/unzip it. To upload this, you need to have an FTP software like FileZilla or you can so the same from CPanel. Normally all the plugins are located under wp-content/plugins. Once you have uploaded it, go to WP dashboard>plugins. You will see the plugin you just uploaded. Click on activate it and bingo, you have successfully activated the plugin via FTP method.

This method is useful when you don’t have access to install plugins and themes from WP dashboard due to server restrictions.

Personally, I prefer to install plugins using WP dashboard but this FTP method is useful to those who don’t have access to WP dashboard to install plugins and themes. It’s an easy task to manage WordPress plugin, you just need to go to plugin tab on your WP dashboard and you will see the plugin you just uploaded via FTP way. You can activate and deactivate the plugin from here. Sometimes, installed plugin(FTP method) can stop you to access WP dashboard. In this situation log in to your FTP account, go to plugin directory and disable that plugin( by renaming it or deleting it) causing your WordPress dashboard to start.

If you are completely new to WordPress and planning to start a blog on WordPress,  you should head on to an exclusive step by step WordPress Guide for aspiring bloggers who want to make money.

To start with WordPress guide, you need a web hosting where you can run your blog. Bluehost is one of the best and reliable hosting providers. It is a value for money.

I like to use dashboard search and install method as it is easy and you don’t require any technical skill, however, installing plugins from third-party sites is almost identical but only in some case, I use FTP method.

Closing Thoughts

Hope this post will help to expand your horizon by making you familiar with WordPress plugins. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me via comments. Don’t forget to subscribe to our Email Newsletter to keep you updated.

Arif Hossain

Hi, my name is Arif Hossain, I am a part-time blogger, and blogging is my hobby, I am a professional web designer. I share useful blogging tips to make bloggers' journey easier. I love to help newbie bloggers to build a better blog. You can connect with me on Facebook , Twitter , or Google+.Read more about me here.

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