How to install a WordPress plugin

How do I install a WordPress plugin? This question is answered in detail in this article. Learn step by step how to add new features to WordPress.

Plugins are software that you can add to your WordPress website. They can change or improve the functionality of your website in various ways. For example, you can install plugins to easily create forms, optimize your website for search engines, or improve your website security. As a WordPress user, you will surely need to install a plugin at some point.

  1. Install from the WordPress directory
  2. Upload and install plugin
  3. Upload and install the plugin via FTP

From the plugin directory or upload or via FTP

There are three ways to install plugins on your site. You can either install a plugin from the WordPress plugin directory or upload a plugin in the browser or via FTP. Free and approved plugins, such as Akismet or Jetpack, are offered in the WordPress plugin directory. Installing these plugins is super easy.


Paid plugins are installed manually via the browser upload or using an FTP program.

WordPress.com

I often have to disappoint users who ask how can I install a plugin on wordpress.com. Unfortunately, the answer is always: not at all.

ATTENTION: You cannot install plugins on WordPress.com!

That’s why I always recommend installing WordPress yourself.

Here we go!

How to install a WordPress plugin from the directory

Let’s start by installing a plugin from the WordPress directory. Just follow these 5 steps:

  1. Plugins > Install
    WordPress Admin Plugin Directory
    Go to the Plugins menu item in the WordPress admin menu and select the Install item. The WordPress plugin directory is displayed with the most popular plugins.
  2. Find the plugin you want
    Find WordPress plugins
    Enter the name or a group in the search box at the top. The directory will immediately start showing the matching plugins.
  3. Check the plugin quality
    Check the plugin for quality
    Each plugin is presented in a box with basic information. A quality plugin has good reviews, a high number of active installations, frequent updates, and is compatible with your version of WordPress. Avoid plugins that were last updated more than a year ago.
  4. Install the plugin with one click
    Install plugin with one click
    Click on the button Install now in the plugin box. Once the installation is complete, the Activate button will appear. Also, the plugin will appear on the Installed Plugins screen.
  5. Activate the plugin
    Activate WordPress plugin
    You can activate the plugin in the plugin box by clicking the button after the installation is complete Activate click Alternatively, you can activate the plugin later in the plugin overview screen.

Thus, the free plugin WPForms was installed with just a few clicks.

Upload and install the plugin in the WordPress admin

The WordPress plugin directory shows a lot of plugins, but not all of them are there. You can also find some cool plugins on third-party websites.

To upload a plugin to WordPress, follow these steps:

  1. Download plugin
    Download the WordPress plugin from the manufacturer
    Note that the plugin in the .zip format downloaded must become. Otherwise the upload will not work in the WordPress dashboard.
  2. Plugins > Install
    WordPress Admin Plugin Directory
    Go to the Plugins menu item in the backend of your website and select Install. Hover over the Plugins menu item and select.
  3. Upload plugin
    Select plugin to upload
    On the Add Plugins page, click the Upload Plugin button. A dialog for adding a file appears. Click the Choose File button, which will open a dialog box. Locate and select the file from your computer and click Open. The upload starts.
  4. Install the plugin
    Install WP plugin after upload
    Click the Install Now button and the plugin will be installed.
  5. Activate the plugin
    Activate the plugin after the upload
    Remember to activate the plugin after installation.

This uploads and installs the premium plugin WP Rocket.

Upload and install the plugin via FTP

Some hosters do not allow large files to be uploaded, or the zip format is blocked. Then the WordPress plugin must be installed using an FTP program such as FileZilla.

  1. Download plugin
    Download the WordPress plugin from the manufacturer
    First you have to download your plugin from the manufacturer.
  2. Unpack plugin
    Unpack the downloaded plugin archive
    The plugin download is usually a zip file. You have to before uploading in Explorer or Finder unpack. In the screenshot I use 7-Zip for this. If you use another operating system, the file manager will of course look different.
  3. Upload plugin
    WordPress plugin FTP Upload with FileZilla
    If you don’t have an FTP program installed yet, you can download FileZilla for free.
    You have to connect to your provider’s data. Then you click on the provider’s page to the directory wp-content > plugins through. Now you can drag the directory with the WordPress plugin into this folder. Either directly on your file manager, or from the local page of your FTP tool.
    The plugin is now installed.
  4. Activate the plugin
    Activate installed plugin in WP dashboard
    Finally, you have to install the plugin in the WP Dashboard > Plugins > Activate.

Install WordPress plugin FAQ

How do I find the best plugin in a category?

Use the search in the plugin directory with different keywords. Note the plugins with the most installations and an update date of less than a year. Choose from the top three results.

What is the maximum number of plugins that I can install?

You can install as many plugins as you want. There is no limit. However, keep in mind that every plugin slows down your site and poses a security risk. Therefore, you should install as few WordPress plugins as possible.

What is the difference between activated and installed plugins?

Activated plugins perform their function and can be used.
Installed plugins are only on your server, but cannot be used.

Can I safely leave disabled plugins installed?

Theoretically yes. However, you should always delete deactivated plugins.
Possible security gaps can also be exploited with deactivated plugins.

How do I deactivate and delete a plugin?

To do this, go to the Plugins menu in the WordPress dashboard and click on Disable for the desired plugin. Then click on Delete.Uninstall WordPress plugin

WordPress plugin installed!

This article will show you three ways to install a WordPress plugin.

The easiest and fastest way is directly via the WordPress plugin directory in the WordPress Admin. But the upload is not too complicated either.

If you encounter any problem, write to me in the comments.