Once you successfully complete installing WordPress, then you have to know about how to install a WordPress plugin. Plugins are the additional features of WordPress which allows you to add a gallery, sidebars, slideshow many others.
There are thousands of free and paid plugins available for WordPress. Let us discuss about how to install a WordPress plugin.
Remember, WordPress.com does not allow you to install plugins because it has limitations.
In case, if you want to make use of plugins in your blog then, you need to use self-hosted WordPress.org
How to Install a WordPress Plugin
Let us discuss step by step on how to install a WordPress plugin in your WordPress Blog.
The three different methods of Installing a Plugin:
- Install a Plugin using WordPress Plugin Search
- Uploading a WordPress plugin
- Manually installing a WordPress plugin using FTP
1. Install a Plugin using WordPress Plugin Search
To install a plugin, you can make use of search plugin of WordPress. The only limitation of the plugin is that it should be in the WordPress plugin directory which is limited to only free plugins.
First thing you need to do is go to your WordPress admin area and click on Plugins » Add New.
The plugin window displays the four different categories such as: Featured, Popular, Recommended and Favorites. You will find a search option which can help you in finding the plugin as required. When you specify either a plugin name or the plugin functionality, you will find list of plugins as given below.
You can easily select the most suitable plugin which is the best for you. In our search, we were looking for Floating Social Bar which is displayed in the list which you can install using ‘Install Now’ button.
The plugin will get downloaded in WordPress and it will be installed. You will see the success message with along with a link to activate the plugin or return to plugin installer.
A WordPress plugin which is installed on your site will start working only when it gets activated. Once the plugin is activated it is needed to be configured as per the site-requirement. The plugin configuration part will be covered separately in another post in detail.
Uploading a WordPress plugin
To install a plugin using the WordPress Admin Plugin Upload option
The search plugin can be used only for the Free WordPress plugins and not for the Paid WordPress plugins. Paid plugins cannot be installed using the search method but can be installed using upload option in the admin area.
Make use of Admin panel to upload already downloaded plugin (which is in zipped format)
- Go to WordPress admin area and select Plugins » Add New
- Choose the button Upload Plugin and click it which is on the top of the page.
The plugin upload page will bring you to the plugin upload page. Click on the browse button and select the plugin file already downloaded and available in zipped format on your computer.
Once the required plugin file is selected then, you need to click on the install now button.
WordPress will upload the plugin file and install it. You will get the success message after the installation is over.
After successful installation, you need to click on the Activate Plugin link which makes the plugin available to be used.
The plugins are configured as per the required settings which can vary for every plugin and it will be discussed in a separate post.
Manually installing a WordPress plugin using FTP
Manual installation of the plugins is highly preferred when the Web hosting service providers may restrict you from installing plugins from admin area. In that case, you can go for manual installation.
You can install the plugins manually using FTP client services which you can get familiar, if you need to utilize its services.
Following steps will help you in installing the plugin using the FTP client.
- Download source file of plugin in form of zip file & store it in the folder on computer.
- Extract the plugin file & store files in the directory with same plugin-name on computer.
- Use FTP client and connect to the website using the login credential.
- You have to access the directory on the server /wp-content/plugins/
- Upload the extracted folder you intoselected folder on server /wp-content/plugins/
After successfully uploading the plugin files, visit the WordPress admin area.
Click on the Plugins link in the admin menu and you will find the plugin successfully installed on the plugins page.
Click on the Activate link below the plugin and activate it. Also you need to configure the plugin settings. Every WordPress plugin has its own settings so lets us discuss about configuring the plugins in separate post.