How to Install Plugins in WordPress

WordPress allows its users the ultimate ease of creating and managing the website with the help of various themes and plugins.

Being new to WordPress, themes, and plugins might also be new to you. Using various themes and plugins provides excellent help in making your WordPress website professional and fully functional.

However, you might be wondering how to install and use the plugins that are either free or paid. After the installation of WordPress, you need to install the WordPress plugins that act like an app for your WordPress website.

There are hundreds and thousands of different free as well as paid WordPress plugins that need to be installed. Here, this article gives you a detailed overview of how to install a WordPress plugin both free as well as paid. 

What is a plugin?

A plugin is a software that adds a group of functions on your WordPress website. They are used to add new features or extend functionality to your WordPress websites so that your WordPress website looks like it is created professionally.

Almost every WordPress plugins are written in PHP language and are seamlessly integrated with WordPress resulting in the smooth operation of WordPress and the plugins.

These plugins are extremely easy to use and anyone even without knowing a single line of code can use plugins and manage it. 

Why do you need a plugin?

Creating a WordPress website is easy because of the use of all the plugins and themes. Each element of the website works for different purposes and plugin falls under the key element of a WordPress website.

The plugin adds new features and functionalities on your WordPress website resulting in adding the necessary features without the need of knowing the coding even a little bit. There are various reasons why WordPress plugins are necessary to use on your WordPress:

Increase in site performance

There are several plugins that are focused specifically on enhancing the performance of your website from optimizing SEO to increasing security. You can find hundreds of plugins so that your website is always on top of the game. 

Increase Security 

You can find both free as well as paid plugins that work to increase the security of your website. The security plugins work by checking the malware, limiting login attempts, and many more. 

Add features

Adding plugins for various purposes such as contact form, search bar, about page, and many more allow you to add all of these functionalities. You can do all these even if you have few to no knowledge of coding. 

How to install a plugin?

Plugins, as I have already mentioned, are the key elements in a WordPress website. But the installation of WordPress plugin on your WordPress website might not be easy for you especially if you are a beginner in the WordPress world. There are various ways to install the plugin and they are:

Install the plugin using plugin search

Installing the plugin using the plugin search bar is the easiest way of installing the WordPress plugin. The only downside of this method or option is that the WordPress plugin should be in the WordPress plugin directory.

You can use this plugin directory only to free plugins, hence, this option can be useful only for a free plugin. 

Install the plugin using the WordPress admin plugin upload

As plugin search method does not work for the paid plugins because paid plugins can not be listed on the WordPress plugin directory.

To use the paid plugin by a WordPress user, the WordPress plugin upload method is developed which we will further discuss below. 

Manual installation using FTP

Some of the WordPress hosts might have file restrictions that can limit the upload of the plugin from the admin area. In such a situation, you may need to install the plugin using FTP or File Transfer Protocol.

The FTP method of installing a plugin is the least familiar and the most difficult for beginners. But once you do it, it is easier than you think. 

Here are the steps in short for installing a WordPress plugin manually using FTP:

  • Download the plugin’s source file
  • Extract the zip file
  • Upload the folder to your website using FTP client 
  • Log into the FTP manager
  • Connect the FTP client 
  • Go to /wp-content/plugins
  • Upload the extracted files
  • Activate the plugin

Your plugin is successfully uploaded that you can see after visiting plugins option on the WordPress admin area 

How to install a free plugin?

Installing a free plugin is the simplest way to install and use a plugin on your WordPress website.

To install a free plugin, you need to search the plugin on your WordPress dashboard and the steps of installing a free plugin are described in detail below:

WordPress dashboard

You need to visit your admin panel, also known as WordPress dashboard which you can access through the URL: On the admin panel, you need to click “Plugins” on the sidebar menu.

Add New

You will be taken to the plugins page where you will see a new “Add New” button on the top. You need to click on this button. 

Find the plugin

You will see the list of recommended or featured plugins that had been shortlisted along with a useful search bar on the right.

No doubt we are going to use the search bar to search the plugins that we intend to find. You can input the name of the plugin that you want to install on the search bar which will pop up.

Install the plugin

Once the plugin you intend to download pops on the plugin list after your search, you need to click on the “Install Now” button. 

After clicking on the button, WordPress fetches the plugin and installs it on your website. It is similar to installing a new application on your phone. 

Activate the plugin

The final step after installing the plugin is activating the plugin so that you can use the plugin on your WordPress website.

You just need to click on the “Activate Plugin” button, which activates your plugin. You will get a confirmation note on the top of the page after you activate your plugin.

How to install a paid plugin?

Installing a paid or premium plugin is slightly different than installing a free plugin. It is because the premium plugin is not available in the official plugin directory and you need to upload it on your website.

You can not find any premium plugin on searching the plugin from the WordPress admin panel. Uploading the plugin that is premium on your WordPress website, you should follow a few steps that are explained thoroughly below: 

Get the plugin archive

The first step in installing the paid plugin is buying the plugin from either from a marketplace or from a plugin store. You can buy a copy of the plugin as well.

As soon as you buy the plugin, you will have the ZIP archive file of the plugin file that you need in the future for uploading it on your website. 

WordPress dashboard

After getting the plugin’s ZIP file on your hand, you need to go to the WordPress dashboard or the wp-admin panel. On the WordPress dashboard, you will find the “Plugins” on the sidebar menu where you will see the “Add New” button. 

Upload plugin archive

After clicking the “Add New” button, you need to click on the “Upload Plugin” button which is visible at the top. After you click on the button, you will be taken to the screen where you can upload the ZIP file straight to your WordPress. 

Install the plugin

All you need to do to install the plugin after you have uploaded it is clicking on the “Install Now” button. You will find this button on the screen that loads after you upload the ZIP file. 

Activate the plugin

The final step to upload your paid plugin on your WordPress website is to activate the plugin. After activating the plugin, the plugin is online and ready to use. 

Final Thoughts

Here, this article explains in detail the step to install the plugins on your WordPress website whether you intend the free or a paid WordPress plugin.

Plugins are an extremely essential part of the WordPress website. You need to install and use multiple plugins to enhance the speed and performance of your website, which results in a better ranking of your website on the Google search engine.

From making your website look more professional, Plugins also help in adding various functionalities that you may require on your website.

If not for plugins, you had to write codes to add these functionalities. Coding is not everyone’s cup of tea so using plugin is the easiest way to make your website look beautiful. 

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