Beginners Guide: How to Install WordPress Plugin

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Wondering how you can install a WordPress plugin on your blog or website?
Well, don’t worry it’s pretty easy.
But before we dive into installing plugins, first let us get familiar with what and why we need it in the first place.
WordPress plugins are tools that extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress application.
With plugins, it’s so simple to collect your site’s visitor email addresses, backing up the site on a regular basis, securing your site from hackers, and much more.
In this article, we will provide you with detailed instructions on how to install and activate a plugin on your WordPress site.
In this article, we will provide you with detailed instructions on how to install and activate a plugin on your WordPress site.

How To Install WordPress Plugin

The first thing you need to do when you want to install a new WordPress plugin is to log in to your site admin area. Once there, go to Plugins » Add New.
On the next screen, you can see couple of options.
Plugin Page
You can use the Plugins List Filter (as you can see from the tab: Featured, Popular, Recommended, and Favorites), the Popular Tags, the Search Field which will return results from the plugin directory, and Upload Plugin method from your local hard drive.
These options may differ from one another but the bottom line is they all allow you to install and activate your desired plugin.
We’ll cover each one of these options plus a bonus tips on how to install a plugin in WordPress.
Let’s get started.

Method 1: Choose and Install a Plugin Using The Featured List Tab

To install a plugin using the featured list tab. All you have to do is select from the given plugin listed under Featured, Popular, Recommended, and Favorites as you can see from the image below.
Featured Tab
To add another plugin, simply click on the Install Now button.
WordPress will download and install the plugin for you.
Once that done, simply click the Activate button to activate the plugin.

Method 2: Choose and Install a Plugin Using The Search Field

Probably, the easiest way to install plugins to your WordPress site is if they are listed in the official plugins directory. For this, you can search for the plugin you need directly from the admin page. If you know the plugin’s name, you can simply search for it.
For this guide, we’ll search for the Yoast SEO plugin.
Wait for few seconds until WordPress loads result.
To add the plugin, simply click on the Install Now button. And then click the Activate button to activate it.

Method 3: Choose and Install a Plugin by Popular Tags

On the other hand, you can also install a plugin using the most Popular Tags section. Each plugin in the official directory has to have Tags that describe its functionality allowing you to easily add the right plugin.
To add a plugin, simply browse based on the most popular tags.
To do this, click on the link that corresponds a tag, like for example woocommerce.
On the next screen, you will be presented with the plugins tagged woocommerce.
To add one, click on the Install Now button. To actually activate it, simply click the Activate button.

Method 4: Install a WordPress Plugin Using Upload Method

Lastly, if you have a plugin that’s not listed in the directory or a premium WordPress plugin you bought from other plugin providers, you can simply upload it from the Plugins » Add New section in WordPress.
To do this click on the Upload Plugin button at the top of the page.
Now, click the Choose File button, select the archive of your plugin from your local computer and click on the Install Now button.
In a few seconds, WordPress will upload and extract the plugin and archive for you.
All you need to do next is to click on the Activate link under the message for successful plugin installation.

BONUS: Manually Installing WordPress Plugin Using FTP

Installing a plugin via FTP is a bit different than any of the method mentioned above.
This is very useful especially if the plugin you’re about to install comes from an individual developer or other platforms such as Envato Market.
To be able to install and activate a plugin you need to connect to your File Transfer Protocol server. A good example is FileZilla. If you don’t have this software already, you can visit their official website at this link and download it.
Now, you should have an FTP credentials already from your web hosting. If you need help you can contact your provider.
You can also check this article for a step by step tutorial on how to configure FileZilla.
Next, you have to download and extract the WordPress plugin ZIP file to a folder on your computer. I suggest putting it on the Desktop so it is much easier to find later on.
For this tutorial, we’re going to upload the Slider Revolution plugin. One of the best slider plugin for WordPress.
Note: Most ZIP files when extracted comes with a parent folder, so make sure to upload the plugin folder which directly contains the plugin files and not its parent.
Next, upload the plugin folder to your FTP Server on the following directory.
					root -> wp-content -> plugins
Depending on the size of the plugin, the transfer could take a while.
This process would be the same if you are upgrading an existing plugin. All you have to do is overwrite the existing plugin folder.
You should be getting a notification somewhere on the lower bottom of your screen once the transfer is done.
Finally, to be able to use this plugin on your website. Login to the WordPress Dashboard and go to Plugins > Installed Plugins.
Here, you’ll see the newly added plugin via FTP.
All you need to do next is to click on the Activate link to activate the plugin.
That’s it! I hope this article helped you learn how to install a WordPress plugin.
You may also want to see our guide on must-have plugins for every new blog or website.
Have you had any difficulty with the installation? Share with us your experience in the comment below.
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