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3 Different Ways To Install WordPress Plugin (Saviour’s Guide With Pictures)

This post is part of the “Start A Blog” series.

  • Part 1: WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org: Everything you need to know
  • Part 2: How To Buy Hosting For WordPress Blog
  • Part 3: How To Create A WordPress Blog
  • Part 4: Essential Settings After Installing WordPress
  • Part 5: <<You are here>>
  • Part 6: How To Install A WordPress Theme

WordPress is a full-fledged content management system (CMS), and there are a couple of technical things to know about when you start using WordPress.

Installing WordPress plugins is one thing that every self-hosted WordPress blogger should know how to do.

Technically, WordPress offers three ways to install WordPress plugins on your blog:

  1. Search and install
  2. Upload and install
  3. FTP
In the FTP method, you upload the plugin using an FTP software such as FileZilla or CyberDuck. You then activate and configure it. In the other two methods, you search, find, install, and activate the plugin with a few simple clicks.

Page Contents

Search & Add Plugin in WordPress From Dashboard

Installing a plugin from the WordPress dashboard is the easiest way.

If you know the name of the plugin, you can directly search from the dashboard and install it.

Simply log into your blog’s dashboard and click on Plugins > Add New. Then type your search term into the search box on the top right.

In this case, I searched for WP-Optimize and I got the following results:

Install WordPress plugin

You can click on “More Details” to see more information about any plugin. Make sure you check that the plugin is compatible with your current version of WordPress.

Also, be sure to read the documentation before installing any new plugin.

To install, simply click on “Install Now” and then “activate” the plugin

Activate WordPress Plugin

The next step is to go into the settings panel of the plugin and make all of the necessary changes. Much of the time, we make the mistake of installing plugins without properly configuring them. After installing any plugin, always be sure to configure the settings.

Installing Custom WordPress Plugin Downloaded From 3rd Party Sites

Install Custom WordPress Plugin

If you have downloaded a WordPress plugin from somewhere, you can upload the .zip file and install it directly from the WordPress dashboard.

Click on “Upload Plugin” and browse your drive to find the .zip file.

At this time, WordPress only accepts the .zip format for uploading WordPress plugins and themes.

FTP Method To Install WordPress Plugin

This is another method that is very useful when you can’t install a WP plugin using the WordPress dashboard.

You simply download the plugin from the WordPress plugin library, unzip it, and upload it to your WordPress plugin library using your FTP software. You can use FileZilla which is free and available for all major computer OS.

Normally, the plugin upload folder is located under wp-content/plugins.

Once you are done uploading the file, you can simply go to the WordPress plugins folder in the WP dashboard and activate the plugin. This is a very useful method for those who don’t have access to installing plugins or themes from the dashboard due to server restriction.

Conclusion: 3 Ways To Install A WordPress Plugin

Personally, I prefer using the dashboard’s search and upload feature. Only in specific cases do I need to use the FTP method.

Managing WordPress plugins is also easy. All you need to do is go to the plugins folder in the WP dashboard and activate or deactivate plugins with a single click.

Sometimes you may find that you’re facing issues with your WordPress site after installing a certain plugin. Simply log into your dashboard via FTP and deactivate that plugin. Certain plugins are not compatible with certain versions of WordPress and will cause problems.

If you are completely new to WP or are planning to start with WordPress, you should check out our complete WordPress guide.

Also check out:

  • Step By Step Guide To Installing A Self-Hosted WordPress Blog

Speaking of plugins, here is a list of WordPress plugins that I use at WPSaviour.

If you have any issues regarding installing, activating, and deactivating plugins, let me know via the comments.

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