How to Install WordPress Plugins (3 Really Simple Ways): A Beginner’s Guide

How to Install WordPress Plugins (3 Really Simple Steps)

Ready to supercharge your WordPress website with new features and functionality?

The key to doing that lies in the wonderful world of WordPress plugins. 🙂

These nifty pieces of software can transform your site from a basic blog into a powerhouse of capabilities.

Whether you want to improve your SEO, enhance security, or simply add a cool new feature, there’s a plugin for just about everything.

In this guide, I’ll take you through the entire process of installing a WordPress plugin step by step.

It’s easier than you might think, and I’ll make sure you’re well-prepared for the journey.

So, let’s dive in and learn how to install WordPress plugins!

Before you Install a WordPress Plugin

Before we embark on our plugin installation adventure, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  • WordPress Installation: You should already have WordPress up and running. If you don’t, go ahead and install WordPress using this step-by-step guide
  • Admin Access to WordPress Dashboard: You’ll need to have admin access to your WordPress website to install plugins. If you’re not an admin, you won’t have the necessary permissions
How to install a WordPress plugin: WordPress Dashboard
  • Knowledge of Plugin Requirements: It’s essential to know what kind of plugin you’re looking for. Have a clear idea of what features or functionality you want to add to your WordPress site

Have all these in place? If so, you are good to go!

Choosing the Right Plugin: A Simple 4-Step Process

Now that you’re all set, it’s time to find the perfect plugin for your needs.

For instance, want to optimize your website for search engines?

If so, you’ll need to install a WordPress SEO plugin.

But, which SEO plugin should you be installing?

Unless you are aware of a certain WordPress SEO plugin, it could be challenging.

The good news is that it’s pretty straightforward.

Head over to Plugins > Add New, and search for SEO (in this particular instance).

Install a WordPress SEO, Search for a plugin

You’ll find several options.

At Bloggers Bloom, I use Rank Math SEO, which is a plugin that I highly recommend.

However, you also have several other popular plugins to choose from.

So, how exactly do you select the right plugin?

Is there a requirement criteria for selecting the right plugin?

Here’s how you can do it. 🙂

#1. Research

Start by researching plugins related to your website’s goals.

For example, if you want to improve SEO, search for “SEO plugins for WordPress” (like we just did).

Similarly, if you want to improve your website’s security, search for “Security plugins for WordPress.”

#2. Compatibility Check

Ensure that the plugin you choose is compatible with your version of WordPress.

Where’ll you find this information?

Go to any plugin page and you’ll find all the information you need.

For instance, head over to the WordPress plugins and search for any plugin.

We’ll look at Rank Math again. 🙂

Rank Math SEO WordPress plugin

Notice the set of information provided on the right-hand side of the plugin’s page.

You’ll find details such as version, active installations, WordPress version, and more.

It’s recommended you check this before installing a plugin.

#3. Consider User Ratings and Reviews

Do you consider ratings and reviews before purchasing any product online?

I’m guessing you do! 🙂

Well, you can do the same when it comes to plugins.

Look at the user ratings and reviews for the plugin.

It can give you valuable insights into the plugin’s reliability and performance.

You’ll find this information on the plugin page as well.

User ratings and review for WordPress plugins

The higher the number of 5-star ratings, the better the plugin.

#4. Active Support and Updates

Another essential metric to consider is if the plugin is regularly updated and if the plugin developers offer support.

Plugins that are well-maintained are less likely to cause issues on your site.

With this 4-step process, you can easily find the right plugin to enhance your website’s functionality.

How to Install WordPress Plugins: Let’s Get Started

Wondering how to install WordPress plugins? Well, there’s more than one method.

Let’s look at different ways we can install a WordPress plugin, starting with the most straightforward one.

Method 1: Using the WordPress Plugin Directory

The WordPress plugin directory is a treasure trove of free and reliable plugins.

You can view them from the plugins page on the official WordPress ( site.

Alternatively, you can head over to Plugins > Add New from your WordPress dashboard.

Here’s how to install a plugin from here:

Step 1: Log in to your WordPress admin account and navigate to your dashboard.

Step 2: In the left-hand menu, hover over ‘Plugins’ and click ‘Add New.’ In the search bar on the top right, type in the name or functionality of the plugin you’re looking for.

Step 3: When you find the desired plugin, click on the ‘Install Now’ button. WordPress will download and install the plugin for you.

For instance, we’ve searched for WooCommerce (the best WordPress eCommerce plugin).

WooCommerce WordPress Plugin

You’ll notice the ‘Install Now’ button. Go ahead and click on it.

Step 4: Once the installation is complete, click ‘Activate’ to activate the plugin on your website.

Activate WordPress plugin

Depending on the plugin you activated, you’ll probably be directed to the settings page of the corresponding plugin.

You’ll also find a new tab specific to the plugin appearing on the right-hand side menu.

And just like that, you’ve installed a WordPress plugin. 🙂

Method 2: Uploading a Plugin ZIP File

While we just covered the most popular and straightforward way to install a WordPress plugin, another option is by uploading the plugin .zip file.

This method is used when you’ve downloaded a plugin from a third-party source.

In such cases, you can upload and install the plugin manually.

For this, you’ll need to access your WordPress dashboard again.

Head over to ‘Plugins’ and click on ‘Add New.

Notice the ‘Upload Plugin’ button? Click on it.

Install a WordPress plugin by using the Upload Plugin option

This then opens the following window.

Upload WordPress plugin manually

Go ahead and select the .zip file you’ve probably downloaded from a third-party source.

For instance, if you were to visit the Rank Math website and download the free plugin, you’ll have a ‘’ file on your local computer.

Go ahead, click ‘Choose file’ and select the .zip file.

Choose file and select WordPress plugin

Next, click on ‘Install Now.’

The installation process will begin.

How to Install a WordPress plugin

Once the plugin is installed, you can activate it by clicking on the ‘Activate Plugin’ button.

And that’s how you install a plugin manually.

Of course, just like in the previous method, once you activate the plugin, you may be directed to the plugin’s settings.

The steps will be pretty straightforward. 🙂

Method 3: Install a WordPress Plugin Manually Using FTP

Our next and final method is manually installing a WordPress plugin using FTP.

While the above two methods should more than help you install a WordPress plugin, I figured I’d have this method covered here as well.

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is how you transfer files from your local computer to the live server, where your website resides.

To transfer your files, you’ll need an FTP client, such as FileZilla.

FileZilla FTP Client

However, to connect to your live site, you’ll need the FTP credentials.

This will be available in the CPanel of your hosting service provider.

Once you’ve connected, you’ll be able to transfer files from your local computer to the live site.

To begin, you’ll need to download the plugin from the third-party website. Just like we did in our previous method.

You’ll have downloaded a .zip file.

Next, extract the zip file on your local computer.

A new folder with the same name will be created after extracting the plugin zip file.

You’ll need to manually upload this folder to your live server using the FTP client.

Now connect to your live site using the FTP credentials.

Once connected, you’ll notice the FTP client split in two halves.

On the left-hand side are files from your local computer and on the right-hand side, are your live server files.

On the right-hand side, i.e., your live website, you’ll need to go to the ‘/wp-content/plugins/’ folder.

Upload files from local computer to live server using FileZilla FTP client

On the left-hand side, navigate to where you’ve extracted the files, i.e., the new folder.

You can either drag the folder from the left to the right or right-click on the folder and click ‘Upload.’

After uploading the folder, head back to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Plugins.

You’ll find your plugin successfully installed on the plugins page.

Activate WordPress Plugin

All you have to do now is click ‘Activate.’

Once activated, you can configure the plugin settings.


You now know how to install a WordPress plugin in 3 simple and straightforward ways.

Best Practices: Keeping Your Site Running Smoothly

As you journey through the world of WordPress plugins, here are some savvy tips to keep your website in tip-top shape:

Back It Up: Before you tinker with anything major or add new plugins, do yourself a favor and back up your website. It’s like having a safety net for your online home.

Stay Secure: Think of your website’s security like your home’s front door. Only download plugins from trustworthy sources to keep the bad guys out. 🙂

Stay Fresh: Just like your favorite smartphone app gets updates, so do plugins. Keep them up to date to enjoy new features and guard against bugs.

Less is More: Don’t go overboard with plugins. Imagine your site as a car – too many plugins can slow it down and make it clunky. Stick to the essentials.

By following these smart moves, you’ll keep your WordPress site in tip-top shape, ready to take on the digital world with confidence.

Happy website building! 😉

FAQ on How to Install WordPress Plugins

How do I install free Plugins on WordPress?

Installing free WordPress plugins is a breeze. Here’s how:

1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard
2. Navigate to the “Plugins” section on the left sidebar
3. Click “Add New”
4. In the search bar on the top right, type in the name or functionality of the plugin you want
5. When you find it, click “Install Now”

After the installation, click “Activate,” and you’re good to go!

How do I install WordPress plugins from a zip file?

If you’ve downloaded a WordPress plugin as a ZIP file and want to install it manually:

1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard
2. Go to the “Plugins” section
3. Click “Add New”
4. At the top, you’ll see an “Upload Plugin” button. Click it
5. Choose the ZIP file from your computer
6. Click “Install Now”

After installation, click “Activate” to use the plugin

How to install WordPress plugins from command line?

To install a WordPress plugin from the command line, you can use WP-CLI (WordPress Command Line Interface). Here’s a general command format:

wp plugin install plugin-name

Replace “plugin-name” with the actual name of the plugin you want to install. Make sure you’re in your WordPress directory when you run this command.

How do I install WordPress Plugins from file manager?

To install a plugin using the file manager in your web hosting control panel (e.g., cPanel), follow these steps:

1. Log in to your hosting control panel
2. Find the “File Manager” or similar option
3. Navigate to your WordPress installation directory (usually, it’s in the “public_html” or “www” folder)
4. Inside the “wp-content” folder, you’ll find a “plugins” folder. Upload your plugin’s unzipped folder here

Go back to your WordPress dashboard and activate the plugin

How do I download a plugin?

To download a plugin:

1. Go to the official WordPress Plugin Directory (
2. Use the search bar to find the plugin you need
3. Click on the plugin’s name to access its page
4. On the right-hand side, you’ll see a “Download” button. Click it, and the plugin ZIP file will be saved to your computer

Are WordPress plugins free or paid?

WordPress plugins come in both free and paid varieties. The WordPress Plugin Directory offers thousands of free plugins that you can install without any cost. However, there are also premium (paid) plugins available from various sources, including plugin developers’ websites and marketplaces like CodeCanyon. Premium plugins often offer advanced features, premium support, and regular updates, but they come with a price tag. You can choose between free and paid plugins based on your specific needs and budget.

Wrapping Up: Power Up Your WordPress Site

With this guide, you’ve learned how to install, activate, configure, and manage WordPress plugins like a pro.

Now, you can take your website to the next level by adding the features and functionality you need.

So, go ahead and explore the vast world of WordPress plugins to make your site truly extraordinary.

Happy plugin hunting! 🙂

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