Step By Step Tutorial On How To Install WordPress Plugins For Beginners

Learn How To Add a Plugin To WordPress (Manually and Plugins)

Now that you have successfully learnt how to build a blog, the next phase will be to learn how to add plugins to wordpress.

Plugins are essential part of WordPress platform as they help extend the WordPress core functionalities.

From simple functions like gallery to complex features like starting an online shop using wordpress, these features can only be achieved through the use of plugins.

To enhance functions of your blog or website, you must learn how to use plugins in WordPress.

This is a beginner WordPress plugins tutorial not meant for developers. Therefore, will not go into details of how to make a wordpress plugin or how to develop wordpress plugins from scratch.

In this tutorial, we will cover the following:

  • How to install a wordpress plugin (Manually and From The Plugin Directory)
    • How to install wordpress plugin using FTP
  • How to activate a WordPress plugin

Lets now proceed with our guide on how to install wordpress plugins.

What Do I Need To Know About WordPress Plugins?

The plugin installations addressed on this guide are for self-hosted wordpress blogs (WordPress downloaded from and hosted by you).

If you still don’t have a WordPress hosting setup, click here to get the cheapest hosting deal from Bluehost.

You can’t be able to use the methods shown below while using kind of blog. For more flexibility, I would advise you move your blog to self hosted blog. 

Finding and Installing WordPress Plugins From The Admin Area

As pointed above, there are two kinds of WordPress plugins that you can use to extend functionalities of your blog or website. These are free and premium plugins.

The process of installing a free wordpress plugin is different from that of installing a premium plugin. But don’t worry about it. I will show you both options.

In this section, I will show you how to install free WordPress plugins directly from the your WordPress backend area. We will install plugins directly from the WordPress repository.

Here are a few screenshots that will help you in installing plugins with wordpress plugin search. 

You will need to navigate to your wordpress admin area:

Replace  – with your actual domain name

On the left side (Admin menu) go to the plugins menu and click on the ‘Add New’ link: 

On the next page, you will see a list of plugins. Use the search bar on the right hand side. Enter the keyword or the name of the plugin that you are looking for and press enter on your keyboard.
For this guide, I will try to install WP Super Cache – a Caching plugin. Notice on the search box, I only entered a Keyword. You can search a plugin by name or use a keyword.

free search for wordpress plugins to install

– After entering the search term and pressing the ‘Enter’ button on your key, you will get the similar results. Choose the plugin that you wish to install and click on the ‘Install Now’ button.

On the next, we will now activate the WordPress plugin that we have just installed .

activating a plugin in wordpress

Once you activate a WordPress plugin, you will get to a page similar to the image below. WordPress will notify you that the plugin has been installed and activated.

how to activate a WordPress plugin

That is it! You have successfully installed a wordpress plugin. Now refer to the plugin description or the developer website to learn how to use the WordPress plugin.

This marks the end of our first part of the guide on how to install a plugin in wordpress directly from the plugin repository.

In the next step, I will show you how to upload plugin in wordpress when you are installing wordpress plugins not available in the repository.

How To Upload Plugins In WordPress - From The Dashboard

You might have purchase a plugin from various marketplaces or plugin developer website, and you want to add the plugin to wordpress. This section will show you how to add plugins wordpress that come from third party websites.

How To Install WordPress Plugin Manually

To manually install wordpress plugin, you will need to have the zipped version of the WordPress plugin.

Unlike in the method shown above, here you will have to manually download the plugin from the developer website and upload the wordpress plugin from the admin section of your website.

In this section, I will show step by step instructions on how to install wordpress plugin manually from the admin portal.

You will need to go to your WordPress dashboard to get started –

From the dashboard, navigate to the plugins menu, then click on the Add New link.

WP-Admin -> Plugins -> Add New as shown in the image below:


For this guide, I will use – Click To Tweet Free WordPress plugin- Please use upload the plugin you have purchased instead. I am installing this plugin for illustration purposes.

click to upload plugin button

Once you click the upload button, a space will open right below the ‘upload plugin’ button that will allow you to browse the WordPress plugin you wish to upload and install.

click to install the plugin

Once you have clicked on the ‘Install Now‘ button, the next step will be to activate the plugin. Click on the ‘Activate Plugin‘ to start using the features of the plugin on your website.

how to activate a plugin in WordPress

Now you have activated your premium / paid wordpress plugin. Below is a wordpress plugin notification that the plugin has been activated.

how to use installed plugin

Now that you have activated your WordPress plugin and you need to add more plugins to your WordPress blog or website, repeat the same procedure with other plugins. Each at a time.

Alternativelly, you can use the method that I have discussed below on how to upload a WordPress plugin manually directly to the wp-content plugins directory.

Wp-content plugins directory is the default location where all installed WordPress plugins reside.

Now you are ready to start learning how to use the installed WordPress plugins.

If you are looking for a guide on how to use a wordpress plugin, most premium plugins come with support and documentation (instructions on how to use the wordpress plugin).

You can also post a comment below and you will surely get assistance on how to use the plugin. 

How To Add WordPress Plugins Using FTP Manually

If you are not the technical kind, this section might put you off a bit. In this part, we will explore how to how to upload plugin in wordpress manually directly to the Wp-content plugins folder.

To install plugin manually in WordPress using FTP, you will need to have access to the server (where files are hosted), FTP login credentials, and an FTP client.

Most FTP clients are available for download. For this guide, I will use filezilla. Click here to download FileZilla FTP client, and follow the File Zilla guide by WordPress here

By now I hope you have all the plugins you wish to upload manually in .zip format. The firt thing you need to do is to Unzip the files. For this illustration, contact form 7 plugin has been used.

upload plugins using filezilla

1. You need to enter your server login details so that you can be able to upload the files using the FTP client. If you don’t have these details talk to your hosting company.

2. On the left hand side, navigate to the the unzipped plugin folders and use the control button on your keyboard to select multiple folders (if you are uploading multiple plugins at once)

3. On the right hand side of your FTP client, those are your server files, navigate to WP-content plugins directory. This is ussually located at ~/wp-content/plugins/

4. Drag and drop files from the left hand side (local files) to the right hand side (remote server) and wait for the files to be uploaded. 

5. Once the upload has been successful, login to your WordPress admin panel using: and activate all the uploaded plugins.


How To Activate WordPress Plugins (More Than One Plugins)

To activate multiple wordpress plugins, you will need to:

1. Login into your admin area

2. On the left hand side, hover on the plugins menu and click on ‘Installed Plugins’ to find all installed plugins.

find all installed plugins

3. On the following page, you will see filters: Active, Inactive, and other filters depending on the status of the installed plugins.

Click on ‘Inactive’ filter as shown below and proceed to activate each plugin at a time. (There is an option to activate plugins in bulk but this might break your site.)

activate each plugin at a time

I have Installed WordPress Plugins, Now What?

Now that you have learnt how to install a WordPress plugin, go ahead and learn how to use the installed plugins and utilize their potential to the fullest.

 Besides learning how to add wordpress plugins, there is more to learn in WordPress

Want to learn wordpress and grow your business online? Enter your email below and we will help you grow your website. 

If this guide on installing WordPress plugins has been helpful, please share it with your friends on social media. I have invested considerable amount of time writing this guide and it should reach every website owner who is struggling to learn wordpress. Sharing is Caring.

Have questions or a remark on how to add a plugin to WordPress? use the comment section below to share your thought or ask your question.

All questions posted will be answered. Let the conversation start. Have anything to say? 



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