How to Install WordPress Plugins (Step by Step Guide)

Plugins are a major part of using WordPress and can easily add new functionality to your WordPress blog. From security to additional features there is a WordPress plugin for just about anything.

There are multiple ways to install a WordPress plugin so we have broken it down by the two simplest ways.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin from the Admin Dashboard

Firstly you have to login as the WordPress site administrator. If you are not an admin you won’t see the option to add plugins in the WordPress sidebar. Check with who set up your WordPress site if you are not an admin.

To add plugin to WordPress just head to Plugins/Add new in your WordPress dashboard sidebar.

After clicking Add New you’ll see the WordPress plugin directory. Use the search on the type right to find a specific plugin then simply click Install Now to start the plugin installation.

The plugin will take a few seconds to install then you can click Activate Now to enable the plugin on your website.

If you’d like to disable the plugin you can simply go to Plugins/Installed plugins to see what plugins you have enabled with the option to deactivate them.

How to Install a WordPress plugin via FTP

Before uploading a plugin to your WordPress site with FTP you’ll need to know your FTP credentials. If you don’t know your FTP login contact your web host to get the information.

First you’ll need to download a plugin you wish to install. In this example we will be downloading AutoListicle.

Download a WordPress plugin

WordPress.org will give you a zip file that you’ll need to unzip.

Unzip WordPress plugin

Now that you have the WordPress plugin as a folder it’s time to login to your server.

With your FTP credentials log into an FTP client like Cyberduck (Free for Win/Mac).

Once you’re logged into your server head to wp-content/plugins this is where WordPress stores all of your plugins.

WordPress plugin folder in FTP

After you find your plugins folder simply upload the folder you have unzipped into that folder. This can typically can be done by dragging the folder into the FTP client.

Once your folder is in your plugins folder you can head to the plugins page in your WordPress dashboard. Here you’ll see the plugin unactivate where you can activate.


Looking for great WordPress plugins to install? Read our list of the best WordPress plugins.

Andy Feliciotti

Andy Feliciotti

Andy has been a full time WordPress developer for over 10 years. Through his years of experience has built 100s of sites and learned plenty of tricks along the way.

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