How to install plugins in WordPress – step by step

install plugins

After installing WordPress, the first thing every beginner needs to learn is how to plugins in WordPress.

In simple words , WordPress “plugins” are like apps for your WordPress site . They allow you to add new features to WordPress such as contact form, slideshow, shopping cart, and more .


before you start

If you are using, then you cannot install plugins .

We often receive complaints from users saying that they cannot see the list of plugins in their WordPress dashboard .

This is because you are using, which has its limitations You cannot install plugins on WordPress . com unless you upgrade to their business plan .

On the other hand, you can install any “plugins” you want on your self-hosted site right off the bat.

Then you should switch from to However, now let’s take a look at how to install the WordPress plugin on your website .

How to install plugins in WordPress

You can follow the step by step tutorial on how to install the WordPress plugin .

We have covered all 3 ways :

  1. Install the WordPress plugin using search,
  2. Upload the WordPress plugin,
  3.  Install the WordPress plugin manually using FTP .

ready ? Let’s get started .

  • Install the WordPress plugin using the search

The easiest way to install a WordPress plugin is to use the plugin search . And only downside to this option is that the plugin has to be in the WordPress plugin directory which is restricted to free plugins only .

The first thing you need to do is visit the “Plugins » Add New” page inside your WordPress admin area .

You will see a screen like the one in the screenshot above. Search for the plugin by typing in the name of the plugin or the functionality you are looking for. Then, you will see a set of menus like the example below :

You can choose the plugin that works best for you. Since in our research, we were looking for WPForms which is the best WordPress contact form plugin, we will click on the Install Now button next to it .

WordPress will now download and install the plugin for you. After that, you will notice that the Install Now button will change to the Activate button .

install plugins

The WordPress plugin can be installed on your site, but it won’t work unless you activate it. So go ahead and click on the activate button to start using this plugin on your WordPress site .

That’s it, you have successfully installed your first WordPress plugin .

The next step is to configure plugin settings. These settings will differ for each plugin, hence we will not cover that in this post .

  • Upload plugins in WordPress

Paid WordPress plugins are not listed in the WordPress plugin directory. These add-ons cannot be installed using the first method .

That’s why WordPress comes with an upload method to install these plugins. We’ll show you how to install WordPress plugins using the Upload option in your Dashboard .

First, you need to download the plugin from the source (which will be a zip file). After that, you need to go to the WordPress admin area and visit the Plugins » Add New page .

Next, click the “Upload Add-on” button at the top of the page .

This will reveal the plugin upload form. Here you need to click on the “Choose file” button and select the plug-in file that you downloaded earlier to your computer .

install plugins

After selecting the file, you need to click on the “Install Now” button .

WordPress will now download the plugin file from your computer and install it for you. You will see a success message like this after the installation is finished .


Once installed, you need to click on the plugin activation link to start using the plugin .

You will have to configure the settings to suit your needs. These settings will differ for each plugin, hence we will not cover that in this post .

  • Install WordPress plugins manually using FTP

In some rare cases, your WordPress hosting provider may have file restrictions that may limit your ability to install a plugin from the admin area .

In this case, your best bet is to install the plugin manually using FTP .

The FTP manager method is the least suitable for beginners .

You will first need to download the plugin source file (it will be a zip file). Next, you need to extract the zip file on your computer .

Extracting the plugin zip file will create a new folder with the same name. This is the folder that you need to manually upload to your website using an FTP client .

You will need to access your host through the FTP manager. If you don’t have an FTP username and password, contact your WordPress hosting service provider and ask .

Open an FTP client on your computer and connect to your website using the login credentials provided by your web host. Once connected, you will need to go to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder on your website .

Next, upload the folder you extracted from the zip file to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder on your web server .

install plugins

After uploading the files, you need to visit the WordPress admin area and click on the Plugins link in the admin menu. You will see that the plugin has been successfully installed on the Plugins page .


You need to click the “Activate” link at the bottom of the plugin to start using it .

Upon activation, you may need to configure plugin settings. WordPress plugins come with their own settings which differ from one plugin to another, so we will not describe them here .

Questions and answers about installing WordPress plugins

As a beginner, you may have some questions about installing WordPress plugins. As the largest WordPress resource site, we’ve heard them all .

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about installing WordPress plugins .

1. What is the difference between installed and active plugins ?

WordPress allows you to install a plugin and not use it at all . In order to use a plugin on your site, you need to “activate” .

You can view active plugins by visiting the Plugins page in the WordPress admin area. It will be marked with a blue background .

White background plugins are installed on your website but not active .

2. Should I delete inactive plugins ?

If you are not using a plugin, it is recommended that you delete it from your website .

3. How many WordPress plugins can I install ?

You can install as many WordPress plugins as you like . The number of plugins does not affect the speed of your website, but the quality of those plugins .

4. How do I uninstall a plugin for WordPress

You can uninstall the WordPress plugin by visiting the plugins page in the WordPress admin area .

If the plugin you want to remove is currently active, you will first need to deactivate it . Then, you can simply click on the delete link to remove it from your website .

install plugins

Hope this helps you learn how to install WordPress plugins .


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