Are you looking for step by step guide to add a plugin to WordPress website? The first thing every new WordPress user wants to know after installing WordPress is how to install a WordPress plugin? Before installing a plugin in your WordPress website, remember only self-hosted WordPress allows you to install WordPress plugins. You cannot install WordPress plugins from 3rd party developers on a website if it is hosted on WordPress.com.
If you’re a new WordPress user, you might not be aware of how essential plugins are for your website. First, let’s define what is a plugin? A plugin is a PHP script, or you can say software that can be easily installed and extends the functionality of the WordPress website by adding new features to your websites like shopping cart, live chat support, website speed improvement, and more. Also, the enormous amount of free and paid plugins are available for the convenience of WordPress users.
In this guide, we will explain five different methods for installing a WordPress plugin that will be useful for a beginner as well as for expert-level users.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Install a WordPress Plugin?
- 2 1. Install Free Plugin using WordPress Dashboard Area “Plugin Search” Feature.
- 3 2. Install Plugin using WordPress Dashboard Area “Plugin Upload” Feature.
- 4 3. Install WordPress Plugins Manually using FTP.
- 5 4. Install Plugin using cPanel.
- 6 5. Install WordPress Plugin using WP-CLI (WordPress Command Line Interface)
How to Install a WordPress Plugin?
How to install a plugin? You are going to learn it soon. Follow this step by step guide to learn how to install free and paid plugins on WordPress websites. Here are the five methods that we will cover in this guide to install a WordPress plugin.
Let’s take a look at these five methods one by one to install WordPress plugins.
1. Install Free Plugin using WordPress Dashboard Area “Plugin Search” Feature.
Here’s the easiest way to install a free plugin using a built-in WordPress plugin installer. The only limitation is that the plugin must be available in the WordPress plugins directory, which only has free plugins.
Follow the step by step guide to learn how to install Plugin using WordPress Admin Area “Plugin Search” Feature.
After clicking on “More Details” button, a popup will open which will contain the information about plugin and its documentation.
After activation, your plugin is ready to use. Now you know the process of installing the WordPress plugin. It is as easy as Search & Install.
Now how to configure the plugin’s settings? This method varies from one plugin to another. As this post is about general plugin installation, so we’re skipping this information here
2. Install Plugin using WordPress Dashboard Area “Plugin Upload” Feature.
Do you want to install a premium/paid WordPress plugin to your website? The thing about premium/paid plugins is that you cannot install these plugins from WordPress plugin search as described in method one because paid plugins are not available in WordPress plugin’s repository (Although their free version can be available). So, first, you need to buy the plugin and download it from the source as a zip file, and then you can manually upload that zip file and activate it through the Plugins admin screen, as described below.
Follow the step by step guide to learn how to install a WordPress plugin manually using ZIP file.
Configure the settings of the plugin as per your needs.
3. Install WordPress Plugins Manually using FTP.
The first two methods are probably the easiest methods to install plugins from the WordPress admin area. But this method is different from the first two methods. In this method, you’re required to install the plugin manually using FTP software such as FileZilla.
You must be familiar with how to transfer files using FTP. However, if you’re a new user, don’t forget to create a backup before installing the plugin as it may damage your entire site if it’s not compatible with your WordPress version or if it belongs to an unreliable source.
Follow the step by step guide to learn how to install WordPress plugins manually using FTP software.
4. Install Plugin using cPanel.
In this method, we will see how to install WordPress plugin using cPanel. So, what is cPanel? cPanel is a web hosting control panel or software, and it helps in the management of a web hosting server. Before using this method, you need to know where WordPress keeps all the plugins. WordPress stores all its plugins, themes, media, and other content in its wp-content folder.
Follow the step by step guide to learn how to install WordPress plugin using cPanel.
In plugins folder, you will see the plugins that are already installed on your WordPress website.
5. Install WordPress Plugin using WP-CLI (WordPress Command Line Interface)
Another way to upload and install a plugin in WordPress is through WP-CLI, a tool that gives you command to control your WordPress site with the help of a command-line interface. Use commands to perform tasks like plugin activation/deactivation, installing/updating a theme, or configuring multisite installation without even using a browser.
Follow the step by step guide to learn how to install a WordPress plugin using WP-CLI commands.
To confirm that you are at the right place, write ls in Wp-CLI and press enter. It will show the files in the current folder, and if you see WordPress files, then you are in the right place.
To get the slug of a plugin, go to WordPress plugin’s repository and find the plugin you are looking for. Once you find it go to its page. In the browser, you will find the slug of the plugin. For example, we want to install Yoast SEO plugin. So we will go to its page on WordPress.org, and then from the browser URL area, we will copy its slug.
wp plugin install wordpress-seo
The WordPress plugin will be installed and you will see a success message in the end.
wp plugin activate wordpress-seo
And that’s all; the plugin has been installed using WP-CLI. WP-CLI is a convenient tool to perform different WordPress related tasks quickly. To get more familiar with WP-CLI, check out the official WP-CLI documentation.
Here in this guide, we have elaborated on the five methods of installing a plugin in detail. No doubt, plugins improve the functionality of the WordPress website. You can add unlimited features to your website with few clicks. So what are you waiting for?
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