As you may already know, one of the advantages to WordPress is its plugins.  There are all kinds of plugins that you can download to add more functionality to your website.  There are actually a couple of ways to install plugins on WordPress websites.  In this article, we are going to show WordPress beginners the easiest way to install a plugin on your WordPress website.

Install WordPress Plugins

Step 1: Finding Plugins

Go to your WordPress dashboard, and find "Plugins".  Next to the menu item "Plugins", you'll see an "Add New" button.  Click it and you will see the "Add Plugins" page.  Here you'll also see some popular plugins.  On the right side, there is a "Search Plugins" form.  Type in the name of the plugin, keywords describing the plugin, or author name of the plugin and press enter.


How to add WordPress plugins

Plugins are pulled from the WordPress repository here and can also be searched for on  Premium plugins or plugins not downloaded from the WordPress repository must be added by uploading or FTP.

Step 2: Installing Plugins

Find the WordPress Plugin you'd like to install in the search results.  It's a good idea to also check if this plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress here.  Choosing a compatible plugin which has been updated recently with good reviews will is much less likely to cause issues with your site.  You can see more information about the plugin and instructions for installation by clicking "More Details." After you decide which WordPress plugin to use, just click the "Install Now" button.

Installing WordPress Plugins

You will see this message as the image below if your WordPress plugin is successfully installed.  Don't forget to activate your plugin by clicking the blue link, "Activate Plugin."

Activate WordPress plugins

Installing a plugins is very simple and easy, however some WordPress Plugins require more steps to configure.  Always make sure to check the details page for plugin-specific instructions.

Manually Install WordPress Plugins via FTP

As mentioned above, there is more than just one way to install a plugin on your WordPress site.  You may wonder why you would ever need to install plugins manually.  There are a few reasons you might need to manually install:

  • If the WordPress Plugin you wish to install is not in the WordPress plugins directory
  • Your server does not allow automatic installation of a WordPress Plugin or hasn't been configured correctly
  • Or you want to control the placement and process of installing

Now let's learn how to install a WordPress plugin manually.

Step 1: Backup your website

Backup your entire website before proceeding.  This may seem tedious, but unless you really know what and how you're installing, you may break your WordPress installation.  An incompatible WordPress plugin may even lock you out of your WordPress site and you'll need to manually fix this in the database.

Step 2: Download the WordPress Plugin

Go download the WordPress Plugin you want to install to your desktop and extract the plugin folder if it's a zip file (you might also want to read the "readme" file if there is one.).

Step 3: Upload the WordPress Plugin

Open your favorite FTP client and connect to your host.  Inside your WordPress directory online, there is a "wp-content/plugins" folder.  Upload the plugin folder you extracted on the last step to here with your FTP program.  Make sure that the folder contains all the plugin files and directories.  If you upload a the folder while it's inside another folder ("plugin-name/plugin-name/files") your plugin will not work.

Step 4: Activate the WordPress Plugin

In your dashboard, go to "Plugins."  If you uploaded correctly by FTP, you will see the plugin you just uploaded in your list of plugins.  Click "Activate" and your new plugin has been installed.

Delete WordPress plugins

If you are not using a plugin anymore, you should delete it or at least inactivate it if you plan on using it again in the future.  Why?  Because having too many plugins installed may slow down your website's speed.  If it's a poorly coded plugin, this could dramatically affect your website's performance. Step 1: Uninstall WordPress Plugins On the "Plugins" screen in your dashboard, find the plugin you want to delete and click the "Uninstall" blue text under the plugin's name.

Deactivate WordPress plugins

Step 2: Delete WordPress Plugins

Under the plugin's title there is red text that says "Delete" next to the blue text that says "Activate."  To remove it completely, click "Delete" . Delete WordPress plugins

Clink "Yes, Delete these files" to delete this plugin permanently.  If you change your mind, click "No, Return me to the plugins list".

Delete these files 


Now you know how to install and delete your WordPress plugins!  We hope you found this guide helpful!