After installing WordPress, the first thing every beginner needs to learn is how to install a WordPress plugin.
In simple words, WordPress plugins are like apps for your WordPress website. They allow you to add new features to WordPress like a contact form, slideshow, shopping cart, and more.
There are thousands of free and paid plugins available for WordPress. In this step by step guide, we will show you how to install a WordPress plugin.
If you are using WordPress.com, then you cannot install plugins.
We often get complaints from users saying that they can’t see the plugins menu in their WordPress dashboard. It is because you are using WordPress.com, 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 plugin you want on your self hosted WordPress.org website right out of the box.
How to Install a WordPress Plugin
We have covered two methods: installing a WordPress plugin using search, and uploading a WordPress plugin.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Install a Plugin using WordPress Plugin Search
The easiest way of installing a WordPress plugin is to use the plugin search. The only downside of this option is that a plugin must be in the WordPress plugin directory which is limited to only free plugins.
First thing you need to visit the Plugins » Add New page inside your WordPress admin area.
You will see a screen like the one in the screenshot above. Find the plugin by typing the plugin name or the functionality you are looking for. After that, you will see a bunch of listings like the example below:
You can pick the plugin that is best for you. Since in our search, we were looking for WPForms which is the best WordPress contact form plugin, we’ll click the ‘Install Now’ button next to it.
WordPress will now download and install the plugin for you. After this, you’ll notice the ‘Install Now’ button will change into the ‘Activate’ button.
A WordPress plugin can be installed on your site, but it will not work unless you activate it. So go ahead and click on the activate button to start using that plugin on your WordPress site.
That’s all, you have successfully installed your first WordPress plugin.
The next step is to configure the plugin settings. These settings will vary for each plugin therefore we will not be covering that in this post.
Install a Plugin using the WordPress Admin Plugin Upload
Paid WordPress plugins are not listed in the WordPress plugin directory. These plugins cannot be installed using the first method.
That’s why WordPress comes with the upload method to install such plugins. We will show you how to install WordPress plugins using the upload option in the admin area.
First, you need to download the plugin from the source (which will be a zip file). Next, you need to go to WordPress admin area and visit Plugins » Add New page.
After that, click on the ‘Upload Plugin’ button on top of the page.
This will reveal the plugin upload form. Here you need to click on the ‘Choose File’ button and select the plugin file you downloaded earlier to your computer.
After you have selected the file, you need to click on the ‘Install Now’ button.
WordPress will now upload 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 Activate Plugin link to start using the plugin.
You would have to configure the settings to fit your needs. These settings will vary for each plugin therefore we will not be covering that in this post.
We hope this guide helped you learn how to install WordPress plugins.