For the DIYers who want to do WordPress on their own, this one’s for you.
Are you confused on how to install a plugin?
Or are you afraid of getting it wrong?
Fret not, below are the steps on how to install a WordPress plugin. But before that, if you don’t know what a plugin is, read my blog WordPress Plugin and What Can It Do to Your Website.
There are 2 ways to install a plugin. Click the title what best fits your needs:
Installing via Dashboard
Installing a plugin via dashboard is pretty straightforward and does not need you to go out of your website.
Step 1. First, go to your dashboard and look for “Plugins” then click “Add New”.
Step 2. After clicking, your dashboard will show you the Add New section. Now, we will install a plugin using the ‘search’ found at the upper right side of the dashboard.
You may notice the “Upload Plugin” at the upper left side but I will discuss it later.
Step 3. Now, type in the plugin that you wish to download. If you already know the plugin that you want to use, then type it in the search form. If not, you can use keywords for the functions that you want.
For example, if you want a carousel or slider effect in your photos, you might want to type the keyword “slider” . It will come back with plugin recommendations within the repository.
Step 4. Next, after choosing the plugin, click the “Install Now” and the button shows you an “Installing…” status. It means that WordPress is trying to install the plugin you want.
After that, the button will turn into “Activate”. Click it to finish your install.
Step 5. After installing, the plugin that I added appears at the menu dashboard. Enjoy!
Not all plugins can be found at the menu dashboard
Uploading the Plugin
The method mentioned above is by far the easiest way to install a plugin. Also, that works if the plugin is in the WordPress repository.
But what if the plugin you want is outside the repository or you’re on wordpress.org and want to get hold of that plugin?
Now in this tutorial, this will help you install a plugin by uploading.
Step 1. Go over to the wordpress.org and click Plugins.
Step 2. Next, go over to the search bar and type the plugin you want.
Step 3. In this example, let’s use the Smart Slider 3 again. Now click the plugin and it will lead you to a page that gives you more details about it.
Step 4. Now that you’re on the Smart Slider 3 page, at the upper right you can see the “Download” button, click it.
Step 5. Save it on your PC (it will save a .zip file, leave it be) and go back to your dashboard.
Step 6. Now back at your dashboard, go again to Plugins -> Add New -> click the “Upload Plugin”.
Step 7. Upon clicking, a “choose file” appears. Upload the .zip file that you have downloaded from wordpress.org.
Step 8. After downloading, WordPress will unpack the zip and install the plugin. Then after that, click the “Activate Plugin”.
Step 9. Plugin already installed and activated, enjoy!
Plugins Outside WordPress
Now, there are plugins that can only be found outside the WordPress repository and installed by uploading it. You can experience it when you buy a premium plugin from an online marketplace.
One example is the Envato Market. It’s an online community where you can shop for themes and plugins that you might need on your WordPress site.