A screenshot of the official WordPress.org Plugins page

How to Install a WordPress Plugin

There are two ways to install a WordPress Plugin. You can install them automatically within WordPress, or you can do it manually. This tutorial will show you how to do both on the self-hosted version of WordPress.

Automatic Installation

Taking advantage of the one-click installation feature for WordPress Plugins in WordPress is a good option for those who are new to WordPress. There is no downloading and uploading of files. It’s really one-click.

In the Administration Panels, go to Plugins > Add New.

Screenshot of the menu to add a new WordPress Plugin

You will be brought to a new page that will contain a search bar. You can either enter in the name of the Plugin you wish to install or do a search by category. For example, if you want to install a Plugin for a calender, type “calender” in the search bar and you will get a list of all of the available Plugins that fit that category.

Automatic WordPress Plugin Install Searchbar

Here is what the search result page would look like if you had done a search for “calender.” The result page shows the name of the WordPress Plugin, the version, it’s rating, and a description of what the Plugin does. Once you’ve chosen the Plugin you wish you install, all you have to do is click Install Now.

A screenshot of the search result page when automatically installing a WordPress Plugin

After you’ve clicked the Install Now button, click Activate Plugin to turn the WordPress Plugin on to run on your site.

A screenshot of the activate Plugin page in WordPress

Congratulations, you’ve installed a WordPress Plugin using the Automatic Install method!

Manual Installation of a WordPress Plugin

To manually install a WordPress Plugin, you can either do it via the WordPress feature for uploading and installing a WordPress Plugin manually or through an FTP program. FileZilla is a popular FTP program choice. I will show you how to install it by uploading it directly to your WordPress site.

To download and manually install a WordPress Plugin from the official WordPress Plugin Directory, follow these instructions.

A screenshot of the official WordPress.org Plugins page

Similar to the automatic method, you can either search for your WordPress Plugin by name or by category. We’ll search for “calender” again. You will be brought to a list of search results. Click on the name of a Plugin you would like, and you will see a screen like this that shows similar information about the Plugin as you would see on the search result page shown in the automatic install method. Click Download.

A screenshot of the information screen for a WordPress.org Plugin

Once you’ve downloaded it, go back to your WordPress blog and click on the Add New link that I showed in the automatic install method. After clicking that, you will see this:

A screenshot of the menu for uploading a WordPress Plugin manually

After clicking Upload, you will see this:

A screenshot of the button to browse for a downloaded WordPress Plugin

After clicking Browse, a screen will pop up for you to search for the location on your computer that you downloaded your Plugin to. The default location is often the Downloads folder.

When you’ve found your Plugin and selected it, you will now see this:

A screenshot of the button to install a downloaded WordPress Plugin

Click Install Now. Like in the automatic install method, after clicking Install Now, you will be brought to a page that shows it being installed. All you have to do now is click Activate Now.

Congratulations, you’ve just manually installed a WordPress Plugin!

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