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install wordpress plugin

Last Updated on August 16, 2020 by Faisal Rehman

After installing WordPress on our host, the next step is to install WordPress plugin manually. Before you launch your WordPress blog for business, it is absolutely necessary to install the recommended WordPress plugins. I use to say where there is a problem, there is a WordPress plugin. There are 55,126 WordPress plugins in the wordpress.org plugin directory on this day when I am writing this page and new plugins are added everyday.

It’s really simple to install WordPress plugin manually with the help of WordPress dashboard. But before installing a plugin on WordPress, we should check certain things about the plugin.

Let’s check out!

1. Important Things to Check about a plugin

Before we install any plugin on WordPress, there are certain things that are really important to check. Let’s break down those important points.

i. Check Rating & Reviews

We can check the rating of any plugin with Google or on wordpress.org site. For example, I have checked about the Akismet Anti-Spam plugin [You can activate it using this guide] which has a rating of 4.7 with 847 votes. It is an excellent rating, so we can install this plugin without any worries. Also read the reviews from the people who share their experience about the plugin.

akismet api key install wordpress plugin

ii. Check the recent update

The developers of the plugin update their plugins regularly and upload the recent version. Therefore, avoid installing such plugins that has no latest update and their last version is 2 or 3 years old. Try not to install outdated plugins and wordpress.org also warns about it. The following image shows the WP Forms plugin and it was updated 3 weeks ago, so it’s very safe to install. It is one of the most famous WordPress plugins to build forms and has a rating of 4.9 out of 5.

check wordpress plugin recent update

iii. No. of Active Installations

If a certain plugin has installations in millions, that means millions of people use this plugin. Akismet Anti Spam, WP Forms, Yoast SEO and Classic Editor are some examples of very popular plugins. Highest number of installations prove that people love such plugins.

iv. Try to Avoid such Plugins

See the below snap of an outdated plugin.

do not install outdated wordpress plugin

The last update of this plugin is 6 years ago and the developer didn’t maintain it and there is official warning too by WordPress. Such plugins can compromise your website or even break it completely.

So these are some important facts you should check before installing any plugin.

Related:

Top 20 Best WordPress Plugins

2. How to Install WordPress Plugin Manually

It is the most popular and commom method to install a WordPress plugin manually. Login to the WordPress dashboard, scroll down and go to plugins under Appearance and click Add New.

Search for the plugin you like to install in the search bar. Once you find the plugin, just click install now to install the plugin. In this example, I am going to install a plugin for ads manager known as Advanced Ads to place ads on my site. It also integrates with Google AdSence.

wordpress add plugin

It will just a couple of seconds to install the plugin. After the installation, activate the plugin.

add plugin banner ads

Now go to plugins and check under installed plugins. You should see the plugin is in active state. At the top right, there is a search bar to search the installed plugins.

wordpress install plugin without ftp

3. How to Install a WordPress Plugin from zip

In this method, you can upload a plugin compressed in a .zip file. Not every plugin is listed in the WordPress free plugins directory, some of the plugins are paid and people purchase them before installing. Therefore, once you purchase a plugin, you will get the .zip file of that plugin.

List of WordPress Paid Plugins

So first download the plugin from the site where you purchased it or from WordPress plugins directory if you just want to try. Go to Plugins and click Add New, press the Upload plugin button. Browse the downloaded file in your computer and upload the .zip file and press install now.

manual installation of the plugin on wordpress

Similarly activate it as we did above after the installation is complete. Go to installed plugins to confirm the plugin is active.

install the plugin by admin upload

4. Install WordPress Plugin via FTP

This is not a beginner friendly method and can take a little bit of your time. Because we need to install a FTP File Zilla client to upload the plugin via FTP. FTP stands for file transfer protocol and it helps to manually upload the files and directories from our local computer to the remote host.

Related:

Best WordPress SEO Plugin

In order to connect via FTP, we will need the FTP credentials. You can go to the hosting control panel and under FTP accounts, you will get the FTP credentials of your account. In any case, please contact your hosting provider and they will let you know about the credentials.

You will need:

  1. Hostname or IP
  2. Username
  3. Password

At the top of the FileZilla client, fill up the boxes with required credentials and connect. [FTP port is 21]

After the connection is successful, go to the folder where you extracted the plugin. The right side is where your website’s is located, go to the plugins directory which can be /domain.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins.

Now simply hold the folder with pointer, drag it and upload into the plugins directory.

wordpress ftp plugin

See the above image and follow accordingly. Sometimes you may face certain connectivity issues, so try to change the protocol or port or ask your hosting provider.

Now come back to the WordPress dashboard,find the plugins under installed plugins. Simply click activate to use it.

v. Deactivate/Delete a WordPress Plugin

Every installed plugin has the deactivate option under it. But make sure to deactivate the plugin as you might loose the plugin settings for a live site. Deactivating the plugin makes in in-active and after that delete it permanently under in-active plugins.

how to delete a wordpress plugin

vi. Plugin Status

There are 4 different status of plugins in WordPress dashboard.

  1. Active, those plugins that are currently active
  2. In Active, those plugins that are in de-activated state
  3. Update Available, the plugins whose update is available
  4. Drop ins, these are single files, you can find in the wp-content directory

5. Final Thoughts

If you have the full admin access to the WordPress dashboard, use the first method to quickly install the plugin. It is very fast and easy to install. The other methods work smoothly as well, when you purchase a plugin from a third-party website, they will share the .zip file. You need to upload that file to install the plugin. In case of any user restrictions by the admin or hosting, FTP is a great option to manually upload the plugin to install. Just try to install few plugins by every means, once your learn, deactivate and delete them as unnecessary plugins make the site heavy.

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