How to Install WordPress Plugins in 3 Practical Ways

WordPress is the most used blogging software. If you want to learn how to install WordPress plugins, you have come to the right place.  

Top bloggers in the world are using self-hosted WordPress as it is useful to create a blog or website for their needs. It has thousands of plugins in the WordPress repository as well as in some private repositories like GitHub to expand its features.

Not only that, but there are also many premium WordPress plugins developers who create custom plugins at an affordable cost. For everything we need, there is a plugin out there.

In simple words, a WordPress plugin is similar like add-on feature that the WordPress doesn’t have by default. If you feel like WordPress lacks some features, go for searching the plugins which give the specific features. For example, WordPress is not SEO optimized. For this, we need an SEO plugin and RankMath is the best choice for it.

After completing the important tasks after installing WordPress, we have to install the necessary plugins needed. We can easily install WordPress plugins in three different ways.

  1. Install using the plugin search feature of WordPress.
  2. Install using the downloaded Zip File from WordPress or any other repository.
  3. Install Through FTP or web file manager.

This article is about how to install WordPress plugins and you will learn these three different ways to install WordPress plugins. To learn about installing WordPress, check the guide to install WordPress on HostGator.

How to Install WordPress Plugins?

To install a WordPress plugin, you can choose any of the following three methods.

1. Search and Install WordPress Plugins

We can search for plugins available in the WordPress repository from our self-hosted WordPress blogs itself. It is the easiest way to install WordPress plugins. Follow the steps given below.

In your WordPress Dashboard go to ‘Plugins → Add New’.

Add New Plugin
Add New Plugin

The available plugins will be shown. You can install any plugin shown based on popularity or search for the plugin you needed and then install it by pressing the ‘Install Now’ button.

Search and Install Plugins
Search and Install Plugins

After Installing click on ‘Activate’ button to activate the plugin and do the plugin settings.

Activate the Installed Plugin
Activate the Installed Plugin

2. Download and Install WordPress Plugins

If you have the setup file for your WordPress plugin, you can use this method to install it.

Apart from the WordPress repository, there are some other repositories available like GitHub to get WordPress plugins. Also, some bloggers create and actively maintain WordPress plugins and host on their sites to make it available to the world for free. Hence, there are some companies like MyThemeShop which create WordPress plugins and sell them to users.

To install those plugins, we have to get the installation files and upload them to our server. WordPress itself provides an interface to upload installation files. Follow the steps given below to install your downloaded WordPress plugins.

In your dashboard Go to ‘Plugins → New’.

Click on the ‘Upload Plugin’ button which is on the top of the page.

Click on ‘Choose File’ button and after selecting the plugin we need to install from your computer, you have to click ‘Install Now’ button.

Upload WordPress Plugin
Upload WordPress Plugin if You have the setup file.

After Installation, click on ‘Activate Plugin’ button.

Activate the Installed Plugin
Activate the Installed Plugin

3. Install WordPress Plugins through FTP/File Manager

If you have many plugins’ setup files and you want to install them in ease, go for this method.

You can browse your website files using the file manager or through FTP service given by your hosting provider. You can also use FTP desktop clients like File Zilla. To install WordPress plugins, you can directly upload it to the WordPress folder through FTP/File Manager. Follow the steps given below.

Go to your website Control Panel and click on ‘File Manager’.  

Go to File Manager
Go to the File Manager of Your Hosting Provider.

Go to the folder where you WordPress is installed (Mostly public_html).

Then go to the folder ‘plugins’ which is inside the ‘wp-content’ folder.

Browsing public_html folder
Browsing public_html folder where the wp-content folder is available.
Go to Plugins Folder
Go to Plugins Folder

Click on ‘upload’ icon.

Click upload Icon to upload files
Click upload Icon to upload files into Plugins folder

You will get the upload interface. Using this you can upload multiple files at the same time. Upload all your plugin setup files.

Select Files to Upload in File Manager
Select Files to Upload in the interface given by File Manager.
Click to Upload button
Click to Upload button to upload all the selected files.

After the files uploaded into the ‘plugins’ folder, right-click on the files and click on ‘Extract Here’.

Extract Uploaded Files
Right click on uploaded files and get option to Extract Uploaded Files

After extracting, delete the setup files. Now we have installed the plugins we needed. Next, we have to activate them.

Go to your WordPress dashboard and go to ‘Plugins → Installed Plugins’. There you can see all the installed plugins. Activate the plugin you want.  

Activate the Installed Plugins
Activate the Installed Plugins through WordPress Dashboard.

If want a video tutorial to learn these ways, check the video given below which is found on YouTube.

Beginners Tutorials to Install WordPress plugins.

Tips Should Be Considered While Installing WordPress Plugins

  • Please note that a plugin increases the storage space of your website. So, avoid installing unnecessary plugins. Before installing a plugin try to know the purpose of it and decide whether or not you need it.
  • Plugins may create security vulnerabilities to your WordPress site. So, avoid installing plugins from unknown sources. Before installing a WordPress plugin, check the review of it over the internet. Also, check the review of the plugin provider.
  • Two plugins with the same functionality will get conflicted. So, install only one plugin for a purpose.


You have learnt how to install WordPress plugins. If you have not installed WordPress yet, check the guide to install WordPress install on HostGator. For security concerns please change your WordPress admin username (13 important tasks should be done after installing WordPress).

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