How to Install a WordPress Plugin

Install a wordpress plugin
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Written by Simon

Last Updated 15/12/2023

So what are WordPress plugins and how do they work? There are over 50,000 different types of plugins available to install on your WordPress website. These range from sliding banners to e-commerce stores and even ones that can turn your website into an e-learning platform. But not all plugins are created equally…some are free and some you’ll need to purchase or subscribe to.

Recommended Reading: What is a Plugin?

How do I Install a WordPress Plugin?

There are a few ways to install a plugin to your WordPress website. We’re going to cover the two most common and least technical. Both of these ways need to be uploaded in the same area of your website’s back office. 

Recommended Reading: Log into WordPress Back Office

WordPress Plugin installation:

  1. Log into your WordPress Back Office
  2. Click Plugins on the left hand side
  3. Click Add New button
  4. Search for your plugin
  5. Click Install Now button
  6. After the plugin has installed, click the Activate Button

Below is a step-by-step process with screenshots.

Plugin Search

Head to your dashboard and look for Plugins in the black bar to the left hand side. 

Adding a WordPress plugin

In the top left corner click “Add New”

Image shows where the add new button is

Head over to the search bar and let’s try adding one of the most commonly used page builders: Elementor.

As we mentioned before, you should only use trusted developers. A good way to tell the credibility of developer is to look at their ratings. As we can see, Elementor has 5 stars, 5,674 reviews and over 5 million instillations – which is impressive to say the least! From this we can determine that this is a developer we can trust.

So let’s click Install. The box will turn blue and should now say “Activate”. Click this and we have now just installed our very first plugin.

Screenshot showing where the install now button is to install Elementor

Hot Tip!

If you want to install multiple plugins, do not click Activate.

Search for each one you need and only click Install. Once you have all the plugins you need, head to Plugins>Installed Plugins>check all the boxes on the left>select the dropdown box at the top of the page>Activate>Apply. Hey presto, you’ve just installed a batch of plugins!

.zip File Upload

The second most popular method to upload a plugin is via a .zip file

WARNING: Only do this if you 100% trust the developer. 

WordPress Plugin .zip upload installation:

  1. Log into your WordPress Back Office
  2. Click Plugins on the left hand side
  3. Click Add New button
  4. Click Upload Plugin button
  5. Click Choose file button
  6. Find your .zip file on your harddrive
  7. Click the Open button
  8. Click Install Now Button
  9. After the plugin has installed, click the Activate Button

Below is a step-by-step process with screenshots.

Adding a WordPress plugin through zip file

This will open a small pop-up window on your browser. Look for the file you want to upload and select it.

It is important to remember that the file MUST be a .zip file. Occasionally when developers send you files to upload, they might come as a regular file.

Convert a regular file to .zip

Create a .zip on Windows
  1. Right click file
  2. Send to
  3. Compressed Folder
Create a .zip on Mac
  1. Right click file
  2. Compress

Once this is done you should be able to upload it with no problems.

uploading a zip file from your computer

Recommended Reading: Update a WordPress Plugin

How to Uninstall a Plugin

To deactivate a plugin, again ensure your website is backed up.

Follow the steps below to uninstall a plugin:

  1. Log into your WordPress Back Office
  2. Click Plugins on the left hand side
  3. Check the box next the to plugin you want to uninstall
  4. Select the drop down menu
  5. Click Deactivate
  6. Result the plugin and on the drop down click Delete

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