How To Add and Install WordPress Plugins Properly

Last Updated on 27th November 2022 by Ajmer Singh

After successful installation of WordPress, the first thing that comes into mind is “How to add plugins to WordPress??”

To add more functionalities to your website, plugins play an important role.

So, in this article, I am going to tell you how to properly add and install plugins to WordPress.

But before starting, I want to clarify that you cannot install a plugin in WordPress.com until you upgrade to their business plan.

WordPress.com is limited that’s why I always recommend WordPress.org.

How to add and install WordPress plugins

You can add and install plugins in 3 different ways,

1. Plugin Search from Dashboard

It is one of the easiest ways to install a plugin in WordPress.

You will find a lot of plugins by searching here and yes most of these plugins are free.

As I said it’s simple, just click on add plugin, and in the search bar look for the plugin you want.

how to add plugins to wordpress

You will get a lot of options for every search.

Compare every plugin with reviews, ratings, etc., and then select the best one according to your needs.

After that click on install now, wait for a few seconds then activate it.

For example, we are looking for an SEO plugin, you will see a lot of plugins are available like Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, RankMath, SEO Framework, etc.

We are already using Yoast SEO that’s why you can see the active option there.

Yoast SEO is one of the best plugins for SEO but as I said compare before using any plugin.

RankMath gives proper competition to every other SEO plugin.

See the comparison Yoast vs RankMath SEO

2. Upload a Plugin

There are a lot of paid plugins that are not available in the plugin directory like the WP Rocket cache plugin.

To install these plugins WordPress gives you the option to upload.

Download the plugin from their website. The file will be in the .zip format.

Next click on the upload plugin, then choose a file (select your plugin file in .zip format).

how to add plugins to wordpress

upload plugin to wordpress

Click on install now. After the plugin will be installed, activate it.

Done, now you can use this plugin.

3. Manually install a Plugin via FTP

This process is not for beginners, so if you are new to WordPress then avoid using this and go for the above two steps.

In the second method, you downloaded a plugin file and upload it, but in this process, you need to download a plugin file and extract this .zip file into a folder.

Here you have to access your host FTP manager, if you don’t know the username and password then ask your hosting provider.

Some are using third-party software like FileZilla to access their FTP, while some are using managed hosting accounts to access the file manager. 

Connect your site using the id password and go to /wp-content/plugins/.

FTP Client access wordpress

Next, you need to upload the folder you extracted to this /wp-content/plugins/.

Done, now visit your WordPress admin dashboard and check the installed plugins.

You will see the plugin is installed, next, you need to activate the plugin.

FAQ about installing plugins in WordPress!

As a beginner, you might have tons of questions popping into your mind about the installation of plugins on WordPress.

We have provided answers to some of the questions below,

Can I add plugins to free WordPress?

WordPress.com does not allow users to install plugins, especially for those on a free, premium, and personal plan.

You can only install a plugin if you upgrade to their business plan which costs $299 per year.

If you don’t have $299 or you don’t want to upgrade to their business plan, you can move your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

How To Start A Blog In WordPress.org

Do plugins slow down WordPress?

Yes, this is because of the quality of some plugins.

However, some well-built plugins have little or no effect on your WordPress site.

The perfect idea is to check out the performance of your site before and after you install the plugin.

Or read our guide on how plugins slow down your site.

What plugins do I need for WordPress?

how to add plugins to wordpress

It’s no news that you will need plugins for your WordPress site.

However, the number of plugins you will have depends on your needs.

Check our list of must-have plugins for beginners.

How do I find plugins on WordPress?

The easiest way to find plugins on WordPress is to visit the Plugin>Add new tab on your WordPress admin area to search for your plugin of choice.

Should I deactivate inactive plugins?

Yes, if you are not using a plugin on your WordPress site, it is best to delete it from your site.

How many plugins can I install on my site?

You can install as many plugins as you want, what affects your site performance is not the quantity, but quality.

What are plugins used for?

The plugin adds extra functionality to your WordPress site.

That’s all, I hope now you understand how to add plugins to WordPress.

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