How do I install a WordPress plugin on my WordPress blog?

We’ve had quite a few enquiries recently saying “I want to install such and such a plugin on my WordPress blog, how do I do it?” so I thought a blog post was in order.

There are 2 ways to install plugins – through your admin panel and ‘manually’ – below are WordPress’s own instructions regarding how to do both.

Through the admin panel is easiest – log in and then:

From the Administration Panels, click on the Plugin tab. Once you have uploaded a plugin to your WordPress plugin directory, activate it from the Plugins Management page, and sit back and watch your plugin work.

To be honest, this does work well for most of the plugins – and if you have a little time, searching for plugins to install from the admin panel can while away a few hours, and result in you installing and playing with oodles of plugins – it’s very addictive!

If you have to manually install¬† plugin it’s a little more complicated – you’ll need FTP software and your FTP logins (an address, username and password – if you don’t know them, your web designer/host can probably give them to you).

So, once you have this, follow these instructions:

  1. Read through the “readme” file thoroughly that usually accompanies a plugin, or the website article from where you found the plugin. It is often helpful to print out the instructions so you can check off the installation steps as you complete them.
  2. Upload the plugin to the wp-content/plugins folder in your WordPress directory online.
  3. Make any changes to templates or files as required by the Plugin instructions including adding Plugin template tags.
  4. Activate the Plugin:
    1. Access the Plugin Panel in your Administration Panels
    2. Scroll down through the list of Plugins to find the newly installed Plugin (if not visible, start from the beginning to check to see if you followed the instructions properly and uploaded the file correctly).
    3. Click on the Activate link to turn the Plugin on.
  5. Continue making any modifications necessary from the “readme” file instructions to make the plugin’s actions meet your needs.

They make it sound very easy, and if you know what you’re doing, it is. However, we do realise that the above 5 steps may sound like gobbledygook to some people, so maybe the video below will help:

If you’re still struggling to add a plugin to your blog, or to get it to work properly,¬† please see our WordPress Plugin Installation Help service.

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About Nikki

Author of many 30 Day Blogging Challenges, Nikki spends her time helping small businesses with Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing. With 17 years of experience, she hasn't yet found someone she couldn't help to get more business from their website.


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