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How to Install WordPress Plugins

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You have two options for finding compatible WordPress Plugins, browsing the WordPress Plugins Directory, and using the WordPress admin panel.

WordPress Plugins Directory

The WordPress Plugins Directory is found on the WordPress site Plugin page.

The WordPress Plugins Directory is a browsable online directory of plugins. The Plugins Directory is also browsable from within the WordPress admin panel, but you might wish to browse the directory at a time when you aren't logged in to the admin panel or aren't otherwise working on your WordPress site, and some information about plugins is only viewable from the full-scale plugins directory on WordPress.org.

Finding the WordPress Plugin Directory

  1. In the left sidebar, click the Plugins optionplugins option image
  2. In the top of the Plugins page, click the Add New buttonadd new image
  3. This will take you to the plugin directoryplugin directory image

You can search the directory by using the search bar or by popularity, recommendation, and more.

You can search the directory by name, plugin tag, or description.

You can also browse the directory, sorting and filtering by featured plugins, popularity, your favorite plugins, plugins that are still in testing, and plugins from a particular developer.

The Plugins Directory features important information that you can use in making a decision about whether to use a plugin and how to get support for a plugin.

Installing a Plugin from the WordPress Admin Panel 

From the WordPress Admin Panel, you can browse plugins in a way that is similar to the Plugins Directory, although at times with less information available for display.

When you find a plugin you like, you can favorite it to make finding the plugin easier later when it's time to install.

Adding a Plugin

If you find a plugin you like, click the Install Now button on the plugin’s information blockinstall now image

Once the plugin is installed, it will need to be activated before it can influence your site. Click Activate to turn it on.activate image

The plugin will now begin to affect your site.


Some plugins require extra configuration. If that is the case, it will likely now have an option listed in the left sidebar of the WordPress admin interface. plugin option listing image

Many plugins require or allow for some customization or configuration of their setup. A great place to find information about configuring your plugin is from the plugin's entry in the WordPress Plugins Directory.

A plugin's page will typically list support information, a link to an external page where you can learn more about the plugin, or other installation and configuration information.

Installing Plugins Manually 

We only recommend doing this if you are an intermediate WordPress user.

It is important to back your site up before installing a plugin manually.

It is generally advised that you install plugins automatically wherever possible. However, you might wish to install a plugin manually if you need to have control over where the plugin is in your server's filesystem, or the plugin is unavailable in the Plugins Directory.

Installing an incompatible plugin, or installing a plugin from an untrusted source might put your site at risk and limit our ability to provide support for your site.

When your site is backed up and you have verified the authenticity and compatibility of the plugin that you intend to install, you may install a plugin manually as follows:

  1. Download the plugin to your local machine
  2. Read and familiarize yourself with the plugin's installation instructions
  3. Using SFTP or SSH, if available, copy the plugin folder from your local machine to the wp-content/plugins folder on your server
  4. Log in to the WordPress Admin Panel
  5. Find your plugin in the Plugins section of the Admin Panel
  6. If the plugin is properly installed and configured, you may click Activate to start the plugin
Updated on August 4, 2023

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