If you are just starting out on a WordPress blog, and want to learn how to setup and install your plugins, rest assured you have came to the right place. There are three methods to install WordPress plugins, and each method has it’s own advantages. So check out all the methods, especially the third one that gives you the ability to upload multiple WordPress plugins on many blogs at once.
Method #1 – Searching and Installing the Plugin within WordPress Dashboard
Managing WordPress plugins is very easy once you get familiar with it. Installing, activating, deactivating and removing of plugins are bread and butter when you own a WordPress blog. Here are the steps:
- on the left navigation bar, look for the Plugins menu, then click on Add New
- next search for the plugin you want to install. If you are setting up your blog for the first time, check out the popular and recommended sections. It is advisable to use plugins that have been updated for your WordPress version. If you find any plugins that have not been updated for a year or more, do not use them, as it may not work and in worse cases, bring down your blog.
- for this tutorial, we will use the plugin “Contact Form 7” as an example. Click on the button Install Now, after which you will be see WordPress reporting on the installation (as per the image below)
- once installation is complete, click on the link Activate Plugin
- to see all your installed plugins, from WordPress left navigation bar, choose Plugins > Installed Plugins
- if the WordPress plugin you installed requires any setting/configuration, you will need to get it done so that the plugin can function properly.
This method is commonly used to install plugins as it is convenient. The only drawback is you need to be precise when you search for the plugin that you want. The way that most of the WordPress plugins are being named are too generic in my opinion.
Method #2 – Uploading Plugin via your WordPress Dashboard
This method involves the uploading of the plugin within your WordPress control panel. You need to have the plugin in *.zip format before you begin. Most of the time why people want to use method is because they need an older version, rather than the latest that can be downloaded from WordPress plugins repository. One common reason for using an older version is that the latest is causing incompatibility with their blogs.
If you have received or downloaded the *.zip files from suspicious sources, please do a scan first before you upload them to your website.
- First, access the plugin menu. Plugins > Add New
- Next, click on the button Upload Plugin
- after clicking on the button to upload plugin, you can now browse and upload your plugin to the blog. The plugin must be in .zip format
- after you have choosing your plugin, click on the button Install Now
- complete the process by activating the plugin
Method #3 – Installing WordPress Plugins Using FTP
The third method requires basic knowledge on how to use a FTP. In this example, I am using FileZilla to illustrate. This method is very useful and practical for webmasters who owes multiple WordPress blogs. Imagine you have 20 or 50 blogs, how long is it going to take if you need to install 5 new plugins on each and every blog? Using method #1 or #2, takes probably 3~5 mins to install one plugin. If you need to install on multiple blogs, this method can save you at least an hour.
Do your backups first before proceed.
Without further ado, here is how you do it:
- make sure that you have already unzipped the plugin
- launch your FTP program and connect to your server
- locate the plugin folder that you want to upload
- the directory to upload your plugin to is /wp-content/plugins
- repeat for as many plugins as you want
- to check on your plugin(s) installation, scroll to your WordPress left navigation bar Plugins > Installed Plugins
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