2 Ways to Install WordPress Plugin

There are many methods available to install a WordPress Plugin. Some are good for beginner and some for expert. WordPress Plugins are add-ons which extend and expand the functionality of WordPress. These also simplify some of the maintenance activities like Blog Backup and Restore, SEO, Database Cleanup, etc. Using plugins, you can convert a normal site to e-commerce, Deals, Reviews, Mobile app site.

In this article, I am going to explain 2 ways to install a WordPress Plugin.

WordPress has a huge list of free and premium plugins. You can visit this page for a list of available plugins. There are two methods to install it,

  1. Auto-install using admin toolbar
  2. Manually install using cPanel file manager


How to Install plugin using admin toolbar

This is the easiest and recommended methods. It is best for beginners or novice users who do not have any technical information about WordPress file structure.

Login to dashboard with admin username. Admin toolbar is on the left side of the screen.

wordpress plugin menu

Navigate to Plugins menu as shown in above image.

  • Installed Plugins – This is a complete list of plugins installed at your site.
  • Add New – Use this option to add new plugin to a site
  • Editor – Use this option to modify the plugin code.


Not we want to add a new plugin, so Click on Plugin -> Add New to open repository. It opens a list of available plugins. Search for the required plugin and click on install.

There are two methods available, check image for reference.

Search and Install

Search the repository using Keyboard and click on Install Now. WordPress downloads and installs it for you in the background. Post-installation click on Activate button.

install wordpress plugin options

Upload Plugin

Some plugins may not be available on repository page as individual developer or organizations publishes those. You can purchase those and use this upload method to install it. Here I am going to use WP Super Cache for demonstration. Download it on your local desktop from WP Super Cache link.

Navigate to the plugin page and click on Upload Plugin Button. Browse source file and upload it. Click on install and then on Activate Plugin link.

activate plugin


Manually Install using C-Panel File manager

This is another method to install a plugin and it is good for those who have a good understanding of the WordPress file structure and access to cPanel. You should always use WordPress Dashboard to install it, this is just an exception.

Plugins are having direct access to your site and data. So make sure you are downloading it from WordPress repository or trusted third-party. It should be free from any virus or malware. Scan it using Anti-Virus like Norton, AVG before uploading to the site.

Login to cPanel of a site and navigate to File Manager.

Navigate to home -> public_html-> your_domain.com -> wp-content -> plugins. This is defalut locaton to store plugins file.

cpanel plugins folder

Upload the zip file using Upload command as shown in above image. Post upload unzip the file using extract command in the directory.

extract plugin files

No need to create a separate folder as extract utility creates a required folder for you. Extract plugin files/folder directly under plugins folder as shown below. WordPress does not recognize it if in a subfolder.

extracted file under main plugin folder

That’s it, close the cPanel and login to WordPress dashboard and navigate to the plugin page. You can see it is available, but not active. Click on Activate link as shown in below image.

Click activate link

You can also directly FTP files to your site, but as aforesaid, install it using WordPress Dashboard only. It is an easy and safe method.

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