How To Install A WordPress Plugin Manually

Figuring out how to install a WordPress plugin manually is one of the key learning steps any new WordPress user needs to learn.

First off, what does a WordPress plugin do? A plugin is a modular piece of code that kind of slots into your site to add extra features, and it can be turned off or on at the click of a button. Plugins can be as simple as allowing you to easily change your font or background colour or as complex as being able to turn your site into an ecommerce site.

how to install a wordpress plugin - google search

However it really is quite simple once you have done it. Lets go through it step by step.

Finding a plugin.

The first step ideally is to find a plugin you want to install. This can be done from inside your WordPress dashboard, but its often easier to do by using good old Google. Lets say you want a plugin to add a Facebook like button to your site.

Start by Googling something like “Facebook like wordpress plugin”

Find a plugin that seems good to you, try and make sure the rating is reasonable and that it has been updated recently (within the past 6-12 months) so that you know it is more likely to be up to date.

how to install a wordpress plugin - checking its up to dateOnce you have found it, make a note of its name.

Installing the plugin

In your WordPress dashboard, go to the Plugins menu and click Add New.

At the top of this page are 5 text links which are often overlooked. Really the first two (Search and Upload) are the two main ones you will use.

As you are already on the Search option, simply type or paste the name of the plugin you found into the search box and click “Search Plugins”.

how to install a wordpress plugin - install plugin searchYour plugin should come up the top of the list but sometimes WordPress’ search function is a bit silly and it may show up further down the list, I like to check that its the right plugin by comparing the Author Name.

Find it and click Install Now.

Click the OK button on the pop up that appears and wait.

Once its done simply click the activate link  that appears in order to make the plugin  usable. Then its just a  matter of checking the plugins settings to make sure that everything is ok and you are done!

how to install a wordpress plugin - activate pluginThe Upload link is very similar, but basically if you have the plugin zip (compressed archive) file on your computer you can upload it to the website and then the instructions are the same.


If you need to install the plugin without logging into WordPress, then you need to use an FTP program. Download the plugin and unzip it in a folder on your computer. Log into the FTP program and navigate to your plugins folder on the site normally this is:


Then simply copy the plugin (including its folder) to the plugins folder on your sites server. The next time you log into WordPress the plugin will be there though you will need to activate it.

Once you have mastered how to install a wordpress plugin manually, you will find it becomes second nature and that you can expand your sites functionality without using any code.