Here I am going to cover how to install plugins through your desktop. This is one of three ways to install a WordPress plugin. In addition to the method I will cover here, you can also upload it direct through your WordPress dashboard, which I will cover in another tutorial and also you can install it by FTP. If you do not know what FTP is then do not worry and you certainly don’t have to learn it to install a plugin, just stick to one of the other two methods.
The method here will work with any plugin, whether it is from the Plugin Directory at wordpress.org, or whether it is a premium one that you have purchased or, indeed, have obtained from anywhere else. For this step by step I’ll show obtaining a plugin from wordpress.org.
Go to wordpress.org, and click on ‘Plugins’. When you do this, in the centre of the page, you will see a search box. Use this to find the plugin you want. You can search by the exact name if you know it, by type, even by popularity. We’ll assume here that I’m searching for SEO (search engine optimisation). You then get shown a list which you can look through.
Click on the plugin you want and you will get taken to that plugins page. Here you have an opportunity to look at the details to ensure it is the one you want. If it is, then click on the download button, as shown below.
This will open up a download box and you should click on ‘save file’. You should save it on your desktop, in a file of your choosing or anywhere else, as long as you remember where you have saved it. Note that the plugin will be in zip format and you should leave it like that.
Next login to the WordPress dashboard of your site and go to ‘Plugins’, then ‘Add new’. This will take you to ‘Install plugins and here you need to click ‘Upload’.
Next, when you hit ‘Browse’ you can search for the plugin that you uploaded.
Then click on the plugin, then ‘Open’ and then ‘Install Now’.
Next you are taken to a page where you are invited to ‘Activate Plugin’. Click that and you’re done.
What happens now will vary greatly because some plugins do what they are supposed to do when activated and some require you to adjust various settings, they all vary. If the settings are a little confusing then you will often have a help, or support page. You can access this on your plugins page.
If you would prefer to watch a video tutorial covering how to install plugins you should click on the YouTube link on the right of the page and you will be taken to my channel. Here you can see a video covering this and other WordPress tutorials too.
As a final point, I do want to reiterate as I stated when I wrote about plugins, that it is very tempting to upload lots and lots of them. This is often not needed. Read that article, if you haven’t already, to find out why.