You’ve got your WordPress Site up and running and now you’re wondering how to install a WordPress plugin.


After all, you’ve probably heard that plugins can take your site from basic to seriously impressive in just a few clicks.

But what exactly is a WordPress plugin and how can you easily install one?


Why Install a WordPress Plugin on Your Site?


A WordPress plugin is a software add-on that allows you to add more functionality to your WordPress site. Once installed, plugins allow you to add additional features like ecommerce functionality, image galleries, sliders, added security, and more to your site.

In fact, if there’s some cool new feature you’d love your site to have, chances are, there’s a WordPress plugin for that!

There are over 50,000 free plugins in the repository alone. Plus, there are tons of premium plugins that can help you achieve virtually any look or functionality you want.

Now that we’ve covered how plugins can help you improve your site, let’s get into how to install one:

Important Notes: Before You Install a WordPress Plugin

I’ve seen many people struggle with installing plugins because they’re unsure of the difference between a site and a site.

So please start by checking that your site is a self-hosted site and not a site.

That’s because while sites offer unlimited plugin use, sites do not.

-If you have a paid (business plan) site, you’ll only be able to use a limited selection of plugins.

-If you have a self-hosted site, you can install literally any plugin you choose.

This tutorial shows you how to easily install a WordPress plugin on a self-hosted site.

Check out this guide, if you’d like to know more about the difference between a site and a site, and which you should choose.


Two Easy Ways to Install a WordPress Plugin on Your WordPress Site:


We’ll look at two super-simple ways to install a WordPress plugin:

  1. Installing a free WordPress plugin via your WordPress dashboard

      2. Installing a premium WordPress plugin via the WordPress Admin plugin upload

Let’s start with simplest method:

Method #1: How to Install a WordPress Plugin Via Your WordPress Dashboard

It’s easiest to install a WordPress plugin through your dashboard’s plugin search function.

This method takes just a few seconds but only works if the plugin you want to install is free and found in the WordPress Plugin Directory.

(If you’re trying to install a premium/paid plugin, try method number two.)

1. Log in to your WordPress Admin Area( and go to Plugins>Add New      

2. This will take you to the Add Plugins screen(as shown below). Type the name of the plugin you want to install into the search bar.

For example, if you wanted to install the WooComerce plugin, you’d type “WooCommerce” into the search bar:

3. This will then pull up a bunch of matches for the plugin name you searched. From these listings, choose the exact plugin you’re looking for. Since the search also pulls up similar plugins, you can also browse through these to find other options, if you’d like. Select the plugin you want and click “Install Now”. You’ll then see a message that reads “Installing…”.

4. The plugin will be downloaded and installed automatically. Once done, you’ll see a button that reads “Activate”. Click on the “Activate” button.

Congratulations, you’ve just installed a WordPress plugin! Now that the plugin has been activated, you can start using it right away.

Method #2: How to Install a WordPress Plugin Via the WordPress Admin Plugin Upload (For Paid Plugins) 


Trying to install a paid/premium WordPress plugin?

While you won’t be able to use the first method, you can easily install a paid plugin through the WordPress admin plugin upload.

Here’s how:

1. Start by downloading the plugin you want to install from its source (for example, from a plugin store or company). Your plugin download will be in the form of a zip file.

2. Log in to your WordPress Admin Area (, click on “Plugins” and select “Add New”.

3. You’ll be taken to a screen like the one below:

Here, click on the “Upload Plugin” button.

4. You’ll then be taken to a screen with a button that reads “Choose File”.Hit the “Choose File” button. Now choose the plugin zip file you downloaded previously and click “Install Now”. Your plugin zip file will be uploaded and installed automatically.

5. After the plugin has been installed, you’ll see a notification of successful installation.

You’ll also see an “Activate Plugin” link below this notification. Go ahead and click on the “Activate Plugin” link and your plugin will be ready for use.


And that’s all there is to it!

Whether you want to install a free or paid WordPress plugin, these two methods will help you easily get your plugin installed and running.

While these methods cover installation for the majority of plugins, it’s always a good idea to also refer to the specific installation instructions that come with your chosen plugin.


How to Choose Secure WordPress Plugins to Install:


As a final note, I’d like to remind you to thoroughly research any plugin before installing it onto your WordPress site. Although many plugins are reputable and helpful, some could be incompatible with your WordPress site, slow your site down considerably, or even compromise its security.


Look for high star ratings, lots of good online reviews, and a high number of downloads when considering which plugin to install.


To do this, simply navigate to the WordPress Plugins Directory and click on the plugin you’re interested in. This will take your to the plugin’s page, where you’ll find information about ratings, reviews, and number of active installations.


Check that the plugin has been updated recently. This shows that the plugin’s publisher is actively patching any flaws and cares about providing a good user experience.

Also, look for some background information about the plugin’s publisher before deciding whether to install it or not. You want to be sure to only install plugins from reliable sources.

A popular plugin from a well-known WordPress plugin publisher with solid reviews and many thousands of installs is often a safer choice than a newer, more obscure plugin.


I hope this tutorial has been helpful. If you’re wondering which plugins to choose for your site, look out for my upcoming best WordPress plugins review.   

Have any questions or tips about how to install WordPress plugins? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll get back to you!