How To Install And Activate Plugin On WordPress

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When you first get started with WordPress, one of the first things you will need to ask, how to install and activate WordPress Plugin? Today I will give an answer to this question.

Well, to be honest installing and activate WordPress plugin is super easy, anyone can do it, and it takes only few minutes. Plugins are the key things on WordPress and you should not avoid them, there are thousands of plugins out there, and you can find WordPress Plugins almost in every business and personal solution.

What is WordPress Plugin

A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that you can install to enhance the functionality of a WordPress website. A plugin can add a lot of functionality to a website. Plugins help you modify and improve the functionality of WordPress.

Generally, there are two types of WordPress Plugin: Free and Paid, I will cover installation of both types in this article.
However, installation of a paid version of a plugin, slightly differs from a free version installation.

More about WordPress plugin will be released soon, here I will focus on the Installation/Activation of plugin on WordPress.

Ho To Install WordPress Plugin

Each plugin has a set of specific features, so you may need to use multiple plugins on your site. It is also important to choose plugins that will work well together.

However, before you can take advantage of the plugin’s benefits, you need to install it. So, let’s start with how to install a WordPress plugin on a website.

How To Install Free Version Of Plugin

If you want to use free plugins on your site, you can install any plugin from the official WordPress plugin repository, directly from your WordPress dashboard. To do that, got to your WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins section from the left side:


A new page will open, where you can see all the installed plugins. Click Add New button at top left corner:

Add new plugin

Next, you’ll see a page that shows a short list of recommended plugins and a search box on the right – this is what you’re going to use:

Search Plugins

You can also add some filters to your search criteria, like sort by: Popular, Recommended, Favorites and search by: Keyword, Author or Tag

Enter the keyword on search box, and in few seconds you will see all available plugins with keyword you have entered, it is not necessary to enter a full name of plugin for example – this is a very cool thing during the search.

For the example, I will search for plugin Site Reviews, I won’t need to enter a full name of plugin, just review and in few seconds the related keyword plugins will appear, when you will find your searched plugin, you’ll need to click Install Now button:

Install Now

But before you click Install Now it is mandatory to check a couple of things:

  • The rating of Plugin
  • How many installation does it have (For newly released plugin it can be only few installs and that is ok)
  • The Last Updated status – Here you need to check how often the plugin is updated to be sure that it is not abandoned
  • Compatibility with your WordPress Version (Recommended always to have an updated WordPress to the latest stable version)

To check the details and changelog of plugin, click More Details under the Install Now button:

More Details

A modal window will open and click Changelog:


From the modal window, you can install a plugin as well by clicking Install Now button.
To exit from a modal window, click on anywhere outside of it.

If everything is ok with plugin details, and you are ready to install it, click Install Now button, the installation process will start, which is automatic:

Installing Plugin

After installation is finished, you’ll notice a new button named Activate and you’ll need to click on that button to activate the plugin:


Installation from modal window mentioned above is the same, without any difference, just when you’ll click Install Now the modal window will close.

After plugin activation, you will be notified about successful activation (Usually it appears at the top of the page, the information bar with successful activation) but in most cases you will be redirected to plugin settings page, where you can set up the plugin.

You can also activate a plugin from the Plugins Page from your WordPress dashboard. Go to Plugins from the left side and click Activate:

That’s it. This is how you can install and activate FREE WordPress Plugin from your WordPress dashboard.
Next, you will find how to install a paid WordPress Plugin

How To Install Paid Version Of Plugin

The process for installing a WordPress plugin, which is paid, is slightly different. Because premium plugins are not available in the official plugin repository, and you can’t access them by standard plugin search page from your WordPress Admin Panel.

So, the first thing you need to do is get the plugin itself. Most often, this involves visiting the plugin store and buying copies of the premium plugin there, like in the example of this WooCommerce plugin: Paya for WooCommerce

In short, as a result of your purchase, you should have the plugin installation file saved as a ZIP archive.

Once you have the ZIP file, go back to the WordPress Admin Panel, click Plugins on the left side, and then the Add New button:

Add new plugin

When a new page opens, instead of searching plugins on search box, as we did before, click Upload Plugin button, the hidden part of page will appear with upload file options, click Choose File and next navigate to downloaded zip file location (In my case it was Downloads folder on my local PC) double-click on zip file to upload it and next click Install Now button:

Install paid plugin

After clicking Install Now button you will be redirected to a new page, where installation status will be presented, after successful installation you can click Activate Plugin button to activate it or go to Plugin Installer page to add another plugin.

After clicking Activate Plugin the plugin will be activated and depending on plugin specification you will be redirected either to plugins settings page or you will be notified with successful activation message:

Successful activation

That’s it! You have successfully installed and activated the Paid Version of WordPress plugin.

With the above method, you can install also Free version of plugin if you have it on your local PC

How to install WordPress plugin from FTP

Sometimes it may not be possible to install the plugin from the WordPress admin, in which case you can install the plugin using FTP. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is used to transfer files from one system to another over the Internet.

To transfer files via FTP, you will need an FTP account. How to create FTP Account and connect to your hosting provider you can find on this article: How to install and Activate WordPress Theme, a beginners guide in the section Installing WordPress Theme with FTP Connection

After connecting to your FTP account, go to the plugins directory from your FTP client located in: wp-content/plugins and upload the plugin, prior to upload you need to unzip the file and extract the plugin folder, next you need to browse in extracted plugin directory from FTP client and upload it by clicking right click on plugin folder and next click upload. Please remember that every FTP client supports at least two window option, on right side usually you are connected to your hosting and on the left side you are browsing your local directory.

After you have uploaded the plugin, it will be visible on plugins directory:

Next, you need to go to your WordPress Dashboard and activate the plugin:

Activate Uploaded Plugin

That’s it. You have successfully installed and activate the plugin via FTP. Please note that via FTP, you can install and activate both: Paid and Free Versions of WordPress plugin.


In the above guide, you have learned how to install and activate a plugin on WordPress. I hope this article helped you install the very first plugin on your site.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below.


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