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How to Install a WordPress Plugin – Step by Step Guide for Beginners

So, you have created a WordPress website and now, you are looking to add more features to it, right? That’s probably the reason you are here as there isn’t any better way to add features to a WordPress site, than a plugin.

As a matter of fact, WordPress has thousands of plugins designed to help you optimize the overall functioning of the website. Whether you want to add a form or create an eCommerce store, integrate a payment portal or track site performance, WordPress has a plugin for all.

In case, you are wondering how to use a plugin in WordPress, let me help you out. This guide is designed to uncover different ways of installing a plugin in WordPress. Even if you are new and have no idea as to where & how can you find a plugin, hold on. We will detail you on every step.

Just before you move ahead with the process, make sure you have your website opened right in front of you. It’s always better to do things simultaneously.

Note: You will not find plugins if you have a site. Plugins are a WordPress feature you will find only in the self-hosted org site.

Now that you are all set to move ahead, let’s start our process:

The first and the simplest way to download and install a WordPress plugin is through the search bar, part of the admin panel. However, you need to be aware of the fact that only those plugins that are available for free will be returned in the search query. If you happen to enter a plugin that isn’t available for free, the search bar will not have the plugin displayed.

Considering that the plugin you are looking for is righteously present in the WordPress directory of free plugins, let’s see how to install it on the website.

  • To begin with, you first need to log in to the admin panel. Enter the username and the password to log in to the WordPress dashboard.
  • Now, move to the left of the screen and then click on plugins.
  • Once you have clicked, just below you will see a button that says Add New, click on it.
  • On the next page, to the right of the screen, you will have a search bar.
  • Here, you need to look for the plugin. You can either type in the name of the plugin or if you don’t have the name, simply search for the feature you want to add and click on go.
  • The next page will have a list of plugins, the ones that map the feature needed.
  • You can go through them and select the one that serves your purpose best. Once done, click on the install now.
  • The plugin will be downloaded and then you will see a message on the screen that says download complete.

So are we done?

Did I forget to tell you that you need to activate the plugin in order to get started? So, go back and activate your plugin.

Once done, you are now all set to use the plugin

Using The Admin Upload Option

Wondering why would you need this?

If you remember there was a limitation with respect to downloading a plugin using the search bar. It restricted you to download only the free plugins. So does this mean that you cannot download the paid ones?

Of course, you can and that’s where we use the upload feature of WordPress. The upload button that you will see in the WordPress admin area is one that allows you to add paid plugins to the website and use them on go.

The first thing that you need to do is download the plugin or the zip file of the same. Next, follow the steps given below:

  • To get started, visit the admin dashboard by logging in with the desired credentials
  • Now, click on plugins and then add new.
  • On the top left corner, you will see a button that says upload.
  • Once you click on the button, a new page opens up. Here, you would need to upload the file from the external directory or from your local computer. Click on choose file, and then select install now.
  • After you are done with the above, WordPress will do the task for you and install the plugin.
  • Once again, we will have a success message displayed. Don’t forget to click on activate my plugin button.
  • Left is the configuration process that you can do as needed and so, we are done with the process of installing and uploading the paid plugin.

Install a WordPress Plugin Through FTP

There are certain situations where you are restricted to upload plugins using the admin dashboard. There isn’t any definition as to why does WordPress denies you to upload plugins directly.

So what do you need to do here?

Don’t worry!

WordPress has an alternative here also. The FTP login is an effective way to upload and install plugins. Though, it isn’t friendly yet will help you to install the plugin.

  • To start, make sure you have the zip file of the plugin downloaded and stored in the local storage.
  • Next, extract the file and save it in a new folder.
  • Open the FTP manager and then, log in to the hosting account. In case, you don’t have the required username and password needed to login to the FTP. You can connect with the host and get hold of the same.
  • Now access the path as: /wp-content/plugins/
  • After that, you need to upload the extracted folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder located on the webserver.
  • Once you have uploaded, you now need to activate the plugin. To do so:
    • Move to the WordPress admin area
    • Now, click on plugins
    • A new page opens that will show all of the installed plugins.
    • Click on activate to get started with the plugin.

With this, we come to the end of the plugin installation process.

How To Install A WordPress Plugin From Dotstore?

Until now, we have been focusing on the WordPress dashboard to download and install the plugin. But, there are multiple famous plugin sellers, like DotStore, that sell their WooCommerce and WordPress plugins through their websites or WP marketplaces.

Here, we will see how to install a WordPress plugin from the dotstore. Without rummaging much, let’s move ahead to see how can we do the above.

Now, the reason why we are focusing on the dotstore process is the fact that Page Visit Counter for WordPress PRO plugin follows a different setup to download and install the plugin. As a matter of fact, the procedure isn’t the same as compared to the one that you would have followed while integrating the free plugin.

  • To start, you would first need to click open the PRO plugin page. You can visit this link.
  • Since we are in the premium version, you need to select the subscription type along with the kids of license you want to purchase. Whether it is for a lifetime or renewed annually and if it’s for a single site or more than 5.
  • Once you have selected, you can now move ahead by clicking on the ‘buy now’ button.
  • After you click, you will see a new page opens up. Here, you are expected to add all of the desired details. Starting with the payment-related information to your personal details. In case, you have a promo code that offers you a certain discount, you can apply that and then click on the review order to move ahead.
  • After you have reviewed the details, make sure you verify the same to check whether or not, they are accurate. Once done, you can then click next to complete the process of purchase.
  • Once the payment has been done successfully, you will now get a link that you can use to download the plugin and also signup to the DotStore.
  • The email that you receive will have all of the information related to the installation process. You can follow them to move ahead. Also, you can now download the PRO version of Page Visit Counter by adhering to the given steps.
  • After the download process is done, you can now live ahead to install the plugin. Follow the process same as the one you undertook while installing the free version.
  • After the successful installation of the plugin, you will be asked to enter a key for the activation of the plugin. To get hold of the same, visit your account in DotStore, trace the key and copy it.
  • Now move to the WordPress dashboard and paste the key in the box asking for it. Now, you are all set to get started with the plugin.

The Final Word

Given above were four different ways to download, install and activate a plugin in WordPress. Based on your requirements, you can now pick one of the above and install the plugin on your WordPress website.

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Category: wordpress plugin
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About Nimesh Patel

I am a Product Marketer and Growth hacker with expertise in the areas of Digital marketing; Search engine optimization (SEO), Email Marketing, Paid Campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, Content development strategies, Competitive Research & Analysis. Nimesh is Product Manager at