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It’s very simple to install WordPress plugins on a WordPress website, it’s just like installing apps on your mobile phone which means plugins are apps for your WordPress website.
In simple words, installing plugins on your WordPress website helps you to expand your website experience with a variety of features in the plugins. There are more than thousands of WordPress plugins available in the WordPress plugins repository including free and paid versions.
So, how to install WordPress plugins? But remember having lots of plugins on your WordPress website you will see the website speed slowing down every time when you going to install WordPress plugins on your website. That’s why we recommend you use CDN services like StackPath CDN or Cloudflare free CDN, you can learn more about CDN from here.
Having a less amount of plugins in your WordPress websites might load your website faster with a better speed score, like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix, where you can test your WordPress website speed score. And also remember that, if you have a live production site with lots of content on your WordPress website then you should have used staging tools if your web hosting offers one, with the staging tool you can test plugins, and themes, or make any changes without disturbing your live website.
Staging tools are also helpful when it comes to installing the latest version of WordPress or the latest update released by plugins, with staging tools your can test them in the background I mean a copy of your website, so whenever you update your website themes, plugins, or latest WordPress version, you can test yourself in the background whether everything working or not, because sometimes plugins, themes, or WordPress get some sort of errors where you can’t be reverse this process in your live website, and you don’t wanna stick with that, right?
So, if you have staging tools then you should be used when you make some changes in your live WordPress website, If you host your WordPress website with hosting services like BlueHost (Savings), DreamHost (up to 79% off), WP Engine ($90 discount + 3 months free), Hostinger (up to 85% off), Namecheap (Savings), Flywheel (2 months free), Pressable (2 months free), Cloudways, GreenGeeks (Savings), then you can use their staging tool. Please kindly know that every web hosting does not come with staging tools, which means you have to choose wisely whether they offer staging tools or not, while the WP Engine, Pressable, Flywheel, Liquid Web, InMotion Hosting, and Cloudways offer staging tools on their every plan.
However, if your web hosting does not offer a staging tool then I will recommend you to go with BlogVault, it will help you to take automatic backup of your WordPress website and provide a built-in staging tool for free, as well as migration if you planning to change your web hosting to the new one, old domain to new domain and more top-notch features, see all features at BlogVault.
BlogVault staging tool is just awesome because it doesn’t have a website size limitation (in MB, GB), which means you don’t worry about your large website with a lot of content. You just need to create a staging environment for your website, after that, you will receive a username and password login credential for your staging website, then you are ready to go.
So, let’s get started with how to install WordPress plugin. There is a three-way to install a WordPress plugin using a search with a WordPress plugin repository, and the second one is uploading a WordPress plugin, and the third one is manually uploading and installing the WordPress plugin using FTP connections.
Install WordPress Plugins via Search Method
This is a simple and easy way to install a WordPress plugin using the plugin search from your website right from the WordPress admin area. All you need to simply click on the Plugins icon from your admin area then click Add New then you will see lots of plugins, which you can see in the below image.
Here you can install any WordPress plugin or you can search for your needed one using the search bar in the plugins area. Then just click on the Install Now button on your favorite plugin or need one, after successfully installation is done, then you need to click on the Activate button, then you can set up or customize your installed plugin with your usage type because some of the plugins need to set up but some of the plugins are just ready to go after its activation process.
Install WordPress Plugins via Upload Method
There are some WordPress plugins that need to be installed using the upload method because you have downloaded the plugin from the WordPress plugins repository or they are developed outside or not listed in the WordPress plugins repository, here I’m talking about Paid plugins. Whenever you need to install this type of WordPress plugin, you need to use the WordPress plugin upload method.
So, let’s assume you have paid plugins and you have successfully downloaded them on your computer, then you need to upload that paid WordPress plugin, the procedure is the same as the WordPress plugin search method, but when you click on Plugins and then click on the Add New button, there you will see Upload Plugin button on the top, just click on that, then you need to browse or locate your recently purchased plugin by clicking on Choose File after you successfully located your paid plugin.
Then simply click on the Install Now button, then you have to wait (depending on the size of your plugin), then you will see the message Plugin installed successfully, then just click on the Activate button, then again you have to set up that plugin yourself what type of you need to make changes in the plugin.
Install WordPress Plugins via FTP Method
In this method, you need to be very careful. Uploading the WordPress plugin via FTP connection, you need your FTP credential which you can find in your web hosting control panel, if don’t know then you need to contact your web hosting provider using chat support or phone support if they are offered. Once you have an FTP credential in your hands, then you need an FTP client software such as FileZilla.
After you download and install FileZilla on your computer, then open it and enter your FTP credential which you can find in your web hosting or you can contact them. After you successfully log in to the FTP client then you will see your website files in the FTP client. Here all you need to find is the wp-content folder, just open it, and then find the plugins folder.
Now, you have to download the plugin source file, this will be in .zip format, just extract that plugin on your computer, then it will create a new folder with the same name as the plugin which you have downloaded. And this folder you need to upload this to your recent open plugins folder using the FTP client.
Just locate the extracted plugin folder and upload it to the plugins folder, you can use the drag-and-drop method for upload. Now, return to your WordPress admin area and click on the Plugins, there you can see the uploaded plugin successfully installed, now click on Activate, so you can start using it. Then you need to set up that plugin on your preferences or needs.
I hope this guide helps you how to install WordPress plugins step by step in the easiest way.