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How to Install a WordPress Plugin: Step-by-step Guide!

If you use WordPress to create a blog or website, then you definitely want to install a WordPress plugin or many plugins.

A plugin is a tool that expands the features of your website. It contains functions you can add to your website.

Some plugins, for example, add security to your website while others help you create forms like a Contact form.

But more about these plugins later.

So, how to install a WordPress plugin?

There are two easy methods to do it. Let’s find them out!

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How to install a plugin from the WordPress Plugin Search

The first method is to install a plugin from the WordPress Plugin Search (aka WordPress Plugin Directory).

All these plugins are free and can be installed from your WordPress dashboard.

Note: In the WordPress Directory, you can find various plugins to help you start a blog and do your blog maintenance.

So, first, log in to your WordPress dashboard.

  1. From the dashboard, click on Plugins > Add New. Then, search for the plugin.
Install a WordPress plugin by clicking Add New
  1. After searching and selecting the plugin, click Install Now.
Click Install Now to install a WordPress plugin
  1. Click Activate.
Click Activate to activate a WordPress plugin


You have installed and activated a WordPress plugin. You should be able to see it from the Dashboard (or by hovering your mouse over Settings — if you don’t see it).

There are plugins for pretty much every usage.

You can even find plugins that duplicate pages and posts on your WordPress site.

Using free plugins is not problematic. In fact, it can even help you reduce the cost to start your blog or website.

How to manually install a WordPress plugin?

Now, the WordPress plugin directory is not the only place you can find great plugins.

Amazing developers create free and paid plugins and deliver them to you differently. 

They either sell it on their website or in a marketplace like Codecanyon.

The seller should normally give you a file (very likely a zip file) that you will download and then install from your WordPress dashboard.

Moreover, the seller should also tell you if you need to install the whole zip file or a specific file inside the zip.

Regardless of what the seller’s instructions are, here is how you will manually install a WordPress plugin.

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  1. Click on Plugins > Add New.
  2. Then, click on Upload File, then Choose File
Upload a WordPress Plugin from WordPress dashboard
  1. Upload the file you downloaded from the seller. Then click Install Now.
Click Install Now to Install a WordPress Plugin Uploaded
  1. Finally, click Activate Plugin.
Click Activate Plugin to activate a WordPress plugin uploaded

There you go! These are the two easiest ways to install a WordPress plugin.

Best WordPress Plugins to Install

Now that you know how to install a WordPress plugin, what are the best plugins to install then? What popular plugins do other bloggers or website owners use daily?

Here are at least four of them.

Note that most plugins (paid or free) are compatible with some of, if not all, the best WordPress themes.

So, you have nothing to worry about.

Learn More: How to install a WordPress Theme.


Elementor is one of the best, if not the best, WordPress Page Builders. With Elementor, you can build a website from scratch and use it to write website content.

It’s beginner-friendly and provides a free and paid version of its plugin.

Elementor is part of the 9 fantastic WordPress plugins I recommend to website owners.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is arguably the best WordPress SEO plugin.

It helps you optimize the articles you write so that they can rank higher in search engine results, like Google’s search results.

For example, when you do a search on Google, you see a


Wordfence is the best WordPress security plugin.

It scans your website to detect and block malware, and block people who want to login into your WordPress dashboard.


UpdraftPlus is a WordPress backup plugin.

It backs up your website, meaning that it saves a copy of your entire website.

If you edit your website — or something happens to it — and it doesn’t work smoothly anymore, you can use the saved copy of your website.

With just one click, you will reverse back to a previous, better version of your website.

Plugins FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions asked by beginners.

What is a plugin?

A plugin is a tool that expands the features of your website. It contains functions you can add to your website.

How many WordPress plugins should I install?

You can install as many plugins as you want. But I recommend using a reasonable amount of them. Some plugins or a huge number of plugins may impact your website speed. Some websites use 10 or 15 plugins, while others use 20 or more. But if you are a beginner, consider installing a plugin if you seriously want it.

How many plugins for each functionality should I install?

Only install one plugin for each functionality. If you install two plugins that perform the same tasks, they might clash and break your website. For example, if you use two ‘cashing’ plugins, they are basically performing the same tasks and might cause problems on your website front-end, like users being unable to see any pages.

Free or paid plugins?

The decision is completely yours. There is no right or wrong answer. A free version of a paid plugin doesn’t mean you receive low-quality features. It just means that some features are only available on the paid version. Moreover, using free plugins can help you reduce the cost to start your blog.

Where can I find plugins?

You can find 50,000+ free plugins from your WordPress Plugin Directory. On the other hand, you can also find plugins from marketplaces like Codecanyon.

How can I update a plugin?

To update a plugin, you need to log in to your WordPress dashboard first. Then click on Updates > Select All > Update Plugins. You could also update one plugin at a time by selecting the plugin in question only — instead of checking the ‘Select All’ box.

Should I delete inactive plugins?

Not necessarily. You can leave them if you think of using them again in the near future.

Now It's Your Turn!

That is it!

You have discovered two easy ways to install WordPress plugins.

So what plugins are you going to install?

Will you install a Website Builder like Elementor or an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO instead?

Let me know down in the comments below.

Piaff Dibota

Piaff brings a unique blend of creativity and expertise to the blogging world. Having worked as a content writer for multiple companies in different niches, he shares his blogging expertise through professional and engaging blog posts. 

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