WordPress is a full fledged software and there are couple of technical how to involve when you start using WordPress. Installing WordPress plugins is one of such thing that every self hosted WordPress blogger should know. WP plugin Installation can be done in two ways but here we will talk about most common and easy way and will talk about FTP way in brief. Technically, WordPress offers two ways to install WordPress plugins on your blog:
  • Search and install
  • Upload and install
  • FTP
We can call WordPress dashboard plugin installation method as manual installation and FTP as auto installation. In FTP method, you upload the plugin and activate and configure it. Whereas, in dashboard method, you search,find, install and activate the plugin.

Search and Install Plugin from WordPress Dashboard:

WordPress dashboard is one of the easiest way to search, find and install WordPress plugin. If you know the name of plugin, you can directly search from WP dashboard and install it. Login to your WP dashboard and click on Plugins >Add new. You will see a screen like this and for example sake, we will install WP optimize plugin. So, in this case I searched for plugin WP optimize and I got following results:

If you are searching about any new plugin, you can click on details to see more information about that plugin. Make sure to see the compatibility score with your version of plugin. If you know about the plugin, simply click on Install and activate the plugin as shown in next image. If the plugin which you searching for is already installed on  your blog, you will get a result showing already installed in front of the plugin.

So now next step is to go to the setting panel of that plugin and make all necessary changes. As a blogger most of the time we make mistake by installing plugins but we mis-configure it. When ever, installing a new WP plugin, make sure you read the documentation before installing.

Install WordPress plugin downloaded from 3rd party sites:

If you have downloaded WordPress plugin (Mostly premium), you can upload the .zip file and install it from WordPress dashboard.  Click on Add new plugin, there is an option to upload. Click on that and upload the plugin folder. Do remember, at this moment WordPress only accept .zip format for WordPress plugins and themes upload. Here are few recommended WordPress plugin from 3rd parties:

  • EasyWPSEO
  • Analytify
  • WordPress Social Pro

FTP method to Install WordPress Plugin:

This is another method which is very useful when you couldn’t install WP plugin using WordPress dashboard. You simply download the WP plugin from WordPress plugin library, unzip it and upload it to your WordPress plugin library using FTP software or cPanel. Normally, plugin upload folder us located under wp-content/plugins. Once you are done uploading the file in unzip format, you can simply go to WordPress plugins folder under WP dashboard and activate the plugin. This is very useful for those who don’t have access to install plugins or themes from dashboard due to server restriction.
Personally I prefer using dashboard search and upload feature and only in specific cases, I needed to use FTP method.  Anyways, I assume if you just started with WordPress or if you planning to start with WordPress, this guide to install WordPress plugin will be handy for you. If you have any concern or question regarding WordPress plugins, Do let me know via comments.
Managing WordPress plugin is also easy, all you need to do is go to plugins folder under WP dashboard and activate or deactivate the plugin. Some time, after installing a plugin you might face issue while accessing your dashboard, in such cases you should simply log in to your FTP account and disable that plugin by either renaming it or deleting it. This happens, because of some faulty of plugins conflicts.
If you are completely new to WP or planning to start with WordPress, you should check out our WordPress guide.