How to Install a WordPress Plugin

Keeping up with my recent series of WordPress tutorials, today I bring a very simple tutorial on how to install a WordPress Plugin.  I get asked this question a lot by my clients that I have built a custom WordPress site for when they may want to add something else after we have finished the build and design.

How to Install a WordPress PluginThere are multiple ways in which you can install a WordPress plugin, and in this tutorial I cover the two most common ways.  The first is by visiting the WordPress plugin directory search while logged into your site.  This way is probably the easiest way and quickest.  You simply find the plugin you want and click install.  After installing and a quick click of the activate button, you are off to the races of setting up the specifics of the plugin.

The second way I talk about is if you find a plugin somewhere outside the directory, or have already downloaded it from the WordPress plugin directory.  When you do this, you will have a .zip file of the plugin saved to your hard drive.  In this instance, you need to go to your plugin screen and click the upload.  You will actually upload the .zip file, so don’t open the zip file and try installing that.  If you do, it will not work.

Here’s a simple screencast that walks you through how to install a WordPress plugin either of these ways:

Two Important Reminders

Always remember before you start installing any new plugins to your site to first backup your custom WordPress Site!  The last thing you want to do is have your entire site go down because of a bad plugin that you install that destroys everything.  If you have a backup done before installation, you just need to restore to the older version.   The second thing to remember, is the importance of keeping all of your WordPress plugins up to date on your custom WordPress site.  By not keeping these up to date you can open yourself to a whole lot of other problems and issues.

If you have questions about how to install a WordPress plugin onto your custom WordPress site, feel free to ask in the comments below!

Jeremy Blanton

Jeremy Blanton is the Co-Founder of 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors. He is a social media speaker who shares with thousands of people each year on things like how to use Facebook for Business, Blogging, and How to use Twitter.

When he is not coaching or speaking, he spends most of his time working on Custom WordPress Sites for his clients.

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  • Thanks for usefull information)!

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  • Victoria

    Jeremy,

    I have a custom blog created by the same company that built my site. I am trying to install a gallery media plugin and it should be so simple yet I can’t get it to work completely. It installed just fine and I can add my pictures to it but I can’t get the gallery to show up on my post. My girlfriend say’s it’s because of the custom design. Is this true and is there any way around it?

  • Unfortunately there are too many variables that could be the cause of why the plugin isn’t working. I wouldn’t necessarily blame it on your custom site though. Can you tell me the domain and also the plugin you were trying to use? It could be the plugin doesn’t work with your theme, it could be it’s a bad plugin, it could be it is a conflict with other plugins on your site, it could be conflicts with your server, etc… Let me know the plugin & domain and I’ll take a look at it for you.

  • Victoria

    Hi Jeremy,

    Thanks for the reply. The site is http://site.storkbabygiftbaskets.com/blog/ Thanks!

  • From the limited I can see, my guess is that it isn’t your theme, but more the plugin jquery image carousel not being compatible with your theme or other plugins in your site. The plugin hasn’t been updated since April 2012, and only 6,500 downloads total.

    I’d suggest looking for another plugin to accomplish what you want. Maybe look at Nextgen gallery.

  • Victoria

    Thanks Jeremy, I did try deactivating some things to see if that helped but think I will try the Nextgen. Had actually thought about that but was afraid it might be too involved for my skill level. Thanks so much for looking at it for me, especially on Sunday!

  • Good luck!

  • Victoria

    Jeremy,
    Do you do any work on custom themes where I could hire you to make it work for me?

  • Victoria

    Jeremy,
    Do you do any work on custom themes where I could hire you to make it work for me?