How to Add a Plugin to WordPress

Plugins add functionality to your WordPress blog. Plugins can be used to deal with comment spam, generate sitemap, add social bookmark options to your posts and etc. Many kinds of plugins that are not already incorporated in WordPress blog have been developed to suit the needs of the user.

Most plugins are available for users to download free on the internet. The WordPress Plugin Directory is a place where you can find lots of free plugins designed by volunteers and are free to the public. Plugins listed in the WordPress Plugin Directory have been thoroughly tested and will work with your WordPress installation.

To add a plugin, you must first upload it to your blog. There are two ways to upload a plugin to your blog which are through FTP or the WordPress Administration Panel.

To upload a plugin folder via FTP, follow the instructions below.


  • Download the plugin you want to install to your computer from WordPress Plugin Directory.

Plugin Directory

  • Unzip the folder to your desktop.

Computer Desktop

  • Click on the folder and upload the plugin folder inside to the folder wp-content/wp-plugins. You can also use cpanel to upload the plugin folder.

Plugin Folder

  • After you had uploaded it, login to your WordPress and navigate to the plugin tab to activate it. If the plugin folder was not properly uploaded, you will not see the new plugin listed, and you will have to upload them again.

Plugin WP Panel

  • After that, check your blog to see if the plugin is working.

Plugin Activated Theme

If you want to upload a plugin folder through the WordPress Administration Panel, follow the instructions below.

  • Click on the plugin tab on the left of the WordPress dashboard.

Plugin Panel

  • Click on Add New.

Add New Plugin

  • Type in the plugin that you want to install in the plugins search box. You may also browse based on the most popular tags in the Plugin Directory at

Install Plugin

  • After you have found your plugin, click on the Install.

Plugin Installation

  • A screen pop up will appear and prompt you for your confirmation to install the plugin. Click on the Install Now button.

Activate Plugin

  • When the plugin is successfully installed, click on the Activate Plugin button to activate it.

Plugin Installer

  • If you don’t want to activate it now, you can click on the Return to Plugin Installer to find another plugin to install.

Some plugins require you to configure it after you have activated it. Search for the name of the plugin on plugin directory and follow the directions provided by the plugin developer to configure it.

If you have problems with a plugin that you have uploaded, the following will help you to troubleshoot the plugin:

  • Check that you have followed the author’s instruction on installing it.
  • Check that you upload only the plugin folder. The plugin folder cannot be inside another folder when you upload it.
  • Check that you have uploaded the plugin folder under wp-content/plugins/.
  • Check that you have activated the plugin in your Plugin Panel in the WordPress Administration Panel.
  • If the problem persists, search for another similar plugin that you can use instead.

When you upgrade WordPress, some plugins that you are using may be incompatible with the newer version of WordPress. Most plugin authors upgrade their plugins to become compatible with the newer version.

Filed Under: Computers & Technology


About the Author: Justin Belden is a freelance web & graphic designer with over 15 years' experience. He is also an Avid member of the Design/Development community and a Serial Blogger who loves to help people by sharing interesting and informative tips and trick related to computer and technology.

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