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How to Install WordPress Plugins

written by: Amanda Presley•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/2/2010

You can find a lot of plugins for WordPress. These plugins are very easy to install, and this tutorial will show you how.

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    Installing and Using WordPress Plugins

    WordPress plugins are used for many things like guestbooks, polls, image galleries, and theme editors. No matter what you need a plugin for, you will need to know how to download and install plugins to use them. This tutorial will show you how to download and install WordPress Plugins. I will walk beginners through every step of installing and activating WordPress Plugins. I will also show advanced users how to install Plugins. If you are an advanced user, scroll to the advanced part of this tutorial.

    Finding and Downloading the WordPress Plugin

    Look for the plugin that you want to download. Somewhere around the plugin should be the download link. Click the download link and save the file to your computer. Once the files has downloaded, you can double click the file to unzip it.

    Installing the Plugin on WordPress

    The next step is to install the plugin on WordPress. You will need to upload the plugin folder to the wp-content/Plugins directory. You can use your CPanel to upload the folder or you can use another file manager. Once you have uploaded the folder to the correct directory, you can log in and activate the plugin.

    Go to your WordPress Admin Panel and log in. On the right side of the page, you will see the Plugins link. Click that link to view the Plugins that you have installed on WordPress.

    Activating and Deactivating the WordPress Plugin

    On the Plugins page you will see the different Plugins. To activate a plugin, tick the box next to the plugin that you want to activate. At the top of the Plugins, you will see the Activate button. Click that button to activate the plugin that you want to use. To deactivate a WordPress Plugin that you installed, tick the plugin, then click the Deactivate button.

    You can install as many Plugins as you need. You do not have to activate all of them. You can just store them on WordPress in case you need them later. You can activate and deactivate a plugin any time you want. You will also notice that most of the Plugins have an Edit link. Clicking the Edit link will let you edit the plugin. Some Plugins require that you add code and edit it in order to use it.

    Advanced Users

    To install a WordPress Plugin, you will need to do the following. Find the plugin that you want to download, unzip the program, and upload it to your wp-content/Plugins directory. Then login to your admin panel and click the Plugins link. Tick the box of the plugin that you want to use and activate it. It’s as simple as that to install a WordPress plugin.