How to Manually Install WordPress Plugins

Once in a while, we’re going to have people who can’t install WordPress plugins from the WordPress control panel. And if you currently find yourself in such a situation, you have nothing to worry about. In this article, we’d be teaching you how to manually install a WordPress plugin. And if you have no programming knowledge, you have nothing to worry about, as this process doesn’t require such. You only have to be willing to get your hands dirty a little. So let’s get started.

How to Manually Install WordPress Plugins

Here are the steps by steps to install WordPress plugins manually.

Step 1: Download the Plugin’s Zip File

To install a plugin manually, the first thing you have to do is to obtain the zip file of the plugin. The official WordPress site provides the zip files of plugins, and most other sites also provide zip files of plugins. In other words, obtaining the zip file of a plugin should be no problem.

It’s however worthwhile stating that you should be very careful when it comes to downloading plugins from sites other than the official WordPress site. The reason for this is that we have a lot of sites that add malware to the plugins they supply. In other words, they can end up hacking your WordPress site. So, it is best to download plugins from only the WordPress website.

Step 2: Get an FTP Client

After downloading the zip file of the plugin, to your computer, the next thing you’d have to do is to upload the zip file to your web server. And to upload the zip file to your server, you’d need a special kind of software called an FTP client. There are a lot of FTP clients out there, and regardless of what OS you run, you should find a good FTP client for your OS. So just find a good FTP client, and install it on your computer.

Step 3: Navigate to The WordPress Plugin Directory

Upon installing the FTP client on your computer, you should open it and connect it to your web server. This process is not difficult, so you shouldn’t have any problem carrying it out, once you open the FTP client. But to connect to your web server, you might need to provide FTP username and password. This username and password would have been provided to you by your WebHost. And if your WebHost didn’t provide you with any FTP username and password when you signed up, you should be able to create one from your WebHost control panel.

Once you’ve connected to your web server, you should change the present working directory of your server to the WordPress plugin directory of your website. Present working directory refers to the folder where your FTP client would upload files to, your server. And here’s how to change your present working directory:

Somewhere in the interface of your FTP client, you should find a place where the server’s current file path is displayed [e.g. /home/ftp_user/public_html]. Once you locate this file path, change it to the root directory of your website. And from the root directory, open the wp-content directory.

Inside the wp-content directory, you should find folders like themes and plugins. So click on the one called plugins, and your present working directory would become the WordPress plugin directory.

Step 4: Upload the Plugin

After you must have set the WordPress plugin directory as your present working directory, you can then upload the zip file of the plugin to your web server. This file upload should last less than a minute, but if the zip file is heavy or you have a slow internet connection, it might take a longer period. Anyway, just wait for the upload to complete, before moving to the next step.

Step 5: Extract the Plugin

After uploading a plugin’s zip file to your server, you wouldn’t be able to use it until you extract it. But thankfully, zip file extraction is not a difficult thing. So to extract a zip file, all you have to do, is to select the file on your FTP client. For some FTP clients, you’d need a single left click. And for some other FTP clients, selecting a file requires you left-clicking twice.

And once your FTP client has selected the file, click the extract button. Most FTP clients come with an extraction button, so you should have no problem finding the button. The extraction often takes a few seconds, so you shouldn’t have to wait a long period before this process gets completed.

Step 6: Go ahead and Activate the Plugin

At this point, your WordPress plugin should have been successfully installed on your site. But to begin using it, you would have to activate it. And we expect you to know how to do that.

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