How To Install WordPress Plugins Manually

Learn how to install WordPress plugins manually in this step-by-step tutorial.

How To Install WordPress Plugins ManuallyThis tutorial is part of our WordPress Management tutorial series. In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to install WordPress plugins manually.

To learn how to install your plugins automatically using the WordPress built-in update feature, see the tutorial below:

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How To Install WordPress Plugins Manually

If you cannot install plugins automatically (or don’t want to install plugins automatically), then complete the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to install WordPress plugins manually.

How To Install WordPress Plugins Manually – Step-By-Step Tutorial

To install a WordPress plugin manually, make sure that the plugin has been downloaded to your computer or storage device.

For example, if you are installing a plugin from the WordPress Plugin Directory

Installing WordPress Plugins

Find the plugin you want to install and click on the plugin’s “Download” button …

Installing WordPress Plugins

Save your plugin to your computer hard drive or storage device …

Installing WordPress Plugins

We recommend keeping all of your WordPress files (versions, plugins, themes, etc…) organized in a “WordPress” folder on your hard drive …

Installing WordPress Plugins

To learn more about creating an organized system for performing WordPress maintenance, see the tutorial below:

Once your plugin has been downloaded to your computer, unzip (extract) the file …

Installing WordPress Plugins

After downloading and extracting the plugin, you should have two plugin files … an unzipped file (1) and the original compressed file that you downloaded (2) …

Installing WordPress Plugins

We will now show you two methods you can use to upload WordPress plugin files manually to your server:

  1. How to upload the uncompressed (unzipped) folder to your server’s WordPress plugins directory using FTP
  2. How to upload the compressed (zipped) folder to your server’s WordPress plugins directory using cPanel File Manager

Let’s go through both methods now …

Method 1 – Uploading Your Plugin Files Via FTP

Launch your FTP client (if you need help with FTP, see this tutorial) …

Installing WordPress Plugins

Locate the folder on your hard drive containing the extracted (unzipped) plugin folder (1).

Next, drill down through the folders in your server directory window until you come to the ‘plugins’ folder (2). Typically, the path to the ‘plugins’ folder in most WordPress installations is either “/public_html/wp-content/plugins” (if WordPress is installed in the root or main directory), or “/public_html/subfolder/wp-content/plugins” (if WordPress is installed in a subfolder, e.g. “blog”)

Click the upload button (3) to begin transferring the plugin files from your computer to your server.

Note: Make sure that you select the ‘Auto’ method of transfer or its equivalent in your FTP software before you begin transferring files (unless you have been specifically instructed by the plugin developer to upload files using a different mode) …

Installing WordPress Plugins

After your files have uploaded to your server, you should see the new plugin displayed inside the wp-content > plugins folder directory …

Installing WordPress Plugins

After all of your files have been uploaded, close your FTP application and log into your WordPress administration area …

Installing WordPress Plugins

Navigate to your ‘Plugins’ screen by clicking on Plugins > Installed Plugins

Installing WordPress PluginsIf you were previously logged in, refresh the page to view the results of your installation. If you have performed your plugin installation successfully, you will see the new plugin displayed in the Plugins list …

Installing WordPress Plugins

Click Activate to begin using your new plugin.

Your plugin installation has been successfully completed.

Repeat the above process to install new plugins.

Method 2 – Using cPanel File Manager To Upload And Extract Zipped Files

Uploading plugins using the cPanel method can be a lot faster than using the FTP method show earlier.

To upload and extract a zipped plugin file to your server using cPanel’s File Manager, first, make sure that you have your zipped file ready for upload …

cPanel FileManager

Next, log into cPanel and open up the File Manager panel …

Data Transfer Methods

You can drill down folder hierarchies by double-clicking on the upper directory folders …

cPanel FileManager

Locate the folder on your server where you will be uploading your file into and click Upload. In the screenshot below, we will be uploading your zipped plugin file into the ‘plugins’ folder section of your WordPress installation …

cPanel FileManager

A new screen called Upload files will open on your browser. Click the Browse button as shown below to locate and select the zipped file you prepared earlier …

cPanel FileManager

Select the file and click Open to begin uploading the file to your server …

cPanel FileManager

Wait until your file has finished uploading, then close the Upload files screen to return to the main File Manager screen …

cPanel FileManager

Click on Reload to refresh the screen …

cPanel FileManager

Your zipped file has been uploaded (1). Click on Extract to decompress (unzip) your file (2) …

cPanel FileManager

A pop-up window will appear asking you to confirm the location where your files will be extracted to. Click Extract File(s) to continue …

cPanel FileManager

The Extraction Results window appears when all of your files have finished being extracted. Click Close to return to the File Manager screen …

cPanel FileManager

Click Reload to refresh your screen …

cPanel FileManager

Your new plugin file is now uploaded to your server …

cPanel FileManager

Important

Note: If you are updating existing plugins, all files from the previous plugin version will be overwritten after the new files have been extracted.

Delete the original zip file from your server to save space and keep your folder free of unnecessary clutter …

cPanel FileManager

Log out of your cPanel admin area if you have finished updating your plugins.

Log into your WordPress admin area …

Installing WordPress Plugins

Navigate to your ‘Plugins’ screen by clicking on Plugins > Installed Plugins

Installing WordPress Plugins

If you were previously logged in, refresh the page to view the results of your installation. If you have performed your plugin installation successfully, you will see the new plugin displayed in the Plugins list …

Installing WordPress Plugins

Click Activate to begin using your new plugin. Your plugin installation has been successfully completed.

Repeat the above process to install new plugins.

Congratulations! Now you know how to install WordPress plugins manually.

Additional WordPress Plugin Management Tutorials

In addition to the above, see all the following tutorials:

To learn how to use and install WordPress plugins from your WordPress dashboard, see the tutorial below:

To learn how to update and delete WordPress plugins automatically from your WordPress dashboard, see the tutorial below:

To learn how to update and delete WordPress plugins automatically from your WordPress dashboard, see the tutorial below:

Info

We recommend completing all of the above tutorials before continuing to the next section.

Next Step:

After learning how to update and manage your WordPress plugins, the next step is to learn how to manage your WordPress themes.

To learn how to set up an offsite data backup storage system, see the tutorial below:

How To Install WordPress Plugins Manually

(Source: Pixabay)

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as How To Install WordPress Plugins Manually.