How To Install WordPress Plugins

We’ve talked a little bit about plugins, so you know what a plugin is, but let’s go over how to find and install them.

The WordPress site has a comprehensive list of every plugin available.  From here, you can search for the functionality you’re looking for and see reviews of the plugins, number of downloads, installation notes, etc.  Chances are, if you want to do it, there is a plugin for it.

We’ll start by installing a plugin that saves some real estate on your WordPress dashboard, the Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu plugin.  By default, the WordPress dashboard menu is on your left.

When you install and activate Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu, the menu moves to the top, eliminating the need for lots of vertical scrolling.

There are two ways to install a plugin, through your WordPress dashboard, or through FTP.

How to install a plugin through your WordPress dashboard
  1. Navigate to Plugins → Add New
  2. In the search field, type in the plugin you want to install, in this case we’ll search for “Ozh Admin”
  3. When the search results appear, locate the plugin and click “Install” then “Install Now”
  4. Click “Activate Plugin”

If you have a zipped file of your plugin, you can also install it through the WordPress dashboard.

How to install a plugin using FTP

By now, you know that I love FTP and do the majority of my work in Core FTP (if you need a refresher on FTP, read this post).  To install a plugin using FTP:

  1. Download the plugin that you want to install from the WordPress plugin repository
  2. Unzip it to a folder on your computer
  3. Sign into Core FTP, or your chosen tool
  4. Navigate to
  5. FTP the plugin folder from your computer to your server
  6. In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins → Installed → Inactive and activate your new plugin

Plugins are addictive.  Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

7 responses to How To Install WordPress Plugins
  1. Loving all the word press info! Once I select a theme, am I stuck with the font type and size that is preset? Is there any way to make the font larger. I’ve found a theme that I love, but cannot find a menu to change the font.

  2. #FF There are #3,467,992 reasons & this is just 1… RT @amiatEAD: On Edit and Post: How To Install WordPress Plugins

  3. Great! Can’t wait to whip this baby into shape!

  4. Hi there,

    thanks for all this information. I’m new to wordpress and I downloaded a plugin to overcome the lack of ‘insert all photos’ option.

    The only thing is that on my dashboard there is no ‘plug in’ option. In your image the ‘plug in’ section is between ‘Appearance’ and ‘Users’. It simply doesn’t appear on my dashboard.

    Might you have any insight for a newbie?

    Thanks again!


  5. Ahhh thanks Ami. I hadn’t realised that (blush!). Such a shame it’s not that easy. The photo uploader is incredibly frustrating!

    Cheers again!
    .-= Allison´s last blog post: Blue Lagoon- Iceland =-.

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