How to Install WordPress plugin – Guidelines for Beginners

How to Install WordPress plugin
Author Karolina Burnagiel
Reading time:
4 minutes read

In this article, I will describe in detail 3 methods how to install WordPress plugin. When you finish reading, you will have the necessary knowledge to install and activate both types of plugins – free and paid versions.

Expand your WordPress

When you have already installed your WordPress, your next step will be installing plugins. You can compare them to apps on your phone. You can download or purchase them to add or extend the functionality of your WordPress website. Whether you need to add the contact form, open the store, improve SEO, or increase site speed, that can be done with plugins. To find the best solutions, we recommend firstly doing research of your needs, and then searching plugins which will be helpful in achieving that. 

What is important when choosing the plugin?

Definitely, you need to check if the plugin is constantly updated and compatible with the version of the WordPress that you are using. The reason is easy, it’s about your safety. If you want to be sure that some plugin won’t crash your site or conflict with the new version of the WordPress, always check that.

Additionally helpful is also checking rating and comments submitted by its users. It will give you an overview of what to expect from the software, and if it is as good as it’s described. When you already decide which plugin you want, you can install it by following our easy instructions.

Install a plugin directly from a Plugin tab, using a search button

This method will work only for free plugins that are available in WordPress Repository.
1. Start by going to tab “Plugins” on your WordPress.

2. On the top of the page you will see button “Add New”, click on it or click on the tab “Add new” which is located in the sidebar under the tab “Plugins”.

Adding a new plugin on the WordPress

3. In the search window on the right side, enter the name of the plugin that you are interested in or its author. You can also search with phrases as “shipping” or “SEO”. Really, sky is the limit. As an example, I searched using our company’s name “Octolize”. This way, in result, I got all the plugins that were created by us.

Searching plugins directly from the WordPress

4. The plugin that I will be installing is “Cart Weight”. When you found the plugin that you need, click on the button “Install” that is located next to the plugin icon. Installation will start instantly.

Install the plugin Cart Weight

5. When you successfully installed the plugin, you will see the button “Activate”, click on it.

Activate the plugin Cart Weight

It’s done! You have successfully activated the plugin.

Install a plugin via WordPress Admin Plugin Upload

1. To upload a plugin, you need to download it. In case of the free versions of plugins, you can download them from their site in WordPress Repository. If you bought one of ours plugins, you need to log in to My account (you will receive login credentials to your e-mail address after the purchase) and go to the tab “Downloads”. There you will find a list of plugins that you own in our store. On the right side is the button “Download”. Click on it, and a package with the plugin will be downloaded to your computer.

Free plugin Cart Weight available to download on WordPress repository Download the paid version of the plugin

2. Once you have your ZIP file, go back to your WordPress, tab “Plugins” in the sidebar menu, and click on the button “Add New”.

3. On the top of the page you will see button ”Upload Plugin”, click on it. Next, load the ZIP file with the plugin from your computer and click “Install Now”.Upload plugin to WordPress

4. After you installed the plugin, click the button “Activate Plugin”.Activate new WordPress plugin
That was the last step of the plugin activation in case of free plugins.

5. For the paid plugin version, you will need to enter the API Key that will activate the license. API Key will give you access to the upcoming plugin’s updates and our technical support. You can find the key in My Account → API Keys tab on our website.

On My Account you will find the API Key needed for license activation


6. When you find the API Key, copy it and enter it in the key field. Now click “Activate license”. After successful activation, the orange box will change to green.

Enter the API Key in a dedicated box The green box means that you have successfully activated the plugin license


Manually install a WordPress plugin via SFTP (secure FTP)

In this example, I will be using the free Filezilla FTP Client to upload the FedEx WooCommerce Live Rates PRO. 

1. For manual installation, you will need to download a plugin to your computer. The plugin Conditional Shipping Methods is a paid version of the plugin. After the purchase, you can download it from My Account on our website. It’s crucial to remember to extract the ZIP file before uploading to the server.

2. Now it’s time to upload the extracted plugin folder, please locate the plugin on your computer from the FTP level and transfer it to the WordPress folder wp-content plugins.

Locate the plugin file on your computer and your WordPress files Transfer plugin file to your folder Plugins

3. After transferring the plugin to your WordPress server, it’s time to activate the plugin, which you uploaded via FTP. Go to your WordPress in the sidebar, click “Plugins” tab → Installed Plugins. Find the plugin that you have just installed from the list and click “Activate” to activate the plugin. 

4. If it’s a paid version of the plugin, proceed with the steps described in point 5 and 6 explained in prior method of the plugin installation. 


In this article, I showed you 3 methods on how to install a WordPress plugin and activate it. I hope that this guide will be helpful. Good luck!

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