Uploading a plugin manually


The easiest way to install a plugin is within your WordPress dashboard. However, some 3rd party plugins may need to be installed manually on the server. This article walks you through how to install and activate a plugin manually.

Downloading the plugin

First, you must download the plugin. If you're obtaining this from a 3rd party, ask them for the file. It will most likely be in zip format.

You can also download a plugin if it appears in the plugin repository. If so, just click the Download button on the plugin page to download its zip file.

This downloads the zip file of the plugin to your computer's Downloads directory. Navigate to that directory.


Right click the file and choose 'Extract All'.

This opens a pop-up.

It asks you where you want to extract the files to. It's usually fine to click Extract which places them in the current directory.

This creates a new UN-zipped folder containing all of your plugin files. You can now proceed with uploading this folder to your server.

Uploading to your WordPress site

Log into your website via FTP. You can either use the file manager option in the panel or a 3rd party FTP client.

The examples below use the panel's file manager option:

Once logged in, navigate to the wp-content directory.

Next, click into the plugins directory. In this folder you'll see your existing plugins.

On the bottom left, click the Upload button. In the pop-up, click 'Upload Folder'. This opens a window where you can navigate to the location you extracted the zip file above.

Once found, click 'Upload'.

You should now see the folder listed in your FTP client.

Activating the plugin

Now that the plugin has been uploaded, you can activate it within your WordPress dashboard.

  1. Log into your WordPress site at example.com/wp-login.php.
  2. Navigate to the 'Plugins > Installed Plugins' page.
  3. Click the Activate button under your plugin.

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Article last updated PST.

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