The WordPress Manuals

Learn how to use WordPress – and take advantage of its advanced features.

Installing regular plugins on WordPress and WordPress Multisite

While there’s Plugin functionality within your dashboard which allows you to search and install plugins it’s best practice to manually install all regular plugins using FTP as explained below.

You are less likely to have problems using FTP.

Regular plugins can be sourced through sites such as:

  1. WordPress Plugins Directory
  2. WPPlugins

You install regular plugins using FTP as follows:

Alternatively, refer to our video tutorial on installing regular plugins using FTP.

1. Download the plugin.

  • Make sure you check the plugin’s compatibility information before installing. The plugin may not have been updated for the version of WordPress you are using.
  • If installing on WordPress Multisite remember many of the regular plugins don’t work on WordPress Multisite installs and many have compatibilities issues.
  • Always thoroughly test plugins (one at a time) by uploading to your WordPress Multisite install and enabling it just for a test account.

2. Unzip the file to extract all files into a folder on your hard drive
3. Read through the “readme” file thoroughly that usually accompanies a plugin. Also check the website where you downloaded the plugin from as there may be additional instructions on the site.

  • Make sure you read these instructions carefully. Some plugins may require additional steps to install other than those explained below.

4. Launch FileZilla and connect to your site
5. Enter your domain name, your username and password. NOTE: the same username and password that you use to log into your cPanel.
6. Click Quickconnect
7. Locate and open up the folder on your computer that contains the new plugin.

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8. Open up your plugins folder for your site (located within wp-content folder of your public_html folder)
9. Select the plugin folder on your computer that you want to install and drag it into your plugin folder on your site.

  • Check the plugin folder to make sure when you unzip the file it hasn’t unzipped it as two folders!

10. Drag the plugin’s folder from your computer into wp-content/plugins folder in your WordPress directory.

11. Dragging the plugin folders from your computer into wp-content/plugins folder in your WordPress directory uploads these new plugins to your WordPress and WordPress Multisite however it doesn’t activate them.

  • Each plugin needs to be activated or deactivated on a network or per site level using the plugin admin panel inside your dashboard.
  • You must enable the plugins administration menu via Network Admin > Settings if you want your users to have access to the plugin admin panel inside their dashboard.

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See Next:
Enabling plugins network wide

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