How to Bulk Install WordPress Plugins on Single and Multiple Sites

How to Bulk Install WordPress Plugins on Single and Multiple Sites

Do you regularly set up new WordPress sites? Then you probably have multiple plugins you like to use on all your sites, but uploading, installing, and activating plugins manually one-by-one can quickly become tediously repetitive.

Luckily, there’s a quick way to install all your favorite plugins in one go, saving you time. In this post, I’ll show you how to bulk upload and install multiple WordPress plugins.

If you want to skip the written tutorial, watch the video below…

For more detailed information and instructional screenshots, check out our step-by-step tutorial below.

WordPress Bulk Upload And Install Plugin – Step-By-Step Tutorial

Illustration of multiple plugins.
WordPress bulk plugin uploads and installs will save you a bunch of time setting up multiple WordPress sites.

For this tutorial, we’re going to use WPCore, a handy tool that allows you to upload and install multiple WordPress plugins in one go. It’s available for free in the WordPress Plugin Repository.

WPCore Plugin Manager
WPCore Plugin Manager lets you create plugin collections and install them in one click on any WordPress site.

WPCore combines a feature that is similar to WordPress.org plugin repository’s Favorites section and a bookmarking site for adding and sharing different plugin lists. You build plugin ‘collections’, which are then stored on the WPCore site. Plugin collections can then be accessed from any WordPress site by installing the plugin and entering a ‘collection key’. WPCore lets you store your plugin collections and access collections that other users have created and made available for sharing. You can import plugin collections to any WordPress site, including WordPress multisite installations.

Install The Plugin

You can easily find and install the plugin from your WordPress dashboard by going to the ‘Plugins > Add New’ screen and searching for WPCore.

Install the plugin from your WordPress dashboard.

After installing and activating the plugin, a new menu item will appear in the admin sidebar.

WPCore Plugin Collections screen.
WPCore Plugin Collections screen.

Adding the plugin to WordPress lets you perform a number of functions, including adding a plugin collection to your WordPress site and exporting plugins from WordPress to a collection of plugins stored on the WPCore site. Additionally, you can install and activate your plugins using the WordPress CLI.

Create A Plugin Collection

Before you can bulk add and install plugins on your WordPress site, however, you need to create a plugin collection at WPCore.

So, let’s head over to the WPCore website and create a free account …

WPCore create new account
Create a free account at WPCore to start adding plugin collections.

After creating your account, you can add a new plugin collection. Enter a title and description and specify whether the collection should be made public or kept private.

WPCore new colection screen
Create a new plugin collection.

Once your collection has been created, you can add plugins from the WordPress plugin repository and/or add your own custom plugins (note: this option is only available for paid members).

WPCore add WordPress plugins screen.
Start adding your favorite plugins.

For this example, we’ll add WPMU DEV’s free plugins from WordPress.org. Click on the ‘+’ symbol, start typing in the name of the plugin, and select the plugin you would like to add to your collection from the search results drop-down menu.

Use the search tool to find plugins to add to your collection.

You can also add plugins from the WordPress directory by selecting ‘Browse > WordPress Plugins’ and clicking the ‘+’ symbol on any plugin shown in the list.

Search WordPress.org and select the plugins you want to add to your collection.

The plugins that you select will be added and display in your plugin collection screen.

A list of plugins added to a WPCore plugin collection.
A list of plugins added to a WPCore plugin collection.

If you want to view your collection as a list instead of in grid format, just click the little cog icon at the bottom of your screen to switch the layout.

Switch the layout of your plugin collection.

Every plugin collection you create will have its own key. Additional functions for your collection can be found below the key. These include turning plugin update notifications on/off, toggling between public and private status, adding or removing it from favorites and cloning your collection.

Plugin collection functions.

We’ll come back to this section in a moment. Let me point out a few additional features of WPCore:

You can browse your and other users’ plugin collections inside your account area.

WPCore Plugin Collections
Browse all public plugin collections

You can also perform several of the functions described earlier.

Plugin Collections screen with favorites button activate
You can perform various plugin collection editing options.

‘Free’ users can create up to 2 collections with 18 plugins per collection. If you need more, you will need to upgrade to the paid plan, which lets you create and manage 200 plugin collections with up to 100 plugins each, plus add custom plugins, receive update notifications and, according to the site, receive helpful support from a cool dude.

WPCore pricing options screen.
Chose a paid plan if you plan to create many plugin collections or add your own custom plugins.

Now that we have created a plugin collection, it’s time to add it to your WordPress site.

Importing & Installing Multiple Plugins In WordPress

In the plugin collection screen, select and copy the key to your clipboard.

Select and copy your collection key.

Log into your WordPress site. If you haven’t installed the WPCore plugin yet, do it now. Once the plugin has been installed, select ‘WPCore’ from the main menu and click the ‘Add a collection key’ button.

WPCore Plugin Collections screen inside WordPress
Add a collection key in the WPCore Plugin Collections screen.

Paste in the collection key from your clipboard and click ‘Save Collections’.

WPCore Plugin Collections screen with Save Collections button highlited
Save the collection to your WordPress site.

You will see a list of the plugins in the collection that you have just uploaded. You can add more plugin collections or install the plugins you’ve just uploaded by clicking the ‘Install Plugins’ button.

WPCore Plugins Collections screen with Install Plugins button highlighted.
Select install plugins

All plugins will be loaded to your WordPress site.

WPCore Install Plugins screen
Your plugins are now installed and ready to be activated.

Activating the plugins is simple. Select the plugin(s) you want to activate, choose ‘Activate’ from the drop-down menu and click the Apply button.

Activating bulk installed plugins in WPCore Install Plugins screen.
Select and activate your bulk installed plugins.

All plugins in the collection will be installed and activated. The quick video below shows a summary of the above steps in action.

A summary of the bulk plugin installation process.

Congratulations! Now you know how to bulk install plugins in WordPress. I hope this post helps you streamline how you set up new WordPress sites.

WordPress Bulk Upload Plugin Practical Uses

  • If you build or configure WordPress sites for clients, using plugin collections and this handy plugin will help you save time and get all your plugins installed in one go.
  • If you are a WordPress plugin developer, internet marketer, consultant, trainer, or blogger, use plugin collections to set up lists of your favorite/recommended plugins and share these with other WordPress users.
  • Eliminate tedious plugin tasks using the above plugin to bulk upload and install multiple WordPress plugins and a service like WPMUDEV’s Automate to ensure that all installed plugins remain up-to-date.

Now that you know how to bulk install WordPress plugins, you can practice by installing our free WPMU DEV plugins collection on your site … enjoy! ;)

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Martin Aranovitch
Martin Aranovitch Martin believes in a WordPress-centered digital universe and spends a lot of time living in it. Before joining WPMU DEV, Martin authored many WordPress guides and courses for beginners.
Is it a relief now that you know you can bulk install WordPress plugins? Do you still have some questions? Ask away and feel free to share your tips and methods for uploading and installing multiple WordPress plugins in the comments section below.