WordPress is one of the best content management systems (CMS) mainly because of the flexibility and customizability it offers to the users. If you have to change the design of your blog, you can simply install a new theme and make the necessary settings. Or if you have to add any additional functionality, you just need to install new plugins most of the times. Not much technical knowledge is required to create and maintain your WordPress blog and that’s the best part of it.
However, depending on the requirements, you might need to have little knowledge in accessing server, database, changing a line of code, etc.
In this article, you will get to know 4 different ways in which you can install a plugin or a theme in WordPress:
- Search and install
- Upload and install
- FTP or Cpanel
- Using wp-cli on command line
Before this, don’t forget the 10 Important Settings And Things To Do After Installing WordPress!
Method 1: Search and Install Plugin Or Theme From WordPress Dashboard
This is the easiest way. Search the name of the plugin or theme and click on Install. Once the plugin or theme is installed, you just have to activate it.
Go to Plugins >> Add New, then use the search box to find the plugin.
Make sure that the plugin is compatible with the current version of WordPress. Simply click Install and then Activate the plugin. You can then go to the plugin settings and configure it according to your requirement.
Go to Appearance >> Themes, click on “Add New” on top. Then use the search box to find the theme you want.
You can also preview the themes before installing them. Once you install, simply activate the theme.
Method 2: Upload and Install Plugin Or Theme To WordPress Dashboard
You might sometimes have to install a plugin from 3rd party provider or it might be a paid plugin which you purchased. In such cases, download the “.zip” plugin file and upload it onto WordPress dashboard.
Go to Plugins >> Add New, then click on “Upload Plugin” button on top.
Once the upload is finished, you can activate the plugin and configure to your use.
More often than not, bloggers are not satisfied with the free themes available in the WordPress library, in such cases you need to search for free themes from 3rd party designers or buy themes from somewhere.
Go to Appearance >> Themes, click on “Add New” on top. Then you will find “Upload Theme” on the top, click on it. Once the upload is done, activate the theme.
Method 3: Using FTP or Cpanel
This method can be used when you are unable to access or install the plugin through WordPress dashboard. You need to have your FTP or Cpanel logins in order to implement this method.
First, download the plugin or theme file from the WordPress library or any 3rd party provider. Login to your FTP or Cpanel, go to wp-content >> plugins, to upload the new plugin or go to wp-content >> themes, to upload the new theme. Once the upload is done, you can activate the plugin and theme from the WordPress dashboard directly.
Method 4: Using WP-CLI from Command Line
This method is for the bloggers who host their own website on VPS or dedicated servers. It also requires a fair bit of technical knowledge on server management or command line. The steps are simple but one should be careful while dealing with the server directly.
WP-CLI is a command line interface for WordPress, where you install plugins, update and much more without using a web browser. It’s very simple to install on your server and manage various functionalities.
First, ssh to your server and install WP-CLI on your server using the following steps.
curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/wp-cli/builds/gh-pages/phar/wp-cli.phar chmod +x wp-cli.phar sudo mv wp-cli.phar /usr/local/bin/wp
Command to install a plugin:
wp plugin install
Command to install a theme:
wp theme install
These are the two basic commands to be used. You can also update, activate, deactivate, delete plugins or themes from the command line itself. You can go through the commands from here.
You now know the various ways to install a plugin or theme in WordPress. The first method is preferred and most widely used, but knowing others methods might help you at some point. So if you have any doubts or you would like to add some points, let me know in the comment section below.