Plugins are tools which provide additional functionality to your application.such as add a gallery, slideshow, etc. There are thousands of free and paid plugins available for WordPress. In this step by step guide, we will show you how to install a WordPress plugin.
If you are using free hosting like wordpress.com then you cannot install plugins.
I often get complains from users saying that they can’t see the plugins menu from their wordpress dashboard. It is beacause you are using free hosting like wordpress.com which has it’s limitations.
To install a plugin you generally just need to put the plugin file into your ‘wp-content/plugins’ directory. Once a plugin is installed, you may activate it or deactivate it from the Plugins menu in your WP administration.
Generally the Plugin installation is a straight-forward process. In most cases it is enough to upload the plugin under the ‘wp-content/plugins’ directory for the WordPress installation and activate it from the administrator backend.
Steps to install a new plugin
To install a plugin on your WordPress site, locate the Plugins menu after logging in to your site’s WordPress Dashboard. Expand this menu.
On the Installed Plugins page, you’ll see a list of all the plugins currently installed on your WordPress site. Some plugins come bundled with your WordPress installation, like Akismet, a plugin that protects your blog from comment and trackback spam, and Jetpack, a way to connect your blog to a WordPress.com account and activate additional features.
To upload a new plugin, click the Add New link. From this page, you have the option to search for plugins to install from the WordPress.org Plugin Directory. You can also click these links to see featured, popular, newest and plugins you’ve marked as favorites.
To upload a plugin to your site, click the Choose file button, locate your plugin zip file and then click Install Now. Then, click Activate.
The last menu item beneath Plugins in the WordPress Dashboard is the Editor. The built-in WordPress plugin editor can be used to make changes to any of your plugins’ individual PHP files. Just be aware that if you make changes, plugins updates will overwrite your customizations. So, unless you know PHP, you probably won’t want to edit any of your plugin’s PHP code.