How to Install WordPress Plugin from Zip File ? Step by Step

In this article, we will learn to Download and Install a WordPress Plugin with ease.

Step 1: Download the zip version of plugin from its website/github

Example: We will download a plugin called – Code Syntax Block from its github (this is just a random plugin that i have chosen, but not an endorsement).

download wordpress plugin from github
Download wordpress plugin from github

As you see in the example above, first click the Clone or Download Button, that opens a dropdown click – Download ZIP (this will download a compressed .zip copy of the plugin on your computer).

If you are downloading the plugin from its website, their must be a download button that will allow plugin download. Do that.

If you have already downloaded the .zip file, let’s continue to next step.

Safety First, What not to do when installing plugins ? And things to keep in mind.

When installing new plugins keep these things in mind so you don’t break your website.

Its unlikely but every new plugin you install comes with a possibility it may conflict with your website’s theme even the most installed/popular or if its a malicious plugin it may break your site.

It’s highly recommended to only install plugins from trusted sources, moreover have a backup of your website and database in case of an issue.

Step 2: Upload and Install Plugin

First login to your website admin dashboard.

Click or Hover over the Plugins Button towards bottom left. And click the Add New Button

Add new plugin
Add new plugin

This will open a new page (or so called plugin search page – which can be used to install plugins on wordpress plugin store, but for installing plugins from files click the Upload Plugin)

Step 1 – Click Upload Plugin

Step 2: Choose a file (which will be the plugins .zip file)

Step 3: Click Install Now

Step 3: Activate Plugin

Once the plugin is installed, you will need to activate it in order to use it from the Installed Plugins Dashboard.

Step 4: Test and Implement Plugin Functionalities and features

At this point you can go ahead an implement any features and functionalities your new plugin provides.

What do I personally do, when installing a new plugin, to make sure website doesn’t break?

I have created a test instance of wordpress which i use to test new plugins before installing them on my primary website even the most trusted plugins. Because creating backups when adding new plugins can be time consuming and un-necessary and if something goes wrong its damaging to the business and bad for user experience and may lead to downtime.

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Navjot Singh Virk
Navjot is a Hobby Blogger from Ireland and loves to create content to help people. He makes time on weekends to work on this blog. And has a full time position at Workday as Technical Product Manager, which he loves and thrives at. His Skills include in-depth knowledge of SEO, Javascript, Advertising, HTML, Java and Product Management. And his other hobbies include Investing, Gardening and playing Table Tennis.