How to install plugins in WordPress in three ways + 3 videos

First of all I have to say that it is a pleasure to write in Fernando's Blog, a WordPress reference blog in Spanish. [19659003] In this post we will see the different ways to install a plugin in WordPress and under what circumstances we should use one form of installation or another.

There are three ways to install plugins in WordPress:

  • Install WordPress plugin with prior download: we will proceed first to download the plugin and then install it through the WordPress admin panel.
  • Install WordPress plugin direct from the Back Office: install the plugin directly from the administration panel (without download).
  • Install plugin via FTP: Install the plugin by uploading it via FTP to the Word plugins folder Press

I already told you that to install templates in WordPress you can use the same 3 procedures that we will see to install a plugin.


This way of installing plugins in WordPress is divided into two parts. Previous download of the plugin and subsequent installation through the WordPress administration panel.

This form of plugin installation is usual for the installation of payment plugins such as page builder ] as visual composer or Divi builder, WPML language plugin, or any other premium plugin. Since after the acquisition of it we will proceed to the download and subsequent installation.

It can also be used to install free plugins of . Although in this case it would be faster to use the second method (install plugin directly from the administration panel).

Process of installing a plugin in WordPress with prior download.

1-Download plugin: In First we must proceed to download the plugin that we want to install. Either after acquiring a paid plugin or after visiting the download page of a free plugin.

We will save the compressed plugin on the desktop of our PC.

Important: do not unzip the plugin, we will use it compressed.

2-Access the Administration Panel: for the installation we will access the WordPress administration panel through the URL: admin

We will introduce our username and password.

3-Add New plugin: to install a plugin we will go to: "Administration Panel> Plugins> Add New" ] Then we will click on the button named: "Upload plugin" that appears at the top of the screen.

4-Browse: Now we will click on the button: "Examine …" . We will search in our computer the compressed file of the plugin and we will click on: "Open" .

 Install plugin with wordpress installer

Install previous plugin download of it

5- Install: Next we will click on the button: "Install now" and the plugin installation process will begin.

6- Activate plugin: once installed the plugin must activate it if we want to start it. To do this we can click the link: "Activate plugin" that appears after installation or go to: "admin panel> plugins> Installed plugins", find the plugin and activate it.


This form of install plugins in WordPress is done entirely from the administration panel . That is, you do not have to download the plugin previously.

Obviously this method can not be used for paid plugins. We will only use it for free plugins present in

Process to install a plugin directly from the WordPress desktop

1-Access the administration panel: the first thing we have to do is access the WordPress admin panel. To do this we must access the URL: . Later we will introduce our username and password.

2-Add New plugin: to add a new plugin we will go to: "Admin panel> Plugins> Add New" .

3- Search plugin: now we will write the name of the plugin that we want to install in the search bar that appears on the right side and press "enter".

4-Select plugin: located the plugin will press the button: "Install now" of the same and the installation process will begin.

 Install free plugin of

Install plugin of through the admin panel

5 – Activate plugin: Installed the plugin will proceed to activate it if we want to start it. To do this, click on the link: "Activate plugin" that appears after installing the plugin or go to: "administration panel> plugins> Plugins installed", we will find the plugin and activate it.


This is the most technical way to install a plugin in WordPress. It is necessary to perform a previous download of it.

This method can be used for free and paid plugins. It consists of uploading the plugin directly to the "Plugins" folder of WordPress . To work, the plugin must be decompressed.

This method is usually used when any of the previous methods fails.

To use this method we will need an FTP client.

Process to install a plugin via FTP

1- Download plugin: The first thing we have to do is download the plugin we want to install. We will place the plugin on the desktop of our computer.

2- Unzip plugin: To make the plugin work it must be unzipped in the appropriate directory. We are going to unzip it and upload it already decompressed. Although we could also upload it compress it and then decompress it through the administration panel of hosting (CPanel, Plesk, or others)

3- FTP Client: Now we must open an FTP client FileZilla WinSCP etc. I'm going to use WinSCP which I like the most, but the truth is that they are all similar.

4- Connection data: After opening WinSCP we will choose the "New site" option in the window from the left. Then in the right window we will select:

i.- Protocol file: we will choose FTP. Some hosting as 1 & 1 use SFTP protocols, in which case you would have to choose "SFTP".

ii.- IP or server name: here we will put an IP or a web address. This information must be provided by our hosting company to make connections via FTP.

iii.- Port: If you use the FTP protocol you must put port 21. If you use the SFTP protocol you must put port 22

iv.- User: here we will put the user for the connection, data that should also be provided by the hosting company.

v.- Password: Here we will write the user's password for the connection via FTP. This information should also be provided by the hosting company.

When the data is filled in, we will click on the "Connect" button that appears at the bottom.

5- FTP client management: en The FTP client will see two screens. The left screen is your computer and the right window corresponds to the hosting . To copy a file from your computer to the hosting you just have to locate the file, click on it with the left mouse button, drag it to the window on the right and drop it on the appropriate directory.

6.- Preparation: what we will do now is to prepare both windows. In the window on the left we will select the desktop that is where we left the decompressed plugin. In the right window we will go to "public_html / wp-content / plugins" which is where we should place the plugin that we want to install.

7- Drag and drop: now we will proceed to upload a copy of the plugin to hosting To do this, in the left window we will click with the left mouse button on the plugin that we want to upload and drag it to the right screen. We will release it in a clean area where there are no folders (so that it is not inserted in a directory)

 how to install a wordpress plugin via FTP

Install wordpress plugin via FTP

8- Installed plugin: in a little while the plugin will be placed in the "plugins" folder and therefore it will be installed. You have an "update" button in the FTP client to see the changes.

9- Activate plugin: to activate the plugin we must access the WordPress administration panel and go to: "plugins> Plugins installed. " Find the plugins you just installed and click the "Activate" button.

NOTICE : this publication is from two years ago or more. If it's a code or a plugin it might not work in the latest versions of WordPress, and if it's a news story it might be obsolete. Then do not say we have not warned you.

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Migrate a multi-site WordPress network from the server

Yesterday I was migrating a WordPress multisite network to a new server and as it has some different aspects to the migration of a WordPress only let's see how it is done, because although there are many common steps with a migration of a single site also has its peculiarities.

Why change a multi-site network server

There may be several reasons, but the reason Most usual to change a multisite network server is usually for memory or space needs .

Do not forget that a multisite network is an environment in which we offer sites, usually free, so there are multiple WordPress installations, each with their plugins, applications and scripts running, and all loading all that activity on a single (usually) database.

Nor is it to dismiss the question of [194] 59009] disk space . In the network settings you can limit the space available for each site, but if your network is successful you just have to multiply the space you grant by the number of sites hosted to stay soon without the precious and expensive gigas that you have on your server.

 settings files network multisite wordpress

In my case the problem was the available memory, because in the previous server I could not adapt to my growing needs the available resources, so I decided that the best thing was to migrate to a WordPress hosting in conditions, that would allow me all the necessary freedom and power, without this supposed a hole in my economy.

But let's go to it, to the server migration. The steps are the following …

0. Before starting

One step prior to all migration of a multisite network is disable all plugins so go to the administrator's desk of the network and disable them all.

1. Downloading files

The first thing is to have a copy of the files of the multisite network . There are many plugins but, in my experience, to migrate a multisite network it is better to do it manually by FTP or from the cPanel file manager.

The files and directories to be saved are the following:

  • Directory / wp-content / and its subdirectories
  • File wp-config.php
  • File .htaccess
  • Any file of your installation that is not WordPress

As the download of files can be of an important size my advice is that you make the copy of files by cPanel that allows you to create a compressed file of the chosen files and directories, that will be downloaded much more quickly, since the download file to file by FTP can be almost eternal.

 compress cpanel wordpress files

It will also be the fastest option for subsequent restoration of the arch ivos.

2. Downloading the database

The next – and last – thing to download is the database, so access the panel of your hosting and load phpMyAdmin. Once in your database go to the tab Export and perform the export of all tables .

Most versions of phpMyADmin will allow you to choose between fast export and the personalized one; I recommend the customized one because you can export it in a compressed file download faster and also faster later restoration.

3. Install WordPress in the new hosting

Once we have contracted our new hosting the first thing is create a clean installation of WordPress which will be the subsequent recipient of our multi-site network.

This installation should not have nothing special, in fact you can use the automatic installer of your hosting (which I suppose that at this point it will offer it, but look for another one). If your hosting provider offers it, it would be a good idea to specify that the installation will be multisite, which will save you a later step that we will see.

4. Upload your copy of the network files to the new installation

Now it's time to restore the files and directories that we copy from our network, so upload them by FTP or cPanel, replacing the directories and files of the new installation with the ones you copied, except the file wp-config.php without taking into account these two possibilities:

  1. If your hosting allowed you to create the new multi-site installation do not replace the new file ] wp-config.php by the old one, because the current one will have the connection information to the database. The new file wp-config.php will already have the multi-site network configuration.
  2. If you could not make the new installation multi-site, do not replace the new file wp-config.php ] by the old one, because the current one will have the connection information to the database. Open to edit the new file wp-config.php and copy the multi-site network configuration of the old one and save the changes.

Come on, let under no circumstances replace the file wp -config.php new by the previous one .

As in step 1 of this guide I recommend that you use cPanel to upload the files because it allows you to upload a ZIP file and decompress it, which will greatly accelerate the process. You can do it by FTP but the process is long and slow.

5. Remove the tables from the new database

Go back to phpMyAdmin from the panel of your brand new hosting and once in your new database select all the tables in the box below the list of tables and , in the drop-down to your right called " For all the selected elements " click on the option " Delete ".

 delete database tables new

You will immediately be shown a screen in which you must confirm the deletion .

 confirm delete tables new database

6 Import your copy of the database

Now that we have emptied the new database it is time for to upload the tables of the database of our network that we previously exported .

Go to phpMyAdmin , select your new database and go to the tab Import where you will have to select the file of the database that we downloaded in step 2.

 import base of wordpress data

The process is fast and automatic, and your tables will be imported into the new database easily. The only problem you might encounter in this step is the size supported by your hosting to import databases. If you exceed it, you will have to ask your hosting provider whether they care about the file or do it yourself, for example with WP-CLI or SSH .

7. Change the DNS servers

Once the physical migration is done you only have go to the management of the domain usually in the domain panel of the previous provider, and make the change of DNS servers from the previous ones to the new ones and wait for them to spread.

How long does it take? It depends. Everything has happened to me. As a general rule, any domain that is not a .es will take much less, even minutes, and .es domains can take from 1 hour in the best cases to several hours or even days in some occasions. The digital divide is called (sic).

One trick I usually use to know when the DNS server change has been made is to upload a text file of type hello to the new host. txt with a text that says " Hello, I'm already in the new hosting " and type in your url from time to time until you see the welcome text.

Final reflections

Una Once the DNS is spread, you should have your multi-site network on the new server without problems and with everything running as before. Also, since there has not been a change of domain, you will not have problems with URLs or redirections.

In any case, you may have some problem with plugin compatibility – mainly – since each server uses different versions of PHP and MySQL, and the plugin that worked well in the previous server can have problems in the new or vice versa.

This is innate with any migration, not only with multisite networks, and remember that you must always make migrations to improve, to have one more server safe and updated so if the plugin is the problem, for not being compatible with more current versions of PHP or MySQL, change plugin, do not deny a migration to a better server by an outdated plugin and vulnerable .

You will only have to go to the settings of your multi-site network and, if you deem it convenient, expand the space available for the sites, install new plugins, themes more advanced or whatever you want to make your users enjoy the advantages of the new server.

 happy move

Any questions or additional advice?

I have made several migrations of multisite networks, and sincerely with this method I have never had any problem, but if you know any better way to do it do not deprive yourself and tell us in the comments.

Likewise, if you do not understand a step or have any doubt, plant it and I will try to help you. [19659066] NOTICE : this publication is from two years ago or more. If it's a code or a plugin it might not work in the latest versions of WordPress, and if it's a news story it might be obsolete. Then do not say we have not warned you.

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