How to Install WordPress Themes and Plugins

For new WordPress users, personalizing their site is an exciting prospect. A mental vision of what your final site will look like may already be in your head. But on the other hand, fulfilling your vision might be difficult if you lack design or technical knowledge.

You can alter the look and even add new functionality with the help of themes and plugins, which are some of the essential components of WordPress. If you choose the appropriate themes and plugins, you don’t need any coding or design skills to make your site exactly as you want.

What are WordPress Themes?

A WordPress theme is a collection of files (graphics, style sheets, and code) that determines your blog’s design. Themes can modify the site layout and link colors. Themes are more than just a ‘skin’ for your site.

Themes
Themes

A theme lets you change your blog’s presentation, not just its appearance. For example, consider a culinary blog with an online shop. The correct themes can show blog entries one way and store pages another.

WordPress already has some default themes. However, you can install a new theme on your site for a few reasons:

You can adjust a theme to fit your site’s concept and customize designs. In addition, many themes provide adjustments for those without design or coding knowledge.

A theme can contain niche-specific features you can’t get elsewhere. While a basic or modified theme can work for many websites, hundreds more niche- and purpose-specific premium themes are available.

What are WordPress Plugins?

It is a piece of code that plugs into your self-hosted WordPress site. That implies that a WordPress plugin is a piece of software that enhances or expands the functionality of your WordPress site.

Plugins
Plugins

A big advantage of WordPress is the tens of thousands of plugins you can use to customize your site.

A wide range of plugins can do anything from a little modification to a major overhaul. You can even use plugins to make your WordPress site into an eCommerce shop, a social network, or a discussion forum.

So, now that you have a basic idea of WordPress Themes and Plugins, let’s discuss on how to install WordPress themes and plugins, in a step by step process.

How to Install WordPress Theme from Directory

The following are the basic steps for installing the WordPress themes.

Login and Selection

Themes can be found under Appearance on the WordPress admin page.

Selecting Themes

Adding Themes

Add a new theme by clicking Add New. Then, type its name into the theme directory’s search bar to find a certain theme.

Adding Themes
Adding Themes

Feature Filter might help narrow your search if the name of your favorite theme escapes you. Check any tags and click Apply Filter to get a list of all the themes that match your requirements.

Activation and Preview

Theme settings can be unlocked by hovering over a theme. Now press Install.

Installing Themes
Installing Themes

To activate your account, simply click the “Activate” option.

Activating Themes
Activating Themes

Now, you’ll see the new theme activated message on top left corner.

Theme Activated
Theme Activated

How to Install WordPress Themes Manually

Let’s say you bought a WordPress premium theme from a developer not listed in the directory. If this is the case, you must upload the file before installing it. To upload and install a theme, just follow these simple steps.

Downloading and Saving Themes

To get started, download the theme’s.zip file and save it to your computer.

Adding Themes

Once you’ve logged into your WordPress dashboard, go to appearance>Themes and click Add New.

Adding Themes
Adding Themes

Uploading Themes

The Upload Theme option has been added to the Add New Theme screen.

Uploading Themes
Uploading Themes

Installing Themes

Once you’ve clicked Choose File and selected the theme zip file on your computer, you can click Install Now to begin the theme upload.

Install Theme
Install Theme

Activating Themes

After unzipping the zip file, you can activate the theme from your admin panel. Navigate to the Themes directory and click the Activate button to activate the theme.

Theme Activation
Theme Activation

Now you will see a similar new theme activated message on top left corner.

Theme Activated
Theme Activated

How to Install WordPress Plugin from Directory

Installing a free WordPress plugin differs somewhat from installing a premium plugin. We’ll discuss both here. 

Let’s start with installing the free ones!

Go to Plugins from WordPress Dashboard

Please log in to your WordPress dashboard at http://your-domain.com and choose “Plugins” from the left-hand menu.

Selecting Plugin
Selecting Plugin

Adding Plugins

Toward the top of the page, you’ll see an “Add New” button.

Adding Plugin
Adding Plugin

Searching Plugins

The next page has a brief list of highlighted and recommended plugins and a search area on the right.

Searching Plugin
Searching Plugin

You can type the name of the plugin you’d want to use in the search box. 

Installing Plugins

To begin the installation process, just choose the plugin from the list and click the “Install Now” button. WordPress will download and install the plugin for you when you do this. It’s the same process as adding a new app on your phone.

Installing Plugin
Installing Plugin

Activating Plugins

There is one last step. Click the “Activate Plugin” button that appears when the installation is complete:

Activating Plugin
Activating Plugin

There you go! WordPress will notify you that the plugin has been active with the “Plugin Activated” message at the top of the page.

Plugin Activated
Plugin Activated

How to Install WordPress Plugin Manually

The process of how to install a WordPress plugin that’s premium or paid is a bit different. Purely because premium plugins are not available in the official plugin directory.

Installing a premium or paid WordPress plugin is slightly different because premium plugins are not accessible in the official plugin directory. 

So, without further ado, let’s start with the process.

Get the Plugins

The first thing you must do is get the plugin itself. You must manage this stage on your own. This often requires visiting a marketplace or plugin shop and purchasing a copy of the plugin there.

You’ll get the plugin in a .zip format and save it on your PC.

Adding Plugins 

Once you have the ZIP file, return to your WordPress wp-admin panel, select “Plugins” in the sidebar, and then “Add New”.

Adding Plugin
Adding Plugin

Uploading Plugins

Click the “Upload Plugin” button located at the top of the page.

Uploading Plugin
Uploading Plugin

You can submit your plugin’s ZIP file directly to WordPress on the subsequent page. Simply choose the ZIP file from your desktop and click “Install Now” to finalize the upload.

Install Plugin
Install Plugin

Activating Plugins

After WordPress completes its enchantment, you will simply need to activate the plugin.

Activate Plugin
Activate Plugin

After completing these steps, the plugin will be online and ready for use.

A Note for You

You can also install plugins that are not yet registered on WordPress directory, but you’ve found them from other official sites by uploading them in the above mentioned manner. You can also download earlier versions and install them by uploading. Some people use it when there are bugs in the newer updates.

Conclusion

So, we hope installing WordPress Themes and Plugins went well. Follow the steps properly to install them hassle-free. Feel free to comment if you are having difficulties. Best of luck!

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at wplearners is a team of WordPress experts. Trusted by WordPress readers worldwide.

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