Option 1 – How to Install a WordPress Plugin via the Admin Dashboard

The easiest way of installing a free WordPress plugin is via your Admin Dashboard. This option connects to the WordPress Plugin Directory, which is restricted to free plugins.

First, go to your WordPress Admin Dashboard and click on Plugins > Add New:

plugin-add-new How to Install a WordPress Plugin via the Admin Dashboard

On the next page, you can find a plugin either by entering its name or the functionality you want. For example, you might want a “social sharing” plugin:

plugin-search How to Install a WordPress Plugin via the Admin Dashboard

After that, you will see all the relevant plugins listed.

There’s an option to view more details about each plugin if you need to check. When you’ve decided on the plugin you want, click the Install Now button:

plugin-install-now-1 How to Install a WordPress Plugin via the Admin Dashboard

WordPress will now install the plugin for you. Once it’s completed, you’ll see the Install Now button changes to Activate:

plugin-activate-1 How to Install a WordPress Plugin via the Admin Dashboard

Although the plugin is installed, you have to activate it to make it function, so click on the Activate button.

Now, in your Admin Dashboard, you should see a welcome screen for the new plugin:

plugin-welcome-1 How to Install a WordPress Plugin via the Admin Dashboard

You may have to enter some more details to complete the setup, so follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll see a new menu option for the plugin on the left-hand side.

Note: Sometimes, the plugin gets added to an existing menu. For example, you’ll find Akismet in the Settings menu:

plugin-menus How to Install a WordPress Plugin via the Admin Dashboard

And that’s it! You’ve installed and activated a free WordPress plugin.

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