See a walkthrough of our delightfully-designed WordPress platform!

Watch the video

How do I install a WordPress plugin?

One of the great things about WordPress  is the ability to add functionality and features with plugins. This guide will walk you through how to install and activate a plugin on your WordPress site.

First, you’ll need to decide whether you want to search for and install a plugin from the WordPress Plugin Repository, or if you need to upload a plugin (common for custom or premium plugins) – since the methods vary slightly.

From the WordPress Plugin Repository


Navigate to the Add New Plugins page

Once you’re logged into the wp-admin dashboard of your WordPress site, find the Plugins menu on the left side bar. Within Plugins, click on Add New.

WordPress add new plugin menu


Choose a plugin

Toward the top right of the screen is a search box labeled ‘Add New’ where you can search for and install any of the plugins available there. Once you find the plugin you’re looking for, click the ‘Install Now’ button on that plugin.

search and install WordPress plugin

Once it finishes installing, the click the ‘Activate’ button and you’re on your way!

activate WordPress plugin

Uploading a plugin

If you’re bringing your own custom or premium plugin into WordPress (these should come as .zip files), the steps are fairly similar:


Navigate to the Add New Plugins page

Once you’re logged into the wp-admin dashboard of your WordPress site, find the Plugins menu on the left side bar. Within Plugins, click on Add New.


Upload your .zip file

Since you already have the plugin you’d like to install, there’s no need to search for it. Simply click the ‘Upload’ button near the top of the window.

Press the ‘Choose File’ button that appears and browse for your plugin file (in .zip format) from your local machine. Alternatively, you can drag and drop onto the ‘Choose File’ button.

WordPress plugin upload and install

Next, click ‘Install Now’. It may take a few moments for WordPress to upload and install your plugin.

Install uploaded WordPress plugin


Activate the plugin

To activate your plugin for immediate use, on the next page you’re taken to once the plugin is installed, simply click the ‘Activate’ button.

Activate uploaded WordPress plugin

As always, if you need any help with getting a plugin installed, reach out to us at here.

Was this article helpful?

  • Billing & Accounts

    Questions relating to payments, billing and managing your account on Flywheel.

    14 Articles
  • Blueprints

    Learn everything there is to know about what Blueprints are, how to create them and how to make the best use of them.

    5 Articles
  • Database

    How to access your WordPress database to make changes and update content.

    3 Articles
  • Domain Names

    Details about how to manage DNS and point your domain names at Flywheel.

    16 Articles
  • Frequently Asked

    The most commonly asked questions, and a few we just think you should know.

    26 Articles
  • General Questions

    Questions that don't fit elsewhere, or those about Flywheel in general.

    59 Articles
  • Getting started

    Everything you need to know to get your first Flywheel site up and running.

    17 Articles
  • Local

    Everything you need to know about our amazing, free local WordPress development software for Mac and PC.

    20 Articles
  • Organizations

    Everything you need to know about managing your team with our Organizations feature.

    8 Articles
  • Plugins

    Which plugins work best, which plugins work worst, and everything in between.

    8 Articles
  • Security

    Details about everything Flywheel does to makes your site so secure.

    16 Articles
  • SFTP

    Information on setting up and troubleshooting with SFTP connections and file transfers.

    5 Articles
  • Simple SSL

    All there is to know about our free, automatically installed and activated SSL certificates.

    8 Articles
  • Staging

    How to get the most out of Staging, which allows you to duplicate a site, make changes, and then push those changes to the live site.

    6 Articles
  • White Label

    Everything you need to know about our Whitelabel subscriptions for branding and reselling Flywheel.

    3 Articles

Flywheel help

Help is just a click away! Log into the Flywheel dashboard to instantly chat with an expert, open a ticket, or follow along with in-depth documentation. We happily offer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

Log in

Try it yourself. It's free & takes less than 60 seconds. Sign up