How to Install/Uninstall WordPress Plugins
Currently, there are two ways to install a WordPress plugin: by uploading the file directly through the automatic plugin installer built into WordPress via the Dashboard, or by manually installing into the plugins folder inside of the WordPress Installation via FTP.
Install a WordPress Plugin Automatically through WordPress
- Go to your WordPress admin panel.
- Go to Plugins > Add New.
- Under Search, type in the name of the WordPress plugin or descriptive keyword, author or tag in the search form; or click a tag link below the search form.
- Find the WordPress plugin you wish to install.
- Click Details for more information about the plugin and instructions you may wish to print or save to help set up the plugin.
- Click Install Now to install the plugin. A popup window will ask you to confirm your wish to install the plugin.
- If this is the first time you've installed a WordPress plugin, you may need to enter the FTP login credential information. If you've installed a plugin before, the login information will already be stored. This information is available through your web server host.
- Click Proceed to continue with the installation. The resulting installation screen will list the installation as successful or note any problems during the install.
- If successful, click Activate Plugin to activate it; or Return to Plugin Installer for further actions.
Install a WordPress Plugin Manually via FTP
- Download your WordPress plugin to your desktop.
- If downloaded as a zip archive, extract the plugin folder to your desktop. This is very important as files must be extracted in order to be uploaded properly to the wp-content/plugins folder.
- Read through the Details readme file thoroughly to ensure you follow the installation instructions.
- With your FTP program, upload the plugin folder to the wp-content/plugins folder in your WordPress directory.
- Go to Plugins and find the newly uploaded plugin in the list.
- Click Activate Plugin to activate it.
As always, be sure to check the readme file for customization instructions and further information.
Uninstall a WordPress Plugin
To deactivate a plugin without permanently deleting it:
- Go to your WordPress admin panel.
- Go to Plugins.
- Find the plugin you wish to deactivate and uninstall.
- Click Deactivate.
The plugin will initiate the deactivation on its own.
Remove a WordPress Plugin Permanently
To remove a WordPress plugin:
- Check the instructions in the readme file of the plugin to learn how to properly uninstall the plugin.
- If the WordPress plugin installation required the addition of code to the WordPress theme, manually edit the theme files to remove it.
- Deactivate the plugin and remove it manually through your FTP program.
- Log in to the site via your FTP program.
- Go to the plugin directory and find where the plugin is installed.
- Delete the WordPress plugin folder and/or files from your server.
Tips for Removing Plugins
The following tips can help you to minimize unwanted changes to your site while removing plugins:
- Upgrading WordPress may make changes to the code which could conflict with your WordPress theme modifications. Use a child theme or manually check the plugin's code to ensure it is still active.
- If you change themes, your changes will not automatically carry over to the new theme. You will need to copy or add them manually to the new WordPress theme (even if you use a child theme since it is not associated with the new theme).
- Updates to the WordPress theme may remove the plugin modification code. Use a child theme or make notes to remind yourself to re-add the plugin code to the updated theme.