In our last blog post, we talked about how to install a WordPress plugin through your admin dashboard. There is one more way to install WordPress plugins with an additional benefit to using this way. When you are searching for plugins on the official WordPress Plugins database, you will be downloading the plugin’s .zip file to then FTP login to your blog through your Web Host, then upload the unzipped file to your plugins folder. I’ll explain step by step the details of doing this and why I fall back to using FTP login to fix issues.
Temporarily, we will be using the following NextGEN Gallery plugin for an example in this tutorial. Notice the download button in the image below.
Checklist Of Required Information
In order to download a plugin’s .zip file and upload it via FTP to your blogs plugin folder, you will need a few things. Some web hosts already have an option to FTP login to your blog files to upload and some don’t. WPOutcast’s web host, Cloudways, does not provide this option. So the method below is how I have to do things when I want to upload files to my blog manually. The same method is used to install WordPress.
Recommended FTP Program:
- Core FTP LE is free to use.
- FTP Username & Password (get from your web hosting account page.)
If you are having trouble logging in, it is recommended you contact your web host and ask for the exact information to enter. Once you get logged in you’ll see the exact menu below. Your computer’s desktop on the left and your hosting account files on the right.
On the right-hand side, navigate to your plugins folder where you will upload a plugin you have downloaded from the WordPress plugin database. To get to the plugins folder, click on the WP-Content folder:
You should be in the following directory window:
Downloading & Uploading A Plugin
Let’s head back to the plugin database and once you find a plugin that you want to install, hit the download button to download it to your desktop. Unzip the file before you upload the plugin to your directory.
Open up your FTP software and upload the plugin to the “plugins” folder. Just drag the file from the left side panel over the “plugins” folder.
To make sure the plugin is actually installed in your “plugins” directory, open up that directory and scroll down till you see that plugin. Verify it’s in there like so:
Even though the plugin is installed, it is not activated yet. Navigate to your plugins directory in your admin dashboard and activate the plugin. Then edit the plugins settings if there is any custom settings to set up.
- New To Blogging, read: How To Start A WordPress Blog On The Genesis Framework
Let’s say after a WordPress upgrade or a plugin upgrade that your blog is a little funky or just not working and you are unable to login to it. Instead of reverting to a backup of your blog that you or your Web Host made, you can actually disable plugins one by one via FTP till you find the one causing the problems. Remove that plugin until the author provides an update for it.
- You might be interested in security monitoring software to secure your blog.
Login back to your FTP software and navigate to the plugins folder. To disable a plugin, you just need to edit the plugin name. What I would do is just add an extra letter to it. By doing this, it’s disabled and not activated. If that plugin isn’t the cause of your issues, edit the name to the original one and then re-activate the plugin through your admin dashboard.
This is 1 way of troubleshooting that I have always done myself to narrow down if it’s a plugin issue or not. Plus I’ll have proof for the plugin developer that his or her plugin is faulty.
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