Why Can’t I add Plugins to WordPress – Try These 4 Different Methods

Why I can't add plugins to WordPress?

I asked myself that question when I first started with WordPress

Is it really hard to add plugins to WordPress?

No, it is very easy and I will show you below 4 different methods

why I can't add plugins to WordPress

But I will try to cover most common pitfalls about WordPress Plugins and it doesn't matter if the post is long

I try to add navigational links to take you where you want.

There are few affiliate links, if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you

Anyway here I am going to discuss the following topics

What is WordPress plugin

A WordPress plugin is a code written in PHP language

Same language used for coding WordPress itself

Inside WordPress itself, there is a component called Plugin that extends the functionality and features of WordPress

I consider plugins to be the brain of any WordPress site

Remember I did not say the heart of WordPress site as any WordPress can live without plugins but they will live a dull life.

Why do you need to install plugins

Think about it this way

I was looking at my installed plugins on this website

I have 20 plugins as of writing this post but I am planning to add more later

At least you still need very few plugins like Akismet plugin to filter out spam from your comments so you can focus on other tasks.

What if you need to add contact form to help visitors send you questions/inquiries

WordPress does not come with features

It comes with the ability to build pages and add posts to your WordPress site

How to Install WordPress plugin

If you are wondering why you can't add plugins to WordPress?

There are 4 different ways to add plugins to WordPress

I will start with the easiest way going to the hardest

Sometimes I had to follow the hardest way for certain reasons, anyway here I go

Add plugins from within WordPress

This method as the title states, adding plugins from inside WordPress itself

Just click on Plugins menu to the left then click on sub menu Add New button (Step 1)

Add Plugins page will show up, type your keyword where you expect to find your features or functionalities

e.g. if you type SEO (stands for Search Engine Optimization) then the Add Plugins page will show up Yoast SEO and other plugins all related to SEO (Step 2)

Then click on Install button (Step 3)

Same button will display Installing on its label (Step 4)

It will switch to Activate once it is done (Step 5) 

After that it will show as Plugin activated (Step 6)


Upload plugins from within WordPress

This process is little bit tricky than the previous one

But they are all done within WordPress itself

Click on Plugins menu to the left then click on sub menu Add New button (Step 1)

Add Plugins page will show up click on the Upload Plugin button (Step 2)

Then click on Choose File button to upload your Plugin as zip file (Step 3)

Remember to download your plugin as zip file

You can read this topic under previous post on how to install WordPress core, plugins and themes updates on your local PC 


Upload plugins from within web hosting file manager

Another way completely outside the WordPress dashboard is by going to your web hosting account

I display here Siteground because that's what I use

Log in to your web hosting account and go to File Manager (Step 1)

This will load all the folders under your web hosting account

Click on your website name

Assuming your created a folder same as your domain name (Step 2)

Click on wp-content folder to go to WordPress folder where it stores all plugins (Step 3)

Then click on plugins folder (Step 4)

You have to manually create your plugin folder name

It will be the same name as the one extracted under your local PC by clicking on the Folder button

Make sure you click on this newly created folder name to go inside the folder (Step 5)

After that you can click on the Upload button (Step 6)

Unfortunately you have to upload one file at a time (Step 7)

Siteground file manager

Upload plugins from within FTP

This is the hardest one as it requires a lot of activities

Like creating FTP account and downloading FTP software like FileZilla 

First click on FTP Accounts button (Step 1)

This will take you to the FTP accounts page

You will be able to type your FTP username and password (Step 2)

After that you can scroll down a little to confirm that your account has been created

Click on Configure FTP Client button and this will load all extra FTP software

You will be able to download XML file which contains all your account credentials

From the FTP software itself you can import this file to get a connection to your web hosting ready for you (Step 3)

Siteground how to setup FTP

How do you disable a plugin in WordPress


Sometimes it is called deactivate a plugin so it is the same term

You want to stop a particular plugin from functioning whatever you want to keep it for future use or deleting it

To disable/deactivate a plugin just click on Plugins menu to the left

Then click on sub menu Installed Plugins button (Step 1)

Look for the plugin which you want to disable/deactivate and click on its deactivate button (Step 2)

After that Plugins page will load showing under this plugin Activate and Delete buttons (Step 3)

t is up to you to click on Delete button to completely remove it from your WordPress

I only keep few plugins as deactivated if I plan to work on multiple plugins with same features/functionalities to compare between them later

I switch one by one and then once I decide which plugin to use, I deactivate the rest and delete them

Do WordPress plugins slow down your website

I read lot of posts that claim so many plugins slow down your WordPress site

While I agree that lot of plugins mean more code to load but what kind of code

A quality code will not slow down your WordPress site.

Actually there are 3 main activities that some plugins do

1- First activity is loading scripts like Javascript libraries and CSS on every page that loads

Not when required where all loaded scripts require an HTTP request

Requesting data between your web server and your browser

The best way to load scripts is by either loading scripts asynchronously, a term which means together with loading the page

You don't have to wait for scripts to finish loading or by stopping plugins from loading scripts which are not required for that page

2- Second activity is making extra database queries on each page

Few plugins are not careful when it comes to database calls

They make extra database calls to track things.

3- Third activity is performing complex operations

Like Full Text indexing for every posts to display related posts at the end of your post

So these plugins work in the background to perform Full Text index on every post to generate relevant keywords to match with other posts.

How many WordPress plugins can you Install on your WordPress site

You are not limited to a number

But you have to consider what features/functionalities you want to add

Stay away from installing similar plugins like same plugins for social media

If for example one plugin shows social media on top while another shows on left

Make up your mind and choose one over the others

Do WordPress plugins affect your website performance

This question is similar to my question about if plugins slow down your WordPress site

Read above the 3 main activities

Yes few plugins loading scripts

Making extra database queries or performing complex operations can impact your WordPress performance

Do WordPress plugins have an impact on your website security

No and Yes

Meaning No as well coded plugins should not impact your WordPress security

What If any of my plugins gets discontinued

Plugins mostly are developed by volunteers to the WordPress community

Yes it can happen that a plugin does not get the appropriate update to work with latest

WordPress releases but you have to consider what features and functionalities you want to get and look for alternatives

Some plugins can be replaced by 2 or more but still you will not be left behind.

How to choose the best plugins for my WordPress site

Well I suggest to pick one plugin of each kind

For example you need at least to install search engine plugin like Yoast SEO

Plugin to filter spam on comments and then protect your WordPress site with security plugin and then a plugin to boost performance 

Also a plugin to analyze your site on internet like Google Analytics

For a complete list of what to install, from my perspective as I currently have them installed on this WordPress site

You can read about my post on the essential plugin to install on your WordPress site

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