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How to install and uninstall a WordPress plugin

How to Install and Uninstall a WordPress Plugin

Installing a WordPress plugin is a basic technique that every user should know to enrich the website with advanced features. Let’s see how to install and uninstall a WordPress plugin in this post.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin

There are 3 methods to install a plugin:

  1. Install a plugin directly from the plugin directory on wordpress.org
  2. Install a plugin by uploading file
  3. Install a plugin using FTP

Method 1: Install a Plugin Directly from the Plugin Directory on wordpress.org

This method is used only for plugins that are available on wordpress.org. They are all free and can be installed from the Admin Dashboard as follows:

On the Admin Dashboard, choose Plugins > Add New, enter the plugin’s name into the Search plugins box such as Slim SEO.

Next, click Install Now.

Install a plugin directly from the Admin Dashboard.

After a few seconds of the installation process, click Activate.

Active a plugin from Admin Dashboard

Note: If the plugin is installed and activated before, the Install Now button will transfer to the Active button that is dimmed or the Update Now button in case this plugin has a new update.

Plugins are activated and update-needed.

So this plugin is installed successfully, you can start using it now.

Method 2: Install a Plugin by Uploading File

Each plugin has a file that contains its data. This file is in the form of .zip, it’s also called an archive file. To install a plugin, you just need to upload its archive file to the website.

This method works on all types of plugin. Nevertheless, for the plugins which are available on wordpress.org, directly installing from the dashboard is more usual. Therefore, using the archive file is normally used for premium plugins and plugins that aren’t available on wordpress.org.

Step 1: Find and Download the Archive File of the Plugin

First, you have to find and download an archive file of the plugin that you want to install. You can download it from these sources:

  • Download from wordpress.org (Free plugins only).
  • Download from the website of the plugin publisher.
  • With some premium plugins, the publisher will send you a link to download after purchase.

Step 2: Install and Activate the Plugin

On the Admin Dashboard, go to Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin.

Install a plugin by uploading file.

Click Choose File and choose the archive file of the plugin that you downloaded in step 1. Then, click Install Now.

Choose the plugin's file to upload.

After that, click Activate Plugin.

Activate plugin after uploading its .zip file.

You’ve finished installing a plugin by uploading its archive file. It’s quite easy, isn’t it?

Method 3: Install a Plugin using FTP

Some hosting services restrict the uploaded file size from the Admin Dashboard. Therefore, when your plugin size is too large. You may not be able to install it by 2 methods above. That time, let’s use this way.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a protocol that helps you exchange files between your personal computer with the website’s server. To install a plugin with FTP, you have to install an FTP client software. In this example, I use Filezilla.

Notice that with this method, you need an archive file of the plugin that you want to install. Especially, you have to unzip it.

First, open Filezilla. Log in with your hosting account, then enter “21” in the Port section (This port is default and used for multipurpose). After that, click Quickconnect.

Log in FTP with your hosting account.

Next, find the plugins folder in the path wp-content/plugins. Then, copy and paste the folder that you unzipped from the archive file into the plugins folder.

Paste the folder that you unzipped from the archive file into the plugins folder.

Next, back to the Admin Dashboard and go to Plugins > Installed Plugins, then find the plugin that you’ve installed and click Activate.

Activate a plugin in the Installed plugins section.

So everything is done, you can start using this plugin from now on!

How to Uninstall a Plugin

In case you haven’t used a plugin and you want to uninstall it, the easiest way is uninstalling it directly from the Admin Dashboard.

However, that uninstalling process can’t delete all the plugin’s data on your website. To delete them completely, you need to delete the plugin’s auto-generated files and data using FTP and cPanel.

Let’s follow these steps:

Step 1: Uninstall a Plugin Directly from the Admin Dashboard

Go to Plugins > Installed Plugins, find the plugin you want to uninstall, and click Deactivate.

Deactivate the desired plugin in the Installed plugin section.

Then, click Delete to completely remove the plugin from your website.

Delete a plugin.

Step 2: Delete the Auto-Generated Files of the Plugin

Normally, when you finish step 1, the plugin’s data won’t be removed from the plugins folder in the path wp-content > plugins. However, some plugins still leave their auto-generated files. So let’s find and delete these files to make sure that they won’t be on your site anymore!

First, you have to open Filezilla, log in with your hosting account like installing a plugin in method 3.

Then, find and delete the folder that contains your desired plugin. This folder will save on other paths depending on each plugin. For example, I want to delete the folder of Gravity Forms, so I go to wp-content/upload.

Delete the Auto-Generated Files of the Plugin in the website folder.

When you delete this file, you also delete all the plugin’s files.

Step 3: Delete the Plugin’s Data

After 2 steps above, some statistical plugins still store data in your website database. Normally, you won’t use this plugin anymore, so to reduce the capacity and speed up your website, you should delete them.

Nevertheless, let’s make sure this process won’t affect your website operation. To be more careful, you should create a backup for your website before deleting any data.

To delete the plugin’s data, let’s do as follows:

First, go to cPanel and choose phpMyAdmin to access the website database.

Access your website database through phpMyAdmin.

Then, choose data that is relevant to the desired plugin and click Delete.

Delete the data that is auto-generated by the plugin.

It’s not so hard, isn’t it? Not only when uninstalling a plugin but also in any other case, you should check the data and delete the unused ones to improve your website loading speed.

Last Words

Normally, you just need to install a plugin by method 1, 2, and uninstall a plugin directly from the Admin Dashboard. Using cPanel and FTP is often unfamiliar to general users, so that in the case that you need to use these ways, you may ask someone for help. Good luck and keep track of my next tutorials.

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