I was recently directed to a WordPress Plugin named ReplyMe.  This plugin will automatically send an email to somebody who left a comment when somebody else replies to his comment.  However, when I searched for the plugin through the dashboard, it did not come up.  I figured it was a premium plugin and searched for it through Google.  Lo and behold, where did I find it?  In the plugins section of WordPress.org.

Since I have already created a guide to installing WordPress plugins through the dashboard I will not rehash that here, but what happens when you want to install a plugin that does not show up in the dashboard search?  You have to install them manually.  Lucky for you, it is not hard to do.

For this example I will not be installing the ReplyMe plugin, because it does not come up in the search results.  This method works for plugins regardless of the source though – once you download it to your computer the process is identical regardless of the source.  The difference is just in the front end of searching for the plugin.

WordPress Plugins SearchTo begin our manual installation, let us pop over to the WordPress.org plugins page.  To get there you can go to the main site and select the Plugins tab.  When you arrive you will see a screen similar to that pictured below.  Note that I have already entered the name of the plugin that I am searching for.

So what if you do not know the name of the plugin that you are searching for?  Not a problem, just type some descriptive phrase such as “security” or “calendar” or whatnot and you will get a list of plugins that may fit the bill.  (Sometimes you do get strange results though).

So I searched for “calendar” and ended up with 286 results.  Which do I pick?  My personal preference is to start with one that has a high rating and a lot of downloads.  If it does not do what I want it to, then I will uninstall it and try another one.  (Remember to delete plugins that you are not using.  Your site will be more secure if you do.)  For this example, I will use the first result, and I click on the name to learn more about it.

WordPress Plugin DownloadOnce you have clicked the plugin name, you are taken to more information about the plugin.  On this page you can read a brief description of the plugin including features, rating, and compatibility with various versions of WordPress.  To keep the image size down I cut most of that off.

The orange button will enable you to download the current version of the plugin to your personal computer.  Note that this is a zip file, and you do not want to unzip it.  Just save it to your hard drive.  I have a separate directory for my WordPress downloads so that I can find them quickly if I need to.

Once on your system, you need to upload the file to your site.  For that you navigate to the Plugins menu option on the WordPress dashboard, select Add New (either location will do), and then select Upload.

WordPress Plugins Add New

WordPress Plugin Upload

After selecting Upload, you will see a standard Browse button, which will enable you to navigate on your computer to where you saved the plugin zip file.  Once you have located it, simply click Install Now.

WordPress Plugin Install

Your final step is to activate the plugin.  Just click on Activate and it is live.

WordPress Plugin Activate

Remember that some plugins require configuration before use, so while this guide instructs on how to install a plugin, you are not necessarily done with what you need to do to configure the plugin.

Until next time,


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