How to Install a WordPress Plugin Using the Built-in Plugin Search

This tutorial will assist you with installing a WordPress plugin using the WordPress built in plugin search tool.

The first thing you will need to do is Log into the WordPress Dashboard. To do this, access your WordPress blog and add /wp-admin to the end of the url. For example, if your blog is located at, you can access to get to the login page.

Steps to use built in WordPress plugin search tool

  1. Screenshot selecting 'Add New' after hovering over Plugins tab

    After you have logged into your WordPress admin page, hover over “Plugins” and click “Add New“.

  2. Screenshot highlighting search box in plugins section

    Using the search feature, search for a plugin by keyword, author, or tag.

  3. Section in plugins section highlighting Install and Details buttons for Contact form 7 plugin.

    In this example, we searched for “Contact Form“. If you find a plugin that you’re interested in, click “Details” to find out more information on that particular plugin. If you would like to use the plugin, click “Install Now“.

  4. Screenshot selecting Activate after installing Contact Form 7

    After the plugin has been installed, click “Activate” to begin using it.

    Screenshot selecting Contact Forms option from Contact section after installing Contact Form 7 plugin.

    In this example, we installed the Contact Form 7 plugin to add a customizable contact form within WordPress pages and posts. You can read more about this function in our Contact Form 7 guide.

For more information on improving your WordPress site, please check our Recommended Plugins.

Thoughts on “How to Install a WordPress Plugin Using the Built-in Plugin Search

  • Yeah, I do not see this option. It only shows the installed plug-ins. Also, I do not see any themes other than the one installed.

    • Hello Vinay,

      Sorry that you’re unable to see the plugin option. It’s either a plugin conflict, theme problem, or WordPress installation issue. I would recommend temporarily disabling the plugins to see if that makes a difference. If it doesn’t, then try simplifying the themes to a base theme like twenty-sixteen. If it’s still doing the same thing, then the final suggestion would be to re-load the core files from a copy of the installation zip files and see if that doesn’t fix it.

      If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

      Arnel C.

  • Sorry. This was my bad. I set up a multisite WordPress site(s), and I had never used such a setup before. And adding plugins takes some extra steps with such a setup. New plugins have to be added under Network Admin. In such a case “Add New” doesn’t exists under Plugins in the site itself. Same thing for Themes. Such new additions are instead done in Network Admin and then the plugins or themes can be activated in the admin for the site(s).

    • Hello Mark,

      I regret to hear you’re having difficulties adding plugins to your WordPress installation. We do not “manage” WordPress in any way that would prohibit your ability to add plugins.

      Are you receiving any errors? Is there a specific behavior we can replicate? What happens when you try to add plugins?


    Hi there,
    One of the best tutorials on how to install a plugin on a website. Can you please tell that how to validate the compatibility of a plugin.
    Waiting for your professional support.
    • Hello Daniel,

      When you go to install a plugin it will let you know that the plugin has not been tested with your current version of WordPress.

      Best Regards,
      TJ Edens

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