How to Install a WordPress Plugin Using cPanel

For the majority of WordPress users, there is only one way to install a WordPress plugin; they have no idea if they can accomplish the task using cPanel.

One of the most significant problems occurs when users don’t have access to their wp-admin panel due to some reason. Not everyone knows how to fix an issue.

Whenever you get a White Screen of Death, or something related, you seek help from a web hosting customer service representative.

But, it’s vital to polish your WordPress skills. There are thousands of free plugins in the WordPress repository, but when you buy a premium plugin, you get a ZIP file.

You can upload the file from your website’s dashboard, but you should also learn a different way. In this tutorial, you’re going to learn the manual way to install a WordPress plugin using cPanel.

Learn to Use the File Structure of WordPress

Now and then, you can see people choosing cPanel as their best friend, I remember when I started using it, everything was so scary, but not anymore.

If you have been using WordPress for a while, you may have noticed how important it is to know about WordPress core files and their structure.

To install a plugin, you need to know where all the other plugins are present. WordPress stores its plugins, themes, media, and content in its wp-content folder.

Let me walk you through the whole process.

Step 1:

Open the cPanel account provided by your web hosting company, and search for the file manager. Most of the companies display it under the Files’ section, but it’s not necessary.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin Using cPanel

Depending on the company you have, the design of cPanel may be different because every company uses a unique design template.

Step 2:

If you host only one domain on your web hosting server, you have to open the public_html directory, because that’s where all of your WordPress files and folders are residing.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin Using cPanel

By default, you may see the home directory or an empty directory, but you can navigate to public_html through the left-hand sidebar of cPanel.

Search for the wp-content folder and click to open.

Step 3:

On this page, you can see the themes, plugins, and many other folders. Open plugins.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin Using cPanel

Step 4:

You can see all the plugins you have on your WordPress site right now. To upload a new plugin, you must use the Upload link showing on the horizontal main navigation menu of cPanel.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin Using cPanel

Step 5:

A new tab appears to you, having a button “Select File” to pick the ZIP file you have downloaded on your computer.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin Using cPanel

If you want to install any free plugin, download it on your computer and then upload it here.

Step 6:

Once the upload is complete, go back to the previous directory, where all the plugins are available. Search for the ZIP file.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin Using cPanel

Right-click and choose the Extract link.

Step 7:

You can see the location for the extraction; if you wish, you can upload it anywhere else and extract it in public_html/wp-content/plugins.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin Using cPanel

Click on the Extract File(s) button, and within a few seconds, you can see the magic. A popup appears, click close and refresh the page.

You can see the plugin’s folder. Congrats, you have successfully uploaded a WordPress plugin without using wp-admin area.

You may be wondering if the plugin is active or not. Well, for now, you have only uploaded the plugin, to activate it, you need to access the website’s dashboard.

Although, if you get any error and you can’t access your wp-admin panel, you can disable all plugins from cPanel.

I Hope You Can Easily Upload a Plugin to Your WordPress Website

Knowing an alternative method is essential. Now and then, you may need to buy any premium plugin, which may require the manual assistance.

Once I had to install WP-Rocket, but I didn’t have an idea, because there was access to the dashboard. So, I had to follow the cPanel method.


For a WordPress user, learning the alternative tricks is important. Nothing can beat you if you know such things. Many people pay thousands of Dollars to manage their websites.

If you know the effective cPanel methods, you don’t need to pay anyone, you can do it yourself. I hope you have learned the perfect method.

Check out these top 3 WordPress hosting services:

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