A Guide to Installing WordPress Themes and Plugins via FTP


Installing WordPress themes and plugins via FTP can be a bit confusing for beginners, but with the right guidance and a little bit of practice, it can be a useful skill to have in your toolkit. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of installing a WordPress theme and plugin via FTP and provide you with tips on how to do it safely and effectively.


Before we begin, it’s important to note that downloading themes and plugins from untrusted sources can be risky, as they may contain malware or other harmful code that can compromise your website’s security. Always research a theme or plugin before downloading it, and only download from reputable sources like the WordPress.org repository and don’t forget to make a backup of your website before installing any new theme or plugin, in case anything goes wrong during the installation process. This will ensure that you can quickly and easily restore your website to its previous state.

It’s also important to note that not all the themes and plugins are compatible with the latest version of wordpress or with each other, so always check the compatibility before installing them.

Step 1: Prepare your files

The first thing you’ll need to do is download the theme or plugin you want to install. Most themes and plugins can be found on the WordPress.org repository, but some may also be available on other websites. Once you’ve downloaded the files, you’ll need to unzip them. This will typically create a folder with the theme or plugin’s name. Before uploading, make sure to check the theme or plugin’s compatibility with your version of WordPress, and also check if it’s compatible with other plugins you have installed.

Step 2: Connect to your FTP

In order to install the theme or plugin via FTP, you’ll need to connect to your website’s server. To do this, you’ll need an FTP client. There are many options available, but some popular choices include FileZilla and Cyberduck. Once you’ve chosen and downloaded an FTP client, open it up and enter your website’s FTP login credentials. These can typically be found in your website’s control panel or by contacting your web host.

Step 3: Navigate to the WordPress folder

Once you’re connected to your website’s server, you’ll need to navigate to the folder where your WordPress installation is located. This is typically located in the “public_html” or “www” folder. Once you’re in the WordPress folder, you’ll need to navigate to the “wp-content” folder. This is where your themes and plugins are stored.

Step 4: Upload the theme or plugin

Now that you’re in the correct folder, you can upload the theme or plugin you’ve downloaded and unzipped. To do this, simply drag and drop the folder containing the theme or plugin into the “wp-content” folder on your FTP client. The upload process may take a few minutes depending on the size of the theme or plugin.


Step 5: Activate the theme or plugin

Once the upload is complete, you can activate the theme or plugin from the WordPress dashboard. To do this, log in to your website’s admin area and navigate to “Appearance” > “Themes” for themes or “Plugins” for plugins. Find the theme or plugin you just uploaded and click “Activate.”

Installing WordPress themes and plugins via FTP can be a useful skill to have, especially when the other method of installing themes and plugin via the WordPress admin area is not working. It also allows you to troubleshoot certain issues that may arise.

Additionally, by installing themes and plugins via FTP, you can have more control over the files and folders on your website’s server, allowing you to make more advanced customizations and modifications.


Installing WordPress themes and plugins via FTP can be a useful skill to have, but it’s important to do so safely and effectively. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can add functionality to your website without compromising security. Remember to research themes and plugins before downloading, only download from reputable sources, check compatibility, and make regular backups of your website. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to install themes and plugins via FTP with ease and confidence.

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