Installing Premium Plugins - WordPress

Installing a PREMIUM WordPress Plugin

Let’s assume that you are familiar with the pros and cons of using a plugin, or that you have read the post: How Many WordPress Plugins Is Too Many?  Many plugins are free but you can also purchase premium plugins. Currently there are 49,065 free plugins listed in the Plugin Directory.

However, it is possible that you were not able to find a free one that meets your needs so you have decided on a premium plugin. There are a few ways to purchase and install premium plugins.  Some of them have “lite” or free versions that you can upgrade within the plugin and your WordPress site.  Others require you to download the plugin from their own website, then upload it to your WordPress site.  The first method is fairly straight forward.

In the second situation if you have purchased and downloaded a premium plugin, you can follow these instructions to install it.

During the purchase process, you are often given an API code or a License Key.  Sometimes it is called an “Activation Key” or something similar.  Copy that and paste it somewhere safe.  I usually have a page with all of my website information in one (secure) place.

  1. You should note this information to prevent grief later:
    • Plugin Account Username (sometimes your email):
    • Associated Email:
    • Plugin Account Password:
    • License Key:
    • Expiration Date – usually one year from purchase.  If you are going to keep premium plugins on your website, you will want to renew your subscription every year so that you receive updates for them.  Plugins that are not kept up to date are a huge security risk.
    • If you have more than one website, note which sites you have installed it on.
  2. Download the plugin to your computer. I usually put it in the same folder on my computer where I keep information, content, backups, etc. for my website.
  3. If the file is zipped, I usually open it to see what is inside. Sometimes the folder that you need to upload to WordPress is actually another folder inside the first zipped folder.  (This is the case with the Visual Composer plugin.) Most of the time this is not the case and the original downloaded (zipped) folder is the one you will upload.
  4. Go to your website Dashboard and hover over “Plugins”.  Scroll to the right once the sub menu box expands and click on “Add New”.  (See dashboard image.)
  5. You can also click on “Plugins” on the dashboard and then once the plugin dashboard opens, you can click on the “Add New” button at the top left.Add New WordPress Plugin button


  1. Now the button will change to “Upload”.  Click “Upload Plugin”.  Upload Plugins - WordPress
  2. Next you will see this screen: Choose file - Plugin - WordPressMake sure that you are choosing a file that is zipped and not the one that you unzipped. Once you have chosen it, the name of the plugin will appear instead of the text, “No file chosen.”
  3. Then click the “Install Now” button. If all goes well, the next screen you will see is this one.activate plugin - premium WordPress plugin installation
  4. Click “Activate Plugin”.
  5. Then you will be returned to the plugin page and a prompt may appear at the top of the page similar to this one: enter valid license key prompt 1 enter valid license key prompt 2Click the link and enter your license key (copy/paste from the place you saved it earlier).  You can also do this by clicking the settings link under the plugin on the plugins page. plugin settings - WordPressOccasionally I get “click-happy” and close alerts before I read them.  The “settings” link gives you another opportunity to enter the license key.
  6. Setting up your plugin – Many plugins get to work doing what they are supposed to do
    without any further action from you. However, some plugins offer extra features or options that you can choose. WordPress dashboard menu

Sometimes you can access these easily from your dashboard menu. For example, you can see in the image that Envira Gallery is now part of my dashboard menu.

If you click on that menu link, you will see a host of settings that you can control if you wish.  If you are not sure what to do with these settings, do a Google search for the plugin page to get more information or look up a tutorial about it on YouTube.

However, some plugins have settings that you access under the main dashboard menu links such as “tools” or “settings”.  A few have a “settings” link under the plugin list on the plugins page, as above.

  1. Once you have adjusted the settings on your plugin, you are done!

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