Why Can’t I Add or Install Plugins in WordPress?

One of the most common questions that WordPress beginners ask us is, ” Why can’t I add WordPress plugins?” It usually follows how the user sees an upgrade message or that the plugin menu is not in their admin area. If you have this problem, you’re in the right place. This article explains why you can’t add or install WordPress plugins.

1. You are On WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a blog hosting service offering a limited version of the popular WordPress software for self- hosting. See our guide for further details about the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Users of WordPress.com can not install plugins unless they upgrade to a business plan costing around $ 299 annually. If you’re on a free, personal or premium plan, you can’t install plugins from third parties.

You can move your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org if you do not want to pay the $ 299 per year. If you need help, use our free WordPress blog setup service( note that you want us to transfer your site and we will do it free of charge).

2. You are Facing Memory Limit Issue

The second most common scenario is that you can see the plugins but can not install plugins. The notice of failure is usually due to the PHP memory limit. There are settings in your WordPress hosting and your WordPress core that define the amount of memory that can be used by a PHP script. When a process reaches this limit, it either ends or it causes such an error:

Fatal error: Allowed 67108864 bytes of memory exhausted Rapid fixing of this problem increases your PHP memory limit. This can be done by adding this line to your file wp-config.php:

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');


See our guide to fixing exhausted WordPress memory error for more detailed instructions.

3. User Role Restrictions

WordPress is supplied with an integrated user role management system. Web developers sometimes do not give administrators access to their customers. They create an editor account instead.

Only administrators can use a WordPress site to install and activate plugins. If you are the website owner, you must ask your developer to ensure that you have permissions from the administrator.

4. You are on a Multi Site Network

Another possible reason why you can not see the WordPress plugin menu is that your site is part of a WordPress multi- site network and the network administrator has deactivated the plugin menu item on the network sites.

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