Plugin Review: Improved Plugin Installation

March 1st, 2009
Weekly Plugin Review, WordPress Plugins

One thing I’ve loved about WordPress 2.7.x is the ability to install plugins directly from the WordPress Plugin Repository. You don’t need to visit the individual site and instead just search for the plugin you want and then download, install and activate it.

However, even now, you need to go to your WP-Admin to install your plugins.

Improved Plugin Installation helps overcome this problem.


This plugin is an improvement to the current WP 2.7 plugin installation methods. It allows you to install one or more plugins simply by typing the names of the plugins or the download URLs in a textarea. This means you can install all your favorite wordpress plugins in one go!

Furthermore, a bookmarklet is included which lets you install plugins directly from an external site.


Firstly, I love the plugin page. I’ve always encouraged authors to write detailed plugin pages on their blogs as these ensure that your reader easily understands what your plugin has to offer as well what exactly do they need to do to use it. And, Improved Plugin Installation has the necessary details.

The plugin can be used in two main ways. One is from within WordPress Admin and the second is the bookmarklet.

From within the WordPress Admin, you can navigate to Add New Plugin page as usual and scroll down to find a textarea at the bottom. In this you can enter plugin names, plugin page URLS or even direct URLs to the zip files.


Improved Plugin Installation will then download these plugins and install them on your WordPress blog.

The second feature is the bookmarklet. You can install the bookmarklet by navigating to the Add Plugin page and install it from there.

Visit a plugin page, even on external sites and hit the bookmarklet to initiate the installation dialog. You may be asked to login to your blog. This is a necessary security measure and you’ll be able to quickly install yet another plugin.

Without doubt this plugin really enhances the WordPress interface. But, the question remains how often will you use it. For one, it’s excellent when you setup a fresh blog and know you have a certain set of plugins that need to be installed.

Another is if you are in the habit of trying out different plugins, or are a tester.

One feature I would like to see is the ability to mass upgrade plugins. Right now if new versions of two or more plugins are released, I need to update each individually, which can be a pain.

Are you currently using this plugin? What would you like to see in the future?




  1. hyrxx (1 comments.) says:

    plugin central has the ability to mass upgrade all plugins, but as a plugin itself it is a bit clunky and it adds the names of all the plugins you have installed into the main dashboard widget…

  2. Hilmy (1 comments.) says:

    Exactly! That is on my wishlist too.
    Everytime I log in to the admin dashboard, I see a couple of plugins that need updating and I have to go through one by one to do that.
    Yeah, this was already much easier than having to download and upload plugins as in the past but getting things much easier is a good thing too.
    Also, theme updating is still way way behind. Perhaps it’s not that important since theme may not get updated or upgraded as frequently as plugins do.

  3. Raju (2 comments.) says:

    Even after moving to 2.7.1 I have been using “one click plugin installer” WordPress plugin. But with this plugin I have ownership issues at the backend. It installs under “nobody” user on my VPS root which creates a problem when updating/deleting. I hope the same issue is not present with this plugin atleast

  4. jaggerkieth (1 comments.) says:

    I’m using this plugin on my! This one is a very useful plugin!

    You should give it a try!


  5. Wesley (13 comments.) says:

    Thanks for featuring the plugin, I’ll see what can be done for mass updating plugins.

    As for themes, I believe 2.8 will bring the functionality.

  6. bubazoo (213 comments.) says:

    Well, I wouldn’t be too keen on upgrading a theme like that anyway, because even pre-built themes generally need modifications before their ready to be posted on the blog. I mean honestly, who would want to visit a blog that looked identical to several other blogs? I certainly wouldn’t. Every blog u visit has to have some sort of unique design, otherwise its boring and it don’t get any visitors, even if its a celebrity blog.

    As for a better plugin updater, this does sound neat. but I worry about too many plugins slowing down the execution time of the blog, for I still want to attempt to keep a blog fast enough that a 56k user can still view it without taking an hour to download, otherwise it aint worth it. hehe.

    but I know my design needs fixed up “big time” :( I just can’t afford to pay someone to help me with it right now. :( The actual design itself I’m happy with, but I wanted help fixing some of the problems with it, like the sidebar problems and fixing the code so its xhtml 1.0 transitional compliant. I’m having trouble with that at the moment. I think the biggest culprit is my plugins, but I need help with it.

    • Carson (46 comments.) says:

      I, and probably most other people, visit blogs for the content, not the theme. As long as a blog is readable and navigable I don’t care how it is formatted or styled. Do you visit friends to admire their home or to enjoy their company?

  7. Ovidiu (6 comments.) says:

    isn’t this exactly what this plugin does already?

  8. robbie (1 comments.) says:

    i said that already in the first comment

  9. Tammy (1 comments.) says:

    So I’m new at all this wordpress and plugins stuff, but I thought I had just found the holy grail of plugins (for me, for now anyway) when I found this post. But then I noticed the date…. then I checked the version of wordpress that I’m using… 3.2.1 Is this still a viable plugin to use? Or should I jst get more familiar with the way things are “supposed to work” before relying on a plugin like this?

    • James Huff (184 comments.) says:

      It will probably still work, but I don’t think it’s too viable anymore. It’s pretty easy to install plugins that are in the official directory (as most are) from your Dashboard, and you can also upload plugins that aren’t in the directory from the Dashboard too.


  1. JorgeMudry (JorgeMudry) (24 comments.) says:

    Plugin Review: Improved Plugin Installation


  1. […] post for another day. So when I saw the Improved Plugin Installation Plugin mentioned over at Weblog Tools Collection, I was kinda skeptical. As you know, I enjoy plugins but prefer to keep them at a minimum. Besides, […]

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