How to Download Install Plugins and Themes from GitHub

There are many plugins and themes which are hosted on GitHub instead of the official repositories. I hope you know GitHub is a platform to host your projects; many developers host their open source and private projects on this platform.

Although GitHub is not WordPress specific, still you may find some plugins only on Github because their developers decided not to submit into WordPress plugins’ repository.

For many WordPress users, the confusion arises when they don’t know how to use those plugins and themes on their WordPress website.

In this tutorial, I am going to walk you through a simple process to install and activate WordPress themes and plugins from GitHub.

As always, you should not be worried about being non-techie. The process includes the most straightforward steps which don’t require any coding skills.

Even a newbie can use a plugin hosted on GitHub.

Learn to Download a Plugin from GitHub

Once you find a plugin on GitHub, you need to understand the concept of downloading it on your computer. Go to the plugins’ repository of GitHub, where you see your desired plugin.

You can see a button to Clone or Download. Click, and you can see a drop-down box having two options, click on Download ZIP.

How to Download Install Plugins and Themes from GitHub

The plugin’s downloading starts and depending on your internet speed; you can have the ZIP file of the plugin on your computer.

Now, you should know how to upload a custom WordPress plugin to your admin area. Go to Plugins>>Add New.

How to Download Install Plugins and Themes from GitHub

You can see an Upload Plugin button at the top, which displays a button to choose a file once you click it. Choose the ZIP you just downloaded from your computer and upload it.

Just like installing a plugin from the official WordPress repository, you get an option to install and activate the plugin.

Once you go through the process, you can see the plugin in the list. Go to Plugins and check it.

As always, you can also install a custom plugin using cPanel of your web hosting.

How to Use Download a Theme from GitHub

Now that you have learned to download and use a plugin from GitHub, you can go through the same process for a theme.

As you have done in the above process, find a theme, and you can see a button to Clone or Download, which displays a drop-down box with a Download ZIP button.

How to Download Install Plugins and Themes from GitHub

After downloading the ZIP file, you need to log in to your WordPress admin area and go to Appearance>>Theme.

Click on the Upload Theme button and “Choose File” from your computer. The process goes on to install and activate the theme.

How to Download Install Plugins and Themes from GitHub

You can see all the activate as well as inactive themes.

Isn’t it So Easy to Download and Install WordPress Themes and Plugins from GitHub

Once in a while, you may be in need to download a plugin from GitHub. Many developers are there having some functional plugins on GitHub.

Have you ever downloaded a free theme from GitHub? If not, you can try finding a few. To test on your local server, you can use those free themes.


The use of GitHub has become so common these days. Almost every developer uses such a hosting platform. I hope you can also install WordPress themes and plugins from GitHub.

Check out these top 3 WordPress hosting services:

Want to get top recommendations about best hosting? Just click this link!


Was this article helpful?