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Step-by-Step Merchant Guide to Installing Magento 2 Extensions

Non Agency May 27. 2024
Magento module source code
Installing extensions is a simple and effective way to enhance your Magento 2 store with new functionalities.

The process itself is quite similar to installing Magento themes, but there are some important differences to note.

When you're setting up a theme from a .zip archive, you need to put the theme files into the app/design/frontend directory. However, if you're installing a Magento 2 extension from a .zip file, the correct location for these files is the app/code directory.

Choosing the right extensions that align with your business goals can make or break your store's efficiency and user experience.

As we explore the nuances of selecting, downloading, and installing these tools, you'll find that each step has its own set of considerations, which, if overlooked, could lead to complications down the line.

Let's jump right into it.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose and verify the Magento 2 extension for compatibility and functionality relevant to your business needs.

  • Backup your system and enable Maintenance Mode to prevent disruptions during installation.

  • Use Composer to download and install the extension, ensuring dependency management is handled effectively.

  • After installation, use Magento's Web Setup Wizard via the Admin Panel to configure and verify the extension's settings.

  • Clear the cache and test the extension on a staging server to confirm proper integration and functionality before going live.

Pre-Installation Preparation

Before you start the installation of a Magento 2 extension, it's crucial to prepare your server environment. Doing so will guarantee a smooth and secure update process.

Here's what you need to do:

  1. Backup Your System: Always start by backing up your Magento files and database. This step lets you restore your store to its original state if something goes wrong during the installation.

  2. Set File Permissions: Adjust file permissions to secure your environment before proceeding with the installation. Your file permissions should be strict enough to protect your system yet permissive enough to allow the installation processes to run without hitches.

  3. Enable Developer and Maintenance Modes:

    • Developer Mode: Turn on the developer mode in Magento. This mode is designed for development and testing, providing more verbose error messages and better logging.

    • Maintenance Mode: Enable maintenance mode to prevent public access to your store during the update. It helps avoid displaying error messages or a broken site to your customers.

Consider testing on a staging server before going live to guarantee stability and functionality.

Downloading Magento 2 Extension

You can download Magento 2 extensions from various sources. The most common options include:

  • Magento Marketplace

  • GitHub

  • other third-party providers via the software toolkit Composer or Packagist

Begin by identifying the specific extension you need. On the Magento Marketplace, you can search for extensions by functionality, provider, or price.

Once you've found the right extension, click on it to view more details, including compatibility, customer reviews, and pricing options.

If you prefer sourcing from GitHub or other third-party sites, make sure you're downloading from a reputable provider to avoid security risks. These platforms typically provide a link to download the extension source code directly.

Verify the integrity and compatibility of the code with your Magento version to ensure smooth integration during the installation process.

Free vector hand coding concept illustration

For a more streamlined approach, consider using Composer. This software helps manage dependencies and ensures the extension integrates seamlessly with your existing Magento 2 setup.

To download via Composer, you'll need the extension's package name and version. You can typically find these details on the extension's documentation or directly from the provider.

Run Composer commands in your Magento installation directory to add the extension to your project. You'll need to run a specific command to update the composer.json file through the command line.

Open your terminal or command prompt to get started. Here's the command you should use:


$ composer require <component-name>:<version>


Remember to replace "component-name" with the actual name of the component you want to add or update. Similarly, swap "version" with the specific version number that you need.

Installing Magento 2 Extension

Prepare Server Environment

The first step in installing your selected Magento 2 extension is making sure your server environment is correctly prepared.

Start by setting the necessary file permissions, ensuring your Magento 2 extension can be installed without hitches. Adjusting these permissions as part of your pre-installation checklist to avoid access issues during the setup is critical.

Next, set up a testing environment. It allows you to trial the Magento 2 extension without affecting your live store.

Plus, testing in a controlled environment helps identify any compatibility issues or bugs before going live.

Lastly, verify that your server meets all system requirements for the Magento 2 extension. This preparation prevents potential setbacks during the installation process, leading to a smoother upgrade of your eCommerce platform.

Upload and Extract Files

The next step is uploading the extension files to your server and extracting them from the .zip archive.

Use an FTP client like FileZilla or access your server via SSH to upload the files.

To establish an FTP or SFTP connection using FileZilla, start by setting up a new connection.

Here's how you can do it step by step:

  1. First, choose the protocol you need. You can select either FTP or SFTP from the 'Protocol' dropdown menu.

  2. The 'Host' field is where you should enter the address provided by your host.

  3. When it comes to 'Logon Type,' select 'Normal.' This step is important because it determines how you'll authenticate your session.

  4. Next, fill in your 'Username' and 'Password' in the respective fields. These credentials are essential for accessing your server space.

  5. If you don't have this information at hand, contact your service provider. They should supply you with all the necessary details to get connected.

Once uploaded, locate the .zip file in the appropriate directory. You can often find it within the `app/code` folder of your Magento installation. Extract the files directly here to make sure they integrate properly with your Magento system.

Before proceeding, set the file permissions correctly to avoid access issues. Use commands such as `chmod` to adjust these permissions, making sure that your Magento application can read and execute the files.

When logging in and you are asked for access keys, use your public key as the username and your private key as the password.

Run Installation Commands

Once you've uploaded and set up the extension files, you'll need to execute specific installation commands via your server's command line interface.

Start by opening your command line interface and navigating to your Magento installation directory. Here, you'll be executing several commands.

First, run the following command to upgrade the setup and compile your code:


$ php bin/magento setup:upgrade

$ php bin/magento setup:di:compile


This command initiates the Magento setup upgrade process, which updates the system setup for the new extensions.

It also ensures that all of the new and existing classes are correctly linked and optimized for performance. Compiling your code helps reduce runtime errors and enhances performance by generating dependency injection configurations.

After successfully upgrading and compiling the system, you'll need to manage Magento's cache to reflect the changes made.

Clearing the cache is crucial because it removes old data from storage and ensures that users see the most recent version of your store.

Execute these commands:


$ php bin/magento cache:clean

$ php bin/magento cache:flush


Verify Extension Functionality

After installing your Magento 2 extension, you'll need to validate its functionality to make sure it integrates smoothly with your store's existing setup.

You can test the extension on a dedicated testing site to avoid disrupting your live environment.

Review the installation steps to confirm all files are correctly placed and permissions are set. Most importantly, verify extension compatibility with your Magento version and other installed extensions to prevent conflicts.

Execute a series of tests to check if the extension behaves as expected. Look for any errors in the system logs that might indicate problems.

If issues arise, consult the extension's support documentation or contact the provider for assistance in resolving them.

Uninstalling Magento 2 Extension

To uninstall a Magento 2 extension, you must first temporarily disable it through your server's command line interface. This initial step guarantees that removing the extension won't interfere with your store's operations.

Here's how you should proceed:

  1. Disable the Magento Extension:

    • Navigate to your Magento root directory via SSH.

    • Run the command `php bin/magento module:disable Vendor_ModuleName` to disable the extension, replacing `Vendor_ModuleName` with the actual vendor and module name of your extension.

  2. Uninstall Using Composer:

    • Still in your Magento root directory, execute the command `composer remove vendor/module-name`.

    • Replace `vendor/module-name` with the Composer package name of the extension.

  3. Uninstall the Extension Install Via Zipping/Archive

    • To uninstall a manually installed extension from your system, start by disabling it. Next, delete the extension's folder located in the app/code directory. Most importantly, remove the module record from the table setup_module.

  4. Clean Up Database and Static Content:

    • Run `php bin/magento setup:upgrade` to update the database schema.

    • Clear the cache by using `php bin/magento cache:clean`.

    • Optionally, recompile your Magento project if you've previously compiled code by running `php bin/magento setup:di:compile`.

Following these steps will help you guarantee the Magento extension is completely uninstalled from your store without leaving residual files or configurations.

Final Thoughts

Now that you've navigated through the Magento 2 extension installation process, you're well-equipped to enhance your store's functionality.

Still, if you need some help, we're here to assist you. Contact us to learn how we can help you take your Magento store to new heights!


1. How can I install Magento 2 extensions using Composer?

To install Magento 2 extensions via Composer, you need to access your server via SSH, navigate to the root directory of your Magento installation, and run the Composer command to require the extension.

2. Can I install Magento extensions manually?

You can install Magento extensions by downloading the extension files, unzipping them, and copying the files to the appropriate directories in your Magento installation.

3. What are the steps to install a Magento extension?

The steps to install a Magento extension include finding the extension, downloading it, uploading it to your server, configuring it in the admin panel, and refreshing the cache.

4. How long does it take to install Magento 2 extensions?

The time it takes to install Magento 2 extensions varies depending on the complexity of the extension and the method used for installation. Generally, it can be done within a few minutes to an hour.

5. What is the recommended way to install extensions in Magento?

The recommended way to install extensions in Magento is via Composer as it helps manage dependencies and ensures smooth integration with your Magento store.

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