How To Add Plugins to Your Minecraft Server

7 min. readlast update: 10.17.2023

Plugins are a great way to customize your Minecraft server. They are more lightweight than mods, and they don’t require the players on your server to download anything. They can join with vanilla Minecraft and the IP address. 

So with that, how can you add plugins to your Minecraft server at SimpleGameHosting? 

Well, there are two ways to install plugins to your Minecraft server - the File Manager and SFTP.

🔗 No matter what, you will need to access your server’s control panel to install plugins. Here is our complete guide on accessing the SimpleGameHosting Control Panel. 

Preparing Your Minecraft Server for Plugins

Before we can download plugins, it’s important to ensure that your server is running compatible server software. 

There are two server softwares that we recommend for plugins - Paper and PurPur. Which one you use depends on what you want to accomplish with your server. 

In most cases, we recommend starting with a Paper server and moving to PurPur only if your server starts lagging. 

Below is a quick guide on getting Paper installed on your server. PurPur can also be installed this way. 

Step 1: Login to the Server Control Panel

First things first, you will need to login to the server’s control panel. Click here to access the panel quickly.


Once you login, you will need to select your server. If you have multiple servers, they will all appear in this list. 

Click on the server you want to add Paper or PurPur to. 

Step 2: Installing Paper on Your Minecraft Server

We can now navigate to the "Versions" tab in the menu.


You will see the "Version selector" with a drop-down menu on it. Select Paper or Purpur from the Version selector dropdown. 


Then, click on the "Install" button under the Minecraft version you want.


A pop-up will appear where you can confirm that you want to install Paper/PurPur by clicking the "Install" button. 

⚠️ This will cause some files on your server to be deleted. Consider backing up your server if there are files on your server you don't want to lose.

That version of Paper or PurPur will install right away. From there, you can start your server from the "Console" tab to get it back up and running. 


We can now move on to installing plugins on your server. 

Choosing Plugins to Add to Your Server

There are millions of plugins out there for Minecraft servers. Most can be downloaded from Bukkit or Spigot.

The plugins you choose to add to your server completely depend on what you want to accomplish with your server.

✏️ It is worth noting that it is important to make sure that your plugins are compatible with the Minecraft version that your server is running. As long as this is the case, you should be able to install the plugin on your server without any problems.

Method 1: Installing Plugins with the File Manager

Your SimpleGameHosting panel has a File Manager built directly into it. With this, you can add plugins to your Minecraft server without having to download anything other than the Minecraft plugin. 

Step 1: Accessing The File Manager

In order to access the file manager, you will need to first login to the control panel


After that, select the server you want to add plugins to. Next, select the "File Manager" tab in the menu bar. 


Step 2: Locating Your Plugins Folder

Next, we need to find the plugins folder. This is very easy. Just look for the folder icon that has "plugins" next to it. 

Open this folder by clicking on it. 


Step 3: Uploading Your Minecraft Plugins

Finally, to install the plugins on your SimpleGameHosting Minecraft server, click the "Upload" button in the top right of the File Manager. 


A window will appear where you can select the plugin you want to add to your server. Confirm you want to upload them by clicking the Open, Upload, or Save button in the bottom-right of the upload window that appeared. This will be different depending on if you are using Windows or Mac. 


Your Minecraft plugins will now upload to your server. All plugins need to be added to this plugins folder.

📁 After we activate your plugins in the next step, you will be able to find folders for each plugin you installed with their config files in each folder in the plugins folder as well.

Step 4: Activating Your Plugins

With your plugins installed, activating them is very easy. Just click "Console" in the menu bar of the control panel. 

Click "Restart" to activate your plugins. If your server is stopped, you may need to click the "Start" button to activate your plugins instead. 


Method 2: Using SFTP to Add Plugins to Your Server

The second method for adding plugins to your Minecraft server involves using STFP. With this, you can add multiple plugins a bit easier as well as get easier access to changing config files

Step 1: Getting An FTP Client

First things first, adding plugins via SFTP requires the download of an FTP client. We have a complete guide on this here, but we recommend FileZilla as it is free and very well-known as a high-quality FPT client. 


Step 2: Finding Your SFTP Login Info

Once you have your FTP client, we can get the login details. These can be found in the SimpleGameHosting control panel

In the control panel, click "SFTP" in the menu bar. 


This will show you your connection address and username for SFTP. We will use these in the next step.


Step 3: Logging Into Your Server via SFTP

With your SFTP login information in hand, we can now open our FTP client. For this guide, we will be using FileZilla, but the process is the same in other FTP clients as well. 

In FileZilla, click the "Site Manager" in the top left. 


Click the "New Site" button. Name the server anything you want, and then, we need to move to the panel on the right side. 

  • For Protocol, we need to change it to “SFTP - SSH File Transfer Protocol”. 
  • For Host, this will be the Connection Address we got in the previous step. 
  • The Port section can be left empty. 
  • Logon Type is left as Normal. 
  • In the User section, enter the Username you found in the SFTP Details section in the control panel. 
  • The Password is the password you used to login to the SimpleGameHosting control panel. 

Finally, click Connect. You will most likely be promoted to trust the connection. When you do this, you will login into the server via SFTP.


Step 4: Finding Your Plugins Directory

Having logged into your server with SFTP, you will see all of the files and folders that your server uses. This will include a plugins directory. 

Open this directory.


Step 5: Adding Plugins to Your Server

All we need to do get plugins on your SimpleGameHosting server is move them from your computer into the plugins folder via the FTP client. 

This usually means locating them on the left side (this side shows your computer), selecting the plugins, and dragging and dropping them to the right side. They will then be uploaded to the server. 


Step 6: Restarting Your Server

With the plugins uploaded to the server via the FTP client, we can now navigate back to the control panel.

Then, select "Console" from the menu bar. Restart your server or start it if it was stopped, and your plugins will activate.


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