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Can I Update WordPress Plugins through FTP?3 min read

Do you know you can use FTP to update WordPress plugins manually? Sometimes, one-click update fails and breaks the website. The only way out is updating the plugin manually. In this post, we will show how to update plugins manually via FTP.

Why to Do So?

WordPress has a built-in system to manage theme, core and plugin updates. You just have to click on update link and your plugins will be updated.

These updates may fail because of incorrect version number, file permissions, or any server configuration errors.

If update is interrupted on the way, your site may be broken. You may come across syntax error, scheduled maintenance error, or internal server error.

So, it is vital to manually update the plugin via FTP. It will fix such errors and you can keep using the latest plugin version.

How to Manually Update WordPress Plugins?

First of all, download the latest version of plugin you want to update. You may download it from the plugin page at WordPress.org if it is free. You will want to login and download the plugin. You may want to extract plugins as all of them come in zip files.

Now, you need to use any FTP client you want. Use FTP to connect to your account. In the hostname, enter your website name with FTP user and password. If you don’t know, check the email from your WordPress hosting provider when you first signed up. Usually, it has your FTP login details.  Or, you can also get these details in your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard.

After connecting to your site, go to the folder named “/wp-content/plugins/”. There are different folders for all plugins installed on your site. Right click on plugin that should be updated and choose “Rename”. Just add –old to the folder name to rename the plugin. For example, you may rename it to “wpforms-old”.

Download the renamed folder to your PC as backup. You can get back to the old version if you need. Once old plugin is downloaded, you may remove it from the website.

Also ensure that plugin is deactivated in your WordPress database. Deactivated plugins are not harmful. Read our guide about inactive plugins to know why.

To deactivate plugin, simply login to admin area and go to the plugin page. It will show an error that your plugin has been deactivated. After removing the old version, now you can install the latest one.

Under ‘Local’ section, simply switch to FTP client and find the new plugin folder on your PC. Choose “Upload” from FTP menu by right clicking on it.

The plugin folder will be transferred from your PC to website through your FTP client. Once you are done, login to the WordPress admin area and move to plugin page. You can get the new plugin and activate it.

Now you can check the updated plugin and ensure that everything is right. This is all you need to update your WordPress plugin manually via FTP.

Verdict

For security reasons, always use latest WordPress version and keep your themes and plugins updated as well. In case plugin stops after update, revert back to the old version and report the developer. However you shouldn’t keep using outdated version. If it is still not resolved, search for an alternative.

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