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Plugins are extensions that add extra functions to WordPress sites. You can find and install tons of plugins on the official WP repository. Plugins downloaded from the official WordPress repository can easily be updated with the 1-click plugin update from your admin dashboard. But sometimes due to some reasons the 1-click update option might not work appropriately. The only alternative will then be to do a manual update for your plugins. In this article, we will show you how to manually update WordPress plugins.


  • How to update a WordPress plugin from the WordPress dashboard
  • How to manually update a WordPress plugin using FTP
  • How to manually update a WordPress plugin via WP-CLI

How To Update A WordPress Plugin From The WordPress Dashboard

Although this method isn’t entirely manual, we will quickly give details on how it is done. 

To update plugins via your WordPress dashboard, go to the Plugins tab on your dashboard, if you see a notice of any plugin that is out of date, click on the update now button to update the plugin. This is an automatic process in which WordPress fetches the latest version of the plugin and installs it for you.

How To Manually Update WordPress Plugins via FTP

Firstly, you will need to download the latest version of the plugin you are trying to update. If it’s a free plugin, you can download it from the WordPress plugin repository else download it from the specific plugin’s website.

Note: all plugins come in .zip files, so you will need to extract them.

Next, you will need an FTP client. For this example, we will be using the FileZilla as our FTP client. To connect to your website using FTP, you will your login credentials to gain access. Once you have this credential, open your FTP program and enter the following information to connect to your site:

Host: the URL to your site. For FileZilla, you need to add an sftp://before your URL to enable the SFTP connection used by Trulywp.

Username: this is the username you use on your TrulyWp dashboard.

Password: this the password you use for your TrulyWp login.

Port-number: this can also be found from your TrulyWp dashboard.

If you don’t know your FTP username or password, then check the email sent to you from TrulyWP (your WordPress hosting company) when you signed up. Alternatively, you can find this information on the cPanel dashboard of your hosting account.

Once you are connected to your website via FTP or SFTP, you need to navigate to your /wp-content/plugins/   folder.

You will see different folders for all the plugins you have installed on your WordPress site. Right-click on the plugin you wish to update, select the Rename option from the dropdown that appears.

You can rename the plugin by adding -old to the plugin folder name. For example; wpforms-old.

Next, you need to download the renamed folder to your computer. This serves as a backup to revert to in case you encounter any challenge while trying to update your plugin.

After downloading the old plugin to your computer, you can then delete it from your website.

For this process, we need to ensure the plugin is deactivated in our WordPress database as well. To verify, you need to login to your WordPress admin dashboard. Then go to the plugins option on the left options pane. You will see an error message that the plugin has been deactivated due to an error.

At this point, you have successfully removed the old version. The next step will be to install the latest version of the plugin.

Upload the latest version of your plugin.

Go back to your FTP client and under the ‘Local’ section, locate the new plugin folder on your computer. Right-click and select ‘Upload’ from the FTP menu 

At this point, your FTP client will begin transferring the plugin folder from your computer to your website. When finished, login to your WordPress admin dashboard and go to the Plugins page. check for the newly installed plugin and click to activate.

At this point, check the updated version of the plugin to make sure everything is working correctly.


How To Manually Update WordPress Plugins Via WP-CLI

This method only works if you can do automatic plugin updates from your WordPress dashboard. To use this method, you have to be connected to your server via SSH and familiar with the basics of WP-CLI. To start, run the following command on your CLI

wp plugin update plugin-slug

wp plugin update add-from-server

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