Plugins have made life so much easier for website owners when it comes to adding new elements and functionalities into their sites. But, whenever there is an update for a plugin, many WordPress users tend to neglect it. You may think you can always update your plugins later and, it will make no difference. Well, that’s definitely not true. Updates must be done at the earliest for your plugins to function properly. Generally, plugin updates implement enhanced features, security and bug fixes. Even though you can automatically update WordPress plugins, you also need to learn how to manually update WordPress plugins. Don’t worry! After reading this tutorial, you can easily update WordPress plugins manually with ease.
Why do you need to update WordPress plugins manually?
Although automatic updates are much faster and easier than manual updates, learning to update WordPress plugins manually is only beneficial for you. You will thank yourself for taking the time to learn how to manually update WordPress plugins when plugins fail to update automatically.
When you install the plugin through the WordPress repository, there will be automatic updates links for the plugins in the admin Dashboard. You can simply click on those links, and WordPress itself will handle the updates of the plugins. If you have installed a plugin that is not available in the WordPress repository, then WordPress cannot check for automatic updates. Hence, the only way is to update WordPress plugins manually through FTP.
Likewise, automatic updates can be interrupted because of some corrupted files, incompatibility, incorrect license numbers, etc. This can cause more significant problems on your site. When these types of issues occur, you need to update WordPress plugins manually. Therefore, these are the compelling reasons why you need to know how to manually update WordPress plugin.
How to update WordPress plugins manually?
If you get interrupted midway while updating, you can get locked out of your admin dashboard. The only way to fix this is to manually update plugins. To manually update WordPress plugins, you need to learn how to use FTP for WordPress. Basically, what an FTP software does is that it allows you to directly transfer files between your computer and your site’s server.
After you gain access to your site’s FTP credentials, configure your FTP Client. Here, we are using FileZilla for the illustration. Now, follow the simple steps below to manually update WordPress plugins.
STEP 1. Download plugin ZIP file
Download the ZIP file of the updated version of the plugin you need to update from WordPress.org or Developer’s site(if not available in the WordPress repository). And, extract the contents of the ZIP file to a folder with the plugin’s name.
STEP 2. Deactivate the plugin in Dashboard
Go to your Admin Dashboard and click on Plugins. Then, Deactivate the old version of the plugin that you want to update manually.
STEP 3. Back up the older version of the plugin
After that, go to your FTP client and access the Plugins directory and Rename the plugin you want to update. Then, copy the plugin folder to your computer. It is crucial that you back up your plugin in case something goes wrong.
STEP 4. Delete the un-updated folder from the server
Now, that you have a backup, you can roll back to the older version if anything goes wrong. So, Delete the old version plugin folder from the plugins directory in the server-side.
STEP 5. Copy the updated plugin folder to the server
After you delete the old folder, you can Copy the updated plugin folder that you extracted from your local directory to the plugin directory in the server.
STEP 6. Activate the plugin in Dashboard
Then, go to the Admin Dashboard and, Activate the new version of the plugin. And, that’s it. This is how you update WordPress plugins manually.
Thus, updates are incredibly important for an active, productive and secure WordPress site. Whether it’s updating WordPress itself or just a theme, it should be done as soon as possible. Similarly, you can’t afford to delay updating your plugins. You can update plugins automatically without going through the lengthy process as well. However, you must be able to update WordPress plugins manually when issues arise. Sometimes, when your site freezes, it can be the only solution. So, manually updating plugins is also one of the secure and safe ways of updating WordPress plugins.
Hopefully, you found this tutorial helpful. If you want more WordPress tutorials like this, please check these articles out.
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