What's WP
Find Everything Related to WordPress - Best Tutoriasl on WordPress!
How to Update WordPress Plugin Manually and Automatically

How to Update WordPress Plugin Manually and Automatically

WordPress developers keep releasing new versions for a plugin so as to enable more functions. The regular update for all plugins becomes a unique method to get more features from the latest versions. This guide mentions the way to update WordPress plugin in both manual and automatic way so as to help readers complete updates with ease. Before everything, make sure that you have made a fresh backup of your website to safely update plugins.

Update WordPress Plugin Manually

Manual plugin renewal makes it clear on what have been updated on your website and that is also a means to accomplish all updates in a flexible way. Here come two methods for the purpose of updating plugins manually. Check details as below.

Method 1: Update Plugins via WordPress Dashboard

That is a handy method to update plugins, especially for beginners. Log into your WP admin and go to Plugins. This is where to check the status of all plugins on your website. Focus on the marked plugins with a notice said “There is a new version of xxx available. View version or update now”.

Check Plugins to Be Updated

After having a rough idea about the new version details, click “Update now” link. It would take a few seconds to fulfill the update. When prompted, you have successfully upgraded the current plugin to a new version. Continue to update the rest plugins.

Updating Plugins

Perhaps, if there is a large number of plugins coming with new versions, it is really a troublesome business to update all of them one by one. In this case, having those plugins updated in bulk is a great option for you. Focus on the “Update Available”, which includes a list of plugins to be updated. Check “Plugin” to select all plugins included in this page and then expand Bulk Actions drop-down list. Select “Update” and click “Apply” to start the update process.

Update Plugins in Bulk

Method 2: Update WordPress Plugin Using cPanel

Since most webmasters integrate their sites with cPanel, we would like to show you the way to update plugin via this powerful control panel. First of all, download the latest plugin version from WordPress.org/plugins/ and then extract the zip file on your computer.

Log into cPanel and go to Files > File Manager. The document root for your plugin directory should be /public_html/wp-content/plugins. Once accessing to the folder, right click a plugin to be updated and check “Delete”. Having the old plugin version deleted, you should set about uploading the new version.

Delete Old Plugin Version

Click Upload to jump to the Upload Files page and choose the new plugin folder from your computer. The plugin with new version will be uploaded to your website a few seconds later.

Upload New Version Plugin

Note that, an FTP client, like FileZilla, can be an alternative for cPanel. That is great for users who are used to uploading files to website via FTP instead of control panel. The way to update plugin via FTP is much the same as that via cPanel. Log into FTP client and target the plugins directory. Delete the old plugin version and then upload the latest one you’ve downloaded just now. That’s it!

Update WordPress Plugin Automatically

For some webmasters lazy about manual update or lacking time to do so, the automatic plugin update should be a great idea on this occasion. The use of an automatic update plugin gives you a leg up and simplifies matters greatly. The selected method in this guide is Advanced Automatic Updates, which enables build-in automatic update feature on your website.

Search and install this plugin via WordPress dashboard. An option “Advanced Automatic Updates” comes under Settings. Go to Settings > Advanced Automatic Updates and check “Update your plugins automatically” option. By the way, if there is a need to enable automatic update for all themes, then you are required to check the option “Update your themes automatically” as well.

Override the site admin email if needed and you’d better not to disable email notification for which sends fresh update information to you timely. Leave the default way to receive debug information and then save all changes.

Advacned Automatic Updates Settings

When receiving an email for all updates, you need to go back to your website and check if anything goes well as before. If so, all plugins have been updated successfully. There are some other automatic update plugins achieving the same purpose, like Automatic Plugin Updates, WP Automatic Updates, Easy Updates Manager, and so on.


Lucy has been a very experienced SEOer, technical writer, web developer, c# developer since 2002. Now she owns a startup in San Francisco, CA, focusing on running a couple of blogs to share knowledge and experience with global readers and deliver exceptional results to global sponsors by leveraging the power of Internet.