How to Update a WordPress Plugin via FTP?

How to Update a WordPress Plugin via FTP?

We all know that WordPress comes with tons of plugins that can be used to simply legions of processes. Most of the leading plugins are updated with new and advanced features. WordPress comes with a feature that allows the user to update the database, the themes and plugins with just a single click.

However, there are some situations where the plugin is unable to update via the update button. In addition to that, the update can sometimes stop in between that can leave the plugin, and in some cases, your website inaccessible.

The best you can do to eliminate this error is manually update the plugin and fix the error caused by the plugin. If you are unaware of this method, then here we present you the complete process of updating your plugins via FTP.

Step 1

Since you are unable to update the plugin through the one-click update button, you need to manually download the plugins to your system and then upload it to your website. The download process solely depends on the source of the plugin. If the plugin was downloaded from the WordPress website, then it can be downloaded from the same site. Similarly, if it is a premium plugin that was downloaded from some external source, then you need to download the plugin from the same source.

Step 2

Once you begin the downloading process, you will notice that the file is in the ZIP format. You need to upload the plugin to your site manually, so you need to extract the plugin to your system.

Step 3

Upon extracting the plugin, you need to connect with an FTP client and login using your hosting username and password. After you successfully log in to your FTP, then you need to open your WordPress directory where you will see your website files. Here you need to open the wp-content folder and then the plugins folder. This is the directory where all the information about your plugins is stored.

Step 4

Here you will find folders of every plugin that are currently installed on your website. Now you need to find the plugin which you downloaded and rename that file to ‘plugin name-old’. After renaming the folder, download the folder to your system. All you need to do is right-click on the renamed folder and press the download button.

Step 5

Afterwards, you need to open your WordPress admin dashboard and open the Plugins page. Here you need to select the plugin which you want to update and press the Deactivate button. Now that you have downloaded the old plugin to your system and deactivated the plugin, you can delete the plugin folder from your website directory.

Step 6

After deleting the files from the directory, you need to locate the Local section and press the Upload button. Now you need to select the new plugin’s extracted files and upload those to your server.

Step 6

Once the uploading process completes, you need to head over to the WordPress admin dashboard and open the Plugins page. Here find the plugin that you recently installed and press the Activate button. You can now confirm that the plugin is working or not.

This was the complete process of updating your WordPress plugin via FTP. However, the ease of working and the effectiveness depends on the FTP client you are using. Some may offer exclusive features while others could provide you with a simple layout. If you are wondering about the best FTP clients, then below we mention some of the widely used that comes with numerous features.

#1 Cyberduck

The Cyberduck is one of the most feature-packed FTP clients. This is a cross-platform FTP which can be accessed on devices running on Mac and Windows operating systems. It comes with a feature called Cryptomator that allows you to secure your data even further. With this client, you can encrypt your file names, directory names, and file content which only you can decrypt.


Another great feature of this FTP client is that you can edit any file within the server. You don’t have to use any external software or any text editor as it comes with an inbuilt system that allows you to edit any text or binary file. Apart from FTP services, this client can be used as SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, OpenStack Swift, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive.

#2 FileZilla

By far the most popular FTP clients of them all. It is an easy to use free FTP client that can be used on devices running Windows, Linux, Mac and many other devices. One of the prominent features of this client is that it supports resume and transfer of files up to four gigabytes. It comes with a powerful site manager that allows you to transfer your files seamlessly.


In addition to that, this client supports the drag and drop function that makes even more feasible for the user to upload files on the website. Some other great features of this client include remote file editing, remote file search, bookmarks, multi-language support, directory comparison and much more.

#3 CuteFTP

Unlike the other two clients, the CuteFTP does not provide free FTP services. It has a user-friendly interface that comes with an inbuilt HTML editor which allows you to update your website files without leaving the FTP easily. Moreover, this client comes with various security features like HTTPS, OpenPGP encryption, one-time password authentication and password manager that helps you in keeping your website files secured.


Similar to other FTP, one is also a cross-platform client that supports Windows and Mac devices. There are many different features of this client, and some of them include automated transfers, backup of website, drag and drop transfer, ability to work on multiple devices at once and many others.


Now you know the complete procedure for updating your plugins via your FTP client. It is best to update all your plugins and themes as soon as possible as they come with new features and security enhancement services.

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