How to update WordPress via FTP

How to update WordPress via FTP

Keeping your WordPress installation up-to-date is important, why? Well your site might be fully operational now but how do you know if it will be fully functional tomorrow? You could be hacked!

Perhaps a security flaw will be found leaving your site susceptible to hacking, updating your site can help to protect your site so it is important to always keep your site up-to-date with the latest version of WordPress.

How to update FTP

There are two methods to update your site:

  1. You can either use the automatic update system; a simple one-click update and your site is now using the latest version of WordPress, or
  2. The second route where you update the site through FTP.

Both options are fine and you can use either.

You may decide to use the one-click update option, but what if you find that this doesn’t work? Perhaps your hosting is limiting the memory use of your site therefore stopping your site from automatically updating? In this case you must use the FTP option. Sounds scary, NO, it is actually quite easy!

Update WordPress via FTP

First thing to do, backup, backup, backup!
Always backup your site if you are making a plugin installation or if you are uncertain of  major update you are about to make. I have learnt the hard way with this so I always make backups, to make the backup I use XCloner, a free plugin for WordPress, you can learn more here: Top 10 WordPress Plugins.

Quick steps to update WordPress

  1. Download the latest version of WordPress.
  2. Uncompress the WordPress zip file.
  3. Remove the ‘wp-content’ folder, don’t delete it, just move it out of the WordPress installation folder for now.
  4. Open your FTP client (I use Transmit on the Mac) and navigate both to your live site and to the WordPress installation folder on your local computer.
  5. Select all files in the WordPress installation folder (remember, not the wp-contents folder), drag and drop the files on the remote server to begin the upload process.
  6. Let the upload complete.
  7. Now in your browser, looking at your WordPress administration, click the ‘Dashboard’ button top left, WordPress will now recognise the updated files, if there is a database update to be made WordPress will take you to a page asking you to click to confirm the update to the database. After you click to confirm, WordPress will update the database, you will then be taken to the main WordPress Dashboard page where you should see a congratulations message informing you that the WordPress installation has been updated.

That is it, updating WordPress via FTP is not as difficult as it initially sounds!