How to manually update WordPress using FTP

update wordpress using ftp

How to manually update WordPress using FTP  ?

Allow me to introduce something related to automatic WordPress update and manually update using FTP.

When WordPress released its version 3.7. There was some important improvements, but automatic updates is definitely the most significant feature of that release. WordPress, now can automatically update itself when there is some minor or major security updates available.

Major or minor security release !!  yes, Only !!!!!!!

automatic updates in WordPress 3.7 and later version is only available when there is minor or security updates and it can not update automatically when there is any major update like if you are running version 3.8 then it will automatically update without user input to version 3.8.1  but it will not update itself automatically to version 3.9

So there are two ways to do this

  1. Enable automatic updates for major WordPress release
  2. Manually Update WordPress using FTP

Enable Automatic update for major WordPress release

WordPress  did not enable automatic updates for all the major changes because a major release usually comes with significant changes in the core system and sometimes your themes and plugins are not suitable to bear this burden or are using the old codex function, or have heavy customization in your WordPress site.

But if you are confident about your WordPress hosting and codex functionality used in your themes and plugin, then you can enable WordPress for major updates as well.

Just open your wp-config.php file and add this code

define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true );

The major problem with this hack is – it automatically enable all the nightly built and development release also.

Now to disable development built and nightly release again you have to add a filter so that you an direct your WordPress setup no to update for nightly built.

Just open you themes’ functions.php file and add the following code in that

add_filter( 'allow_dev_auto_core_updates', '__return_false' );

This filter will automatically disable all the development release to be install on your system thus will only update for major updates only.

You can find out more details on Enabling automatic updates on WordPress Codex Pages.

Manually Update WordPress using FTP

First thing first- You are always advised to take proper WordPress backup of your website before updating your core.  if you do not have access to admin area of  site or not using any premium backup WordPress plugin, still you can make your WordPress backup manually.

After taking proper backup of your website, you are required to download a fresh copy of WordPress from wordpress.org on your desktop and unzip using any popular archiving software like winrar, because it is free and works in all the major platform

Preparation for Manual WordPress Updating

Step:- 1  Backup your files

Before you start manually update WordPress using FTP , let me introduce three major file/folder that you must have as a backup copy from your existing WordPress setup.

1. .htaccess  – This files contains all your redirection hack and once it must be on your desktop before you start any thing new

2. wp-config.php  – This file contains all the basic settings of your wordpress website like, database namem password and other major details

3.  wp-content – This is actually a folder inside your wordpress installation and contains all your major plugins and themes that is currently rendering your site.

Step:- 2   Delete .htaccess, wp-config.php files  and wp-folder from your local wordpress folder, now your folder will look like this


Upload WordPress Files Using FTP

connect to your website using FTP client software, once connected go to root directory of  your website. Now upload all the files from using desktop folder to your WordPress root folder

update wordpress using ftp

Once your FTP client will start uploading all these files from your desktop folder to your web hosting server, during the update process FTP software will prompt you about the file already exists in the target directory, select overwrite for this whole queue.


Updating WordPress Database

Remember once thing very clearly, all the major release may comes with some changes in their database, once your FTP software have uploaded all the files to your web hosting server directory, simply try to login into your wordpress admin area. WordPress will now prompt you to WordPress database update notification

upgrade WordPress Database

Simply click on update WordPress Database button to proceed, WordPress will show you a success message after updating your database.

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3 thoughts on “How to manually update WordPress using FTP”

  1. Good post.Now my site is based on version 3.8.1.But in wordpress updates,it is showing wordpress is ready to update.I do not know how to do this because I do not have sufficient knowledge on this.Anyway Thanks

    1. You can paste the following code inside your config.php file to disable all type of automatic updates
      define( ‘AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED’, true );

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