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Lesson 14 – Part 5 – How to Upgrade Plugins

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Keeping Your Website Up To Date

All the backup work we’ve done so far was really leading up to the subject of keeping your site up to date. And at the moment, this site is really not up to date, right? If we come back to the dashboard, this site is running on 3.1.1 and it’s using Thesis 1.8. And if we look at our plugins, we have a handful of plugins that need to be upgraded.

Ways To Upgrade Plugins

So the first thing we’re going to do is look at how to upgrade plugins. I always say “When in doubt, back up first” before upgrading plugins to make sure you don’t have problems.

Automatic Upgrades

But the easiest way to do an upgrade is to do the automatic upgrades. So we upgrade automatically here and then we update automatically. And now that that’s all done, we use this automatic upgrade process to update everything, right?

Using Manual Upgrade When Automatic Upgrades Don’t Work

Well, sometimes it doesn’t work. Sometimes, an upgrade doesn’t end up behaving the way you want it to and you need to do a manual upgrade. And so that’s what I want to look at here on this site, how to do a manual upgrade.

Manual Upgrades

I have several plugins that need to be upgraded on the Start Building Your Website Here final version. All of these could be upgraded automatically. But what I’m going to do is pick one to upgrade manually. And I think we’ll upgrade the Widget Styles plugin manually.

So to manually upgrade a plugin, you really want to begin by deactivating it. So we’ll deactivate Widget Styles and then we’ll open up the site in ftp. Wp content, plugins… okay and so what I need to do is go to my local directory that’s holding these files and so we’ll do that next. And that is websites, byob website, tutorial sites…so here’s the widget that we’re going to replace. I’m just going to delete it.

And then in another window, grab the actual plugin zip file, widget styles. We’ll copy that, paste… let’s see. Extract to here, yes to all. Okay so there’s our widget styles… our new files for widget styles. Come back over here and refresh this in Filezilla.

Here is Widget Styles plugin. Right there is Widget Styles plugin and all we do is upload. And what it’s going to do is write these files over the top of the old ones.

When it’s finished writing those files, the site now has all the new files. We could refresh this view here and it would now show us not 1.3 but the latest version. We’ll refresh it so you can see that. Now it’s got 1.4 in there. We’ll activate it and we just manually upgraded this plugin. Well, once the activation’s finished, we’ve manually done it.

So those are the two ways to upgrade a plugin, the automatic method and then the manual method. The Automatic method obviously is nice and fast and when it works, it’s the best way to do it. But when it doesn’t work, it’s easy and relatively quick to simply use Filezilla or ftp to upload the files and reactivate.

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