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Lesson 14 – Part 6 – How to Upgrade Plugins

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Now that we’ve backed everything up, let’s talk about keeping the site up to date. At the moment, the site is really not up to date. If we come back to the dashboard, this site is running on 3.1.1 and it’s using Thesis 1.8. If we look at our plugins, we’ve a handful of plugins that need to be upgraded.

Automatic Upgrades

The first thing we’re going to do is look at how to upgrade plugins. The first thing to say is when in doubt, backup first but the easiest way to do an upgrade is to do the automatic upgrades. We upgrade automatically here. When that’s all done, we’ve used this automatic upgrade process to upgrade everything.

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

Upgrade A Plugin Manually

I have several plugins that need to be upgraded on the Start Building Your Website Here final version. All of them could be upgraded automatically but what I’m going to do is pick one to upgrade manually and what we’ll do is upgrade the widget styles plugin manually.

To manually upgrade a plugin, you really want to begin by deactivating that. We’ll deactivate widget styles and we’ll open up the site in FTP. What I need to do is go to my local directory that’s holding these files. Here’s the widget that we’re going to replace, it’s been on there since this widget actually was placed here on October 5th. I’m just going to delete it.

In another window, grab the widget styles plugin zipped file, copy that, paste, extract to here, yes to all and there’s our new files for widget styles. Come back over here and refresh this in FileZilla, here’s widget styles plugin and all we do is upload.

Activate the Upgraded Plugin

What it’s going to do is write these files over the top of the old ones. When it has 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. Now, it has got 1.4 in there so we’ll activate it and we’ve just manually upgraded this plugin.

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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