To keep your WordPress website secure and improve its performance it's important to make sure that it's always up to date. Usually, you can update WordPress with one click in WP Admin. Minor updates are even done automatically. However, it may happen that you cannot access WP Admin and need to manually update WordPress. In this guide, we explain how to update WordPress manually with an SFTP client.
- Step 1 - Download WordPress
- Step 2 - Extract the WordPress files
- Step 3 - Connect to your web space via SFTP
- Step 4 - Delete two folders
- Step 5 - Upload folders and files
- Step 6 - That's it!
Note: Before you continue we recommend that you make a backup of your site and disable active plugins. Check out our guides below if you are unsure how to do this.
Step 1 - Download WordPress
Download the newest WordPress installation files from the WordPress website to your computer.
Step 2 - Extract the WordPress files
Extract the zip file that you just downloaded to a location on your computer.
Note: You can unzip a file on Mac by double-clicking on it or by right-clicking and selecting "Open".
Step 3 - Connect to your web space via SFTP
Next, you need to connect to your web space via SFTP. If you don't have an SFTP client yet, we recommend using FileZilla. You can download it here:
You may need to activate SFTP in your one.com control panel before you can connect with SFTP.
- Open your SFTP client.
- Enter the following details, replacing "yourdomain.com" with your own domain name.
Host = sftp.yourdomain.com
Username = yourdomain.com
Password = The password you have chosen for SFTP
Port = 22
- Click on Quickconnect to log in.
Tip: If it's the first time you log in using SFTP on this device, you'll see a popup message saying that the server's host key is unknown and asking whether you trust it or not. You need to click "OK" to approve the connection.
Step 4 - Delete two folders
Now you need to delete the two folders wp-admin and wp-includes from your web space.
Tip: If your WordPress website is on the main domain (domain.com), they will show up in the list of files directly after connecting. If your website is on a subdomain (wordpress.domain.com) they will be in a folder with the name of your subdomain.
- Locate your WordPress folders in your SFTP client. They will show up in the part of the SFTP window that is called "Remote site".
- Find the folder called wp-admin.
- Right-click on it and select Delete.
- Repeat the same for the folder wp-includes.
Important: The wp-content folder contains your plugins and themes so make sure not to delete it.
Step 5 - Upload folders and files
Locate the files and folders of the new WordPress version that you downloaded in step 1. They will show up in the part of the SFTP window that is called "Local site". There you'll see all files and folders that are on your computer. The folders with the new WordPress version are most likely saved in the Downloads folder.
- Click on the WordPress version folder in the local site window.
- Select all files using Ctrl + A on Windows or cmd + a on Mac.
- When all files and folders are selected, press Ctrl (cmd on Mac) again and hold it.
- Click on the wp-content folder to exclude it.
- Right-click on the group of selected files and choose Upload to begin uploading the files to your web space.
- In the popup saying "Target file already exists", select Overwrite and Apply for current queue only.
- Click OK. FileZilla will now upload all files.
- Once all files are uploaded you can close FileZilla.
Step 6 - That's it!
You've finished the manual update and your website now uses the latest WordPress version.
You might need to update your database. If this is the case, you will be prompted to do so when you log in to WordPress for the first time.
Tip: Check for updates for your plugins and themes and remember to reactivate all plugins once you've logged in.