How can I update my (free) plugin?

Last update: 15 December, 2016

If you have the premium plugin, please see this article instead.

There are three ways to update your free plugin.

  1. Using the ‘Plugins’ Menu
  2. Using the ‘Updates’ Menu
  3. Manually using SFTP or FTP

Use the update function in the Plugin Admin

When you login to the admin of your website, you may see a number next to ‘Plugins’ in the menu. This indicates the number of updates that are available for your plugins.

If you use WordPress 3.8, it may look like this:

Example of available plugins in WordPress admin

If you see this and you go to your installed plugins, by clicking the Plugins-menu-item, you will see the following text below a plugin. (Or in case of the above example, at 4 plugins)

WordPress plugin update available - example

By clicking the ‘Update now’ link, your plugin will automatically be updated to the latest available version.

Use the update function in the Update Admin

Updating via the updates admin is a safe and easy alternative to updating via the plugins admin. When you log into the admin of your website, you may see a number in the updates section of the admin bar at the top of your site. This indicates the number of updates that are available for your plugins.

If you use WordPress 3.8, it may look like this:

You can either click on that icon or – alternatively – click on the word “Dashboard” to open a submenu and then click “Updates”.

If you use WordPress 3.8, it may look like this:

On this page, you will see all of the items that your site has identified as needing updated. Scroll down to the Plugins section and put a checkmark next to the Yoast plugins.

By clicking the ‘Update Plugins’ link, your plugin will automatically be updated to the latest available version.

Manually update the premium plugin

If your WordPress admin doesn’t show the available update or if the automatic update doesn’t work, you may want to manually update your free plugin.

In order to do this you’ll have to take the following steps:

  1. Go to the website of the free plugin, for example WordPress SEO or Google Analytics for WordPress.
  2. Download the plugin files and save them to your computer.
  3. Extract the downloaded .zip file.
  4. Contact your host provider and obtain your host (or IP address), Username, Password, and Port number.
  5. Obtain a program such as FileZilla to access your site. For security reasons we recommend using the Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). However, you could also use the File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

    filezilla-ftpFileZilla Start Screen

  6. Upload the extracted plugin folder to the wp-content/plugins folder in your WordPress directory online. The name of the extracted plugin folder should be equal to the name of the existing plugin-folder online.NOTE: Make sure you overwrite the existing plugin-files.
  7. Your plugin has been updated!

All settings will be saved, so you will not have to reconfigure or activate the plugin again.

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