How can I update my (free) plugin?

Last update: 14 August, 2018
If you have the premium plugin, please see this article instead.

Table of Contents

How to update a Yoast plugin using the Plugins Overview

  • Log in to your WordPress website. When you're logged in, you will be in your 'Dashboard'.
  • On the left-hand side, you will see a menu. In that menu, 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 see a number, click on 'Plugins'.
  • Review the plugin list and look for the plugin update notification.
  • Click 'update now' to begin the update process.
  • Repeat for every plugin with an update notification.

How to update a Yoast plugin using the Updates Dashboard

Updating via the updates admin is a safe and easy alternative to updating via the plugins admin. 

  • Log in to your WordPress website. When you're logged in, you will be in your 'Dashboard'.
  • Across the top of your site, you will see an admin bar. In that admin bar, you may see a number next to an icon. This indicates the number of updates that are available for your website.
  • If you see a number, click on the number to open the update dashboard. Alternatively, you can click on 'Dashboard' and 'Updates'.
  • 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.
  • Click ‘Update Plugins’ to begin the update process.
The following guide is written for advanced users and developers.

How to manually update a Yoast plugin using FTP

If your WordPress admin doesn't show the available update (which might happen due to a failure to communicate with a WordPress server) or if the automatic update doesn't work, you may want to manually update your free plugin by using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or preferably the secure version, Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).

  • Go to the website of the free plugin, for example WordPress SEO.
  • Download the plugin files and save them to your computer.
  • Extract the downloaded .zip file.
  • Contact your host provider and obtain your host (or IP address), Username, Password, and Port number.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Your plugin has been updated!

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