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Important: This article does not apply to Secure WordPress.

WordPress® is rapidly growing in popularity. With that popularity comes visibility into any security flaws and breaches from hackers. It is estimated that almost 30,000 websites are hacked daily. A high percentage of those hacked websites are due to insecure and not up to date themes and plugins.

Hackers can use vulnerabilities in older versions in order to compromise your website. That’s why it’s extremely important to keep your themes and plugins as up to date as possible as updates will typically contain security improvements.

You can update plugins and themes using the WordPress administrator panel or manually. The instructions for both update methods are below:

Note: We recommend that you back up your website before making any changes.

How do I update my WordPress plugins using the Administrator Panel?

To update your plugins using the administrator panel, follow these steps:

  1. 1. Open an Internet browser and navigate to the domain name of your WordPress website, and add /wp-admin to the URL.
  2. Example: http://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin
  3. 2. Log in to your WordPress administrator panel with your username and password.
  4. 3. Find the Updates link in the top-left of your administrator panel.
  5. If there is a number listed next to the Updates link, it means you have updates available to install.
  6. 4. Click the Updates link.
  7. A list of available updates appears.
  8. 5. Check the plugins you want to update, or check the Select All box to update all available plugins.
  9. 6. Click Update Plugins.
  10. You have updated your WordPress plugins using the administrator panel.

How do I update my WordPress theme using the Administrator Panel?

To update your theme using the administrator panel, follow these steps:

  1. 1. Open an Internet browser and navigate to the domain name of your WordPress website, and add /wp-admin to the URL.
  2. Example: http://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin
  3. 2. Log in to your WordPress administrator panel with your username and password.
  4. 3. Find the Updates link in the top-left of your administrator panel.
  5. If there is a number listed next to the Updates link, it means you have updates available to install.
  6. 4. Click the Updates link.
  7. A list of available updates appears.
  8. 5. Check the themes you want to update, or check the Select All box to update all available themes.
  9. 6. Click Update Themes.
  10. You have updated your WordPress theme using the administrator panel.

Note: If your WordPress core has is not up-to-date, you will likely have to update your plugins manually using the methods below. We strongly recommend that you update your WordPress Core when updates become available.

How do I update my WordPress plugins manually?

To update WordPress plugins manually, you need an FTP program. You will also need to download the newer version of the plugin you want to update from the official webpage of that plugin.

Note: If you do have access to the admin panel, it is recommended to disable the plugin first in your admin panel.

To update your plugin manually using FTP, follow these steps:

  1. 1. Connect to your WordPress website using the FTP program. For more information, please see FTP FAQs and Troubleshooting.
  2. 2. Open the /wp-content folder.
  3. 3. Open the plugins folder.
  4. 4. Find the plugin that you are updating. It may be in the main plugins folder or a sub folder that is named appropriately.
  5. 5. Replace the plugin file or folder with the updated plugin file or folder you downloaded.
  6. You have updated your plugin manually.

How do I update my WordPress theme manually?

To update WordPress themes manually, you need an FTP program. You will also need to download the newer version of the theme you want to update from the official webpage of that theme.

Note: If you do have access to the administrator panel, we recommend that you change to a different theme first in your administrator panel.

To update your theme manually using FTP, follow these steps:

  1. 1. Connect to your WordPress website using the FTP program. For more information, please see FTP FAQs and Troubleshooting.
  2. 2. Open the /wp-content folder.
  3. 3. Open the themes folder.
  4. 4. Find the theme that you are updating. It may be in the main theme folder or a sub folder that is named appropriately.
  5. 5. Replace the theme file or folder with the updated theme file or folder you downloaded.
  6. You have updated your theme manually.