How to Update Your WordPress Website Without Using FTP Access

Key Takeaways

  • You can update your WordPress website without FTP access by using the built-in WordPress updater, a WordPress plugin, or your hosting control panel.
  • Updating WordPress regularly is crucial for security, bug fixes, and new features.
  • Backing up your website before any updates is highly recommended to avoid data loss.

As an experienced WordPress developer with over 8 years in the industry, I understand the importance of keeping your WordPress website up-to-date. Outdated software can pose security risks, lack critical bug fixes, and miss out on new features that can enhance your website’s functionality and user experience.

Traditionally, updating a WordPress website required FTP (File Transfer Protocol) access to upload the new files to your server. However, with the advancements in WordPress and hosting platforms, there are now several methods to update your website without the need for FTP access.

Method 1: Using the Built-in WordPress Updater

WordPress has a built-in updater that allows you to update the core software, themes, and plugins directly from your WordPress admin dashboard. Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Log in to your WordPress admin area.
  2. Navigate to the “Updates” section under the “Dashboard” menu.
  3. If there are any available updates, you’ll see them listed here.
  4. Review the updates and their details, then select the ones you want to install.
  5. Click the “Update” button to begin the update process.

WordPress will download the latest version of the core software, themes, or plugins and install them automatically. Once the update is complete, you’ll receive a success message.

Note: It’s always a good practice to create a full backup of your website before performing any updates, just in case something goes wrong.

Method 2: Using a WordPress Plugin

There are several WordPress plugins available that can help you update your website without FTP access. One popular option is the “Easy Updates Manager” plugin. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Install and activate the “Easy Updates Manager” plugin from the WordPress plugin repository.
  2. Navigate to the “Easy Updates Manager” section under the “Tools” menu in your WordPress admin area.
  3. The plugin will display a list of available updates for your WordPress core, themes, and plugins.
  4. Select the items you want to update and click the “Update” button.
  5. The plugin will download and install the updates automatically.

Plugins like “Easy Updates Manager” can simplify the update process and provide additional features like automatic backups, email notifications, and more.

Method 3: Using Your Hosting Control Panel

Many web hosting providers offer control panels like cPanel, Plesk, or their custom-built solutions. These control panels often include tools for managing your WordPress installation, including updating the core software, themes, and plugins.

The exact steps may vary depending on your hosting provider and the control panel they use, but generally, you’ll need to:

  1. Log in to your hosting control panel.
  2. Locate the “WordPress” or “Website” section.
  3. Find the option to update your WordPress installation.
  4. Select the components you want to update (core, themes, plugins).
  5. Initiate the update process, and the control panel will handle the rest.

Some hosting providers may also offer automatic updates for WordPress, ensuring that your website is always running the latest version without any manual intervention.

Bonus Tip: Keeping Your WordPress Website Secure

  • Use strong and unique passwords for your admin accounts.
  • Install and activate a security plugin like “Wordfence” or “Sucuri” to monitor and protect your website from threats.
  • Keep all plugins and themes updated to the latest versions.
  • Implement two-factor authentication for admin logins.
  • Regularly backup your website files and database.
  • Consider using a web application firewall (WAF) or a security service provided by your hosting provider.

By following these best practices and keeping your WordPress website updated, you can ensure a secure, stable, and feature-rich online presence for your business or personal endeavors.