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How to update WordPress using SSH

Applies to:
Reseller Hosting


Time Needed:
5 minutes


This is a quick step-by-step walkthrough for updating WordPress using SSH and WP-CLI.

Before you begin, you will need to know your SFTP username and password for your website. This guide will show you how to manage your username and password.

Login via SSH

Open your SSH client.

You will need to connect to your account using SSH in order to access WP-CLI. Exactly how to do this will depend on the operating system that you are using.


You should use a client such as PuTTY.

Mac OS X

The ssh command is available from Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal).

To connect, you should access your account with your FTP username. In this example, the username is ‘user’.

Once connected, you will need to change directory into httpdocs (or the directory your WordPress installation is in), by typing the following:

cd httpdocs

How to run updates using WP-CLI


WP-CLI is already installed on your account, and can be accessed simply by typing:


If you press enter at this point, you’ll be shown a screen of help, which you can close by pressing the Q key.

You can manipulate plugins, themes, users and more using WP-CLI. We’ll show how to install a new plugin. First, type the following:

wp plugin list

This will check to see what plugins are installed, along with their version and status.

Update Plugins

You can use the following command to update your plugins:

wp plugin update PLUGINNAME –skip-plugins

This will update singular plugins, to update all plugins you can use:

wp plugin update --all --skip-plugins

Note: The –skip-plugins flag stops WP-CLI loading in the plugin code as part of its execution, allowing it to run faster in most cases.

Update Core

You can use the following command to update your WordPress version:

wp core update –skip-plugins

Be sure to check the website after running this update and if you encounter any issues please contact support.

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