Manually update WordPress theme and plugins without removing existing item

wordpress theme plugin update without removing the existing theme or plugin

If you have a ZIP file of WordPress theme or plugin, you can easily install that item from WordPress admin area. But updating the same theme or plugin with a ZIP file is not convenient in WordPress because at first, you need to delete that item. And then you need to upload the updated ZIP file again. You cannot upload the updated ZIP file when it is already in the admin area. Instead, WordPress will say “destination already exists” when trying to upgrade using a zip file and will fail to upgrade the theme or plugin. The main problem is when you delete the existing WordPress theme or plugin, your website will be broken and this is obviously a huge limitation of WordPress. But you can easily solve this problem with a WordPress plugin named “Easy Theme and Plugin Upgrades”.  One the important feature of this plugin is this plugin create a backup of the existing item. While upgrading, a backup copy of the old theme or plugin is first created. This allows you to install the old version in case of problems with the new version. Here is the step by step guidelines on how to update WordPress theme and plugins without removing the existing item:

 

Installing the plugin

Go to “Plugins > Add New” from the WordPress admin menu.

In the search field enter Easy Theme and Plugin Upgrades”. WordPress will show you the plugin information like below image.

 

 

Click on Install Now”. WordPress will take a few seconds to install the plugin. After installing the plugin you will see the “Active” option to activate the plugin. Click on the “Active” button.

This plugin has no any settings options.

 

Updating the WordPress theme

Go to Appearance > Themes” from the WordPress admin menu.

Click on the Add New” button at the top of the page.

Click on the Upload Theme” button at the top of the page.

Click on the Choose file” and select the zip file with the new theme version to install from your computer.

Click the Install Now” button. This will take some time to install the theme depending on the theme file size. After the installation, you will see a page to activate and download the old version of the theme like below image.

 

 

Look at the fourth line. You can download the backup ZIP file of your old theme version by click on “here” text link. This plugin also stores this backup copy in the media section. We will show you this step at the end of this article.

Click on “Activate” text link to activate the new version of your theme.

 

Updating the WordPress plugin

This is almost the same process like theme updating.

Go to Plugins > Add New” from the WordPress admin menu.

Click on the Upload Plugin” button at the top of the page.

Click on the Choose file” and select the zip file with the new plugin version to install from your computer.

Click the Install Now” button. This will take some time to install the plugin depending on the plugin file size. After the installation, you will see a page to activate and download the old version of the plugin.

Look at the fourth line. You can download the backup ZIP file of your old plugin version by click on“here” text link. This plugin also stores this backup copy in the media section. We will show you this step at the end of this article.

Click on “Activate” text link to activate the new version of your plugin.

 

The backup copy of your old WordPress theme or plugin

Go to Media > Library” from the WordPress admin menu.

Type Backup” into the search field and press enter from your keyboard.

Find the desired backup file from the search result’s list.

The URL to the backup file is listed on the right side of the page under “File URL”. You can copy and paste that URL into your browser’s URL bar in order to start a download.

 

Pro Tips

Check your website carefully after the updating of your WordPress theme and plugin. If your website has any problem you can reinstall by uploading the old version’s backup file.

If your website looks good, you can delete the backup file from the Media section after downloading the backup file. It’s always a good habit to store a backup copy in your computer or a cloud storage. Sometimes, a problem can be found after a couple of days. But it will not be wise to store the file in the WordPress Media section.

WordPress theme and plugin update is not a frequent action. And it’s a good habit to delete the unused plugins from the plugin list. So after the update process, you can delete the “Easy Theme and Plugin Upgrades” plugin from your plugin list. When you need to update the theme and plugin again, just install the “Easy Theme and Plugin Upgrades” plugin again with the same process.

 

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