This question has apparently found no answer so far:
I am looking for a way to update 'existing/ active' plugins froma WP site remotely ;
I have seen some indication on how to access the wp repository / plugin info, but the next step is missing : how to grab the updated version of a given plugin & update it (as opposed to completely uninstall the previously active version completely & re-insatlling the newest version all over...) ? I am using an outside app to do this, not just another WP site...
Relative to this, I am wondering if a proper alternative to an update could be just "re-installing " a latest version of the plugin, e.g.: Do all plugin (...?) have an update function reviewing potential database changes to their workings, etc...Am very doubtful of this ...?

  • A lot of plugins do have code ran inside of the update hooks to handle things like db migration etc. There also the activation/deactivation hooks that should run accordingly as well. A plugin I worked on which has an installer in Softaculous for example would not run the activation/deactivation hooks when a new site was created and the wp plugins added through it - so there's lots of little things to look out for when communicating remote for install/update processes with plugins. The upgrader process does trigger activation/deactivation hooks as well from what I rememeber.
    – Tim Elsass
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 10:06

1 Answer 1


If you have admin access to your WP site you can login remotely via any web browser and use built in Updates function.

To login to your site visit http://yoursite.url/wpadmin (replace yoursite.url with your web address.

From your Dashboard you will see the Updates option which will check for updates of legitimate Plugins.

If you are updating a plugin you have written you can use the Plugin Editor function, also provided by Wordpress and found within your Dashboard under the Plugins menu item. Again, any web browser should allow you to do this.

Another alternative would be to use an FTP Client, assuming your server allows FTP access. Via FTP you can upload an entire plugin thereby replacing the existing plugin files.


Note: When using FTP you must pay attention to any database changes the update might make. Using the supplied "Updates" function from your Dashboard would be a safer option and you are unlikely to break your site.


Your server may also offer an SSH option allowing you to connect to your server (if it is a Linux style server) and perform updates using other tools such as wget

I hope this helps you and doesn't get down voted if I've misunderstood your question.

  • It seems to me that this is not a solution because of this sentence: I am using an outside app to do this, not just another WP site...
    – nmr
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 10:19
  • Upon re-reading the question I agree, my answer was not helpful and I may have misunderstood the gist of the question. :( Not sure if I should delete the answer because I'm new here. Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 22:05
  • Thanks for your all your answers... Sorry i f I was not clear enough , but I am indeed trying to update (installing anew is not an issue...) already installed plugin REMOTELY, and using an outside App (am managing remotely all WP installed sites, including post / pages editing, users, etc, via Rest API...) , but managing plugins is a hurdle ...!<br/> I understand this might be impossible, unless I mimick the way WP does that internally .<br/> Any clues on how I could go about this ?
    – JMB
    Commented Jan 21, 2020 at 8:08
  • @JMB Sadly I do not know how to do it without a web browser. That functionality hasn't been needed by me. I just login to the wordpress backend and when an update is available it tells me. Are your wp sites hosted by wordpress? Mine are all self hosted on my own servers with separate installations of wordpress. I may not be much help at all because I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. Commented Jan 21, 2020 at 8:56

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