How To Upgrade WordPress Manually

There are many tutorials on the web that teach you how to upgrade your WordPress theme automatically but not Manually. Today I am going to show you how to upgrade WordPress manually. After this tutorial you will never upgrade automatic again.

Step 1

Log into your WordPress admin panel and look for Tools>Export (We’re backing up our database just in case something goes wrong)
Log into WordPress

Step 2

Download export file
Export Data

Step 3

Browse for a yellow highlight at the very top of your admin panel and click please update now.
Yellow highlight

Step 4

We do not want to upgrade automatically so download the new WordPress upgrade folder.
Upgrade Manually

Step 5

Extract Folder from .rar or .zip

Step 6

Open your FTP (file transfer protocol) and go to your main directory (where WordPress files are)
Open Filezilla etc

Step 7

Now we will delete everything except for wp-config, .htcacess and the folder wp-content

Note: Before we add the new folders into our directory delete wp-config, and wp-content

Step 8

Now lets add our new files into our directory.
Copy Files
Add New files to main directory

Step 9

Ok now head back into your WordPress admin panel and refresh the page and you should see the following message.

Congratulations! You have upgraded your WordPress version without using automatic update. I hope this tutorial helped.

Joe Granados the author

Joe Granados is the owner of WebDevTuts. He is also a web designer & developer who loves to design and develop websites. If you're looking for him you can find him via @webdevtuts
  1. Ollo says:

    pretty nice post man. But just out of curiosity what benefits are you finding through upgrading manually? I have just started using wp a few months back and am curious why this is so much better?

  2. Masdin says:

    Marcell Purham, thank you very much for this tutorial. I couldn’t update my WP automatically due to some hosting restrictions. With the very clear explanation above I have successfully updated it to 3.0, many thanks….

    Masdin – Indonesia

  3. kgall says:

    This was extremely helpful. The best tutorial I could find. I didn’t want to upgrade to wp3.0 so I was going to upgrade manually to most stable version of wordpress..2.9.2 This really helps. I had a friend tell me how to do it…but left out a couple of steps. You validated my concerns. Thanks!

  4. Siva says:

    Hey, please someone help me.. Its URGENT..!!
    I got the below error message when tried to access the /wp-admin,php (login page)
    Now, I cant even see the login page after making the same migrating steps being followed in this article….

    “Error 500 – Internal server error

    An internal server error has occured!
    Please try again later.”

  5. Keith Davis says:

    Hi Marcell

    Brilliant post that I will probably print off.
    I’m trying to understand enough about wordpress files in order to do my own manual update.

    One question, you say…

    “Note: Before we add the new folders into our directory delete wp-config, and wp-content”

    Are these two files / folders never updated by wordpress?

  6. Kumar says:

    I follow the the instruction exactly as you given to upgrade my blog from wordpress 3.1 to wordpress 3.1.1. But finally unable to upload below file to server.


    It ask to replace this file. but I am 100% sure, I deleted all files except 3 you have mentioned. when I give permission to replace it, it doesn’t replace. always replace dialog box appear again and again. I am using Filezilla.

    Now my dashboard news doesn’t load.

    please help me. It is urgent.

  7. Violetta says:

    Do I have to delete old theme? How? Problem is that after last WP upgrade the theme I used totally crashed my site. And the new version is not in the depository because themes’ criteria are changed.

  8. Chris says:

    Great guide! I have a problem which kinda is related to thi. I tried to do the updating automatically but it failed. Now when I try to follow your guide I can’t even log in to the admin panel because of the failed update before. Any idea of what I can do to be able to log in again?


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