This quick post explains how to upgrade any plugin purchased from Plugin Planet. Staying current helps to ensure site stability, performance, and security. So always update your plugin to the latest version to get the latest features, bug fixes, and other improvements. Basically there are two ways to upgrade: automatically via WP’s one-click upgrade, or manually via (S)FTP. This post explains both methods.

Upgrade via WP Admin Area

One of the benefits to activating your plugin license is that it enables free one-click updates from the WordPress Admin Area. When an upgrade is available, WordPress will notify you in the Admin Area. When you see that there is an update available, you can upgrade using WP’s one-click upgrade feature by following these steps:

  1. Backup your settings, database, files, etc. (just a best-practice precaution, recommended for any WP upgrade)
  2. Visit the “Plugins” screen
  3. Click the “View Details” link to learn more about the new version (also recommended as best-practice)
  4. Click the “Update Now” link
  5. Done!

These steps will help to ensure that everything goes smooth with the upgrade. As always, it’s highly recommended to check settings and verify proper functionality after any WP upgrade. Also note that you can download the latest version of your plugin anytime at your convenience.

Update! As of WordPress version 5.5, it is possible to upgrade a plugin by uploading the zip file. Visit the Plugins screen in the WP Admin Area, and click “Add New”. Then select your plugin zip file and click “Upload Plugin”. WordPress will detect that an older version of the plugin already is installed, and will ask if you want to “Replace current with uploaded”. Click yes and you’re done.

Manual Upgrade via (S)FTP

If one-click upgrades are not possible, it’s always possible to upgrade manually via FTP (or even better, SFTP). Here are the steps:

  1. Backup your settings, database, files, etc. (just a best-practice precaution, recommended for any WP upgrade)
  2. Download the latest version of your plugin
  3. Unzip the plugin
  4. Connect to your site via FTP
  5. Delete the existing copy of the plugin from the server (should be located in the /wp-content/plugins/ directory)
  6. Upload the new plugin files to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  7. Done!

That’s all there is to it. Remember to thoroughly check all plugin settings and test everything for proper functionality (always a best-practice step after any WP upgrade). Also, if you are on the manual/FTP track for plugin upgrades, be sure to stay current with the latest and greatest by grabbing the Plugin Planet News Feed.

Alternate upgrade technique

Alternately, here is a technique for upgrading that restores the plugin settings and data to their original/default state:

  1. Backup any settings or data that you would like to preserve (optional)
  2. Download a copy of the latest version of your plugin
  3. Visit the License screen for your plugin and disable the license
  4. Visit the “Plugins” screen in the WP Admin Area
  5. Deactivate and delete the plugin via the Plugins screen
  6. Upload the new plugin via Add Plugin > “Upload Plugin”
  7. Reactivate the plugin and enable the license
  8. Done!

That will enable you to install the latest version directly, by selecting the plugin zip file from your computer. Again, this alternate way of upgrading will result in all plugin settings and data being removed and replaced with the factory defaults.

Pro Tip: You can make a quick backup of your USP settings via the USP Tools tab, click to Export your options. Here you also may import previous backups. Note that uninstalling the plugin removes all plugin options (and license information), but does NOT touch any of your submitted posts or USP Forms.


If you are trying to update automatically via 1-click update (via the Plugins screen in the WP Admin Area), but are getting an error or warning such as this:

Update Failed: Could not copy file.

Or similar, there are a number of possible causes for this type of error. Before you attempt any troubleshooting steps, try the following steps. They are known to resolve numerous potential gotchas like corrupt download files and so forth. Follow these steps to upgrade your plugin:

  1. Backup your database or plugin settings (just in case)
  2. If your site is live/production, put it into maintenance mode
  3. Via SFTP, delete the entire plugin directory1 from /wp-content/plugins/
  4. Download a fresh copy of the latest version of USP Pro and unzip the zip file
  5. Via SFTP, upload the new (unzipped) plugin directory to replace the one you deleted

1 For example, if you are using USP Pro, you would delete the plugin directory, /usp-pro/. Or if you are using Blackhole Pro, you would delete the plugin directory, /blackhole-pro/. And so forth, depending on which plugin you want to upgrade.

That should do the trick to upgrade just about any plugin in just about any scenario. If the above steps do not work, please let us know so we can try to help asap, thank you.