WordPress Plugin Updater Beta Test!

Plugin Updater - New Update Button Today I have a little surprise for all of you, I’ve written a new plugin which I find extremely useful, I’ve dubbed it “Plugin Updater”. Not the most imaginative name, I know. Once it’s installed it adds a new button to the plugin update notification bar, shown in the image to the right.

When you click the “Update Now” button it will automatically download the update from WordPress extend and extract it to your plugins directory.

Plugin Updater - Download in progress

Installation instructions:

  1. Upload the folder `plugin-updater` to the `/wp-content/plugins/` directory.
  2. CHMOD 777 /wp-content/plugins
  3. CHMOD 777 /wp-content/plugins/plugin-updater/packages
  4. Activate the plugin through the `Plugins` menu in WordPress.

This isn’t an official release, I’ve still got a lot of testing to do so I’m not offering any support.

If you find any bugs it would be greatly appreciated if you let me know.

NOTE: There’s a known conflict issue with my “Flickr Manager” plugin, which I’ve since had to patch, so if you’re experiencing troubles with it not doing anything when you click the “Update Now” button, please redownload Flickr Manager (or deactivate and click “Update Now” for versions earlier than 1.4.01).


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40 Responses to WordPress Plugin Updater Beta Test!

  1. When I activate the plugin, I get this PHP error (and the plugin fails to activate, because of the error):

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING, expecting T_OLD_FUNCTION or T_FUNCTION or T_VAR or ‘}’ in /path/to/my/wordpress/install/wp-content/plugins/plugin-updater/plugin-updater.php on line 28

  2. museum says:

    “ERROR:You must install cURL” appears after pushing instal now…

  3. Chris,
    What version of PHP do you have installed, you need 5.

    You must install cURL. It’s a PHP library.

  4. Vin Thomas says:

    Everything goes through just like it should, and the screen tells me that the new plugin has been activated, but it still shows as the old version?!

    Any ideas?

  5. Hey Vin,
    Read the FAQ of the readme. The plugin you’re updating would have a non-standard install procedure.
    Either that, or you haven’t given apache permission to write to your plugins directory.

  6. Vin Thomas says:

    WOW! It worked on some plugins but not on others. Buy hey, even if it saves me a few minutes here or there…with 20 odd plugins it is worth it!

    Thanks a ton!

  7. Vin Thomas says:

    Let it be known that the really quality plugins (all in one SEO, tinyMCE advanced, Flickr Mangager, etc) worked fine! It was with some of the dodgy plugins that didn’t work.

    Great work1

  8. aaajiao says:

    how can I play with php4

  9. However you like, just can’t use this plugin.

  10. Chris says:

    Can there be such a thing for wordpress itself? I will be away from a computer with download access, so this one-click thing would be great for security updates to wordpress itself.

    Maybe it wouldn’t work though, as wordpress will be in use at the time… 😕


  11. I’m actually looking into that at the moment now that I saw WP 2.3.3 was released today and it’s a pain having to reupload the entire WordPress directory. I’ll do my reading then hopefully if I can work something out, it will be in the next version of the plugin.


  12. Chris,

    There’s a plugin called InstantUpgrade ( http://www.zirona.com/software/wordpress-instant-upgrade/ ) available, which updates WP for you with one-click.

    Personally, I like using SVN to install/update WordPress, but before I got hooked onto SVN, I used InstantUpgrade.

  13. Vineet Kumar says:

    This is the msg i m getting while clicking on the update button.

    Unexpected error occured while performing an AJAX request

  14. Hi Vineet,
    Are you using plugin updater 1.0.2?
    Also do you have Flickr Manager less than version 1.4.5?

  15. Austin says:

    ERROR:Package directory not writable.

    But /wp-content is 0755 and
    /plugins is 0777

    What to look for ?

  16. Austin,
    CHMOD 777 /wp-content/plugins/plugin-updater/packages/

  17. Jonas says:

    I got “ERROR:You must install cURL” failure massage. I have PHP version 5.

  18. Ace says:

    I’m getting the error:

    “Plugin could not be activated because it triggered a fatal error.”

    I have no idea how to track down what it’s referring to …

  19. Jonas,
    You must install cURL

    What version of PHP are you running?

  20. Ace says:

    Hi Trent,

    You nailed it, I’m using PHP 4.4.

    I assumed I had 5 but double-checked with my host provider. Okay, that answers that!

  21. David says:

    Installed the plug-in.
    CHMOD directories to 777.
    Click “Update Now” button.

    ERROR:The requested URL returned error: 404

    Site info:
    Wordpress 2.3.2
    PHP 5.2.3
    Ubuntu Linux

  22. David says:


    The plug-in is downloading the compressed updates, but does not decompress and install them.

  23. Hi David,
    Which plugin are you trying to update when you receive this error?

  24. Connie says:

    I’m getting the same error as the first post mentions. We have php 5.2 installed. PHP runs as cgi on our servers. Could this be the problem. If so can it be fixed.

    Looks like a great plugin if I could get it to work.

  25. Jonas says:

    Thanks for help! unfortunate I need help how to install cURL?
    I use one.com for webhosting.
    I should use libcurl, but which OS should I use? (Linux?) and whish flavour of Linux? (I could ask one.com also)
    And were should I install uURL?
    What mean “you must also compile PHP –with-curl[=DIR]”?
    Thank you in advance!

  26. Connie,
    Upgrade to 1.0.3 that will fix your problem.

    If you don’t have ssh access, try using cpanel maybe or if in doubt email one.com for support.

  27. Vineet Kumar says:

    I am using plugin updater 1.0.3 but it doesnt hold the package folder


  28. Jonas says:

    I got answer from one.com, they do not support cURL. So that mean I could not use Plugin-updater?


  29. Jonas,
    I’m planning on adding fopen support to 1.1. So check back later.

    EDIT: I completely forgot, I already did implement fopen a while back haha, anyway make sure you’ve got allow_url_fopen in your php.ini file enabled.


  30. David says:


    Sorry for the delayed response…

    Initially it was ANY plugin, however, I researched the problem and discovered that some of the plugins were installed using the username/group created on my system when Apache was installed. I “chown”ed these to myself and all but one worked fine.

    The only one I’m having problems with now is:

    “All In One SEO Pack”

    Sideline — WP-RSSImport updates but now I have two (2) entries (one is current, the other says there is an update available)

  31. David says:

    UPDATE 3:


    I cleared the “Packages” directory, returned to the Plugins tab on the WP dashboard, used the “Update…” button for “All In One SEO Pack” and all went well.

    As far as the WP-RSSImport, this is one of those “non-standard” packages you had mentioned previously. I have the rss-import.php file ONLY in my Plugins directory and the updater is decompressing the entire updated directory (creating an rss-import directory). I have removed the *.php file and am using the directory now. This should, hopefully, clear any future issues with this plugin.

    Thanks for the AWSOME plugin. This makes thing SO much easier!

  32. Vineet,
    Thanks I must have forgot. If you redownload it, I’ve added it now.


  33. Hm …in the beginning I was getting the same “ERROR:Package directory not writable.” message like Austin did. Tracking it down it seems like things where somehow cached. I suspected the WP-Cache plugin to be the problem and disabled it. Still I am only getting the the zip downloaded but not extracted. Again digging deeper it seems like the AJAX response is somehow always empty so the extract is skipped. I was able to reproduce this with Safari and Firefox.

    Let me know if I can help to track this down. Would be great to get this plugin fully working.


  34. Wdpowell says:

    I upgraded from PHP4 to PHP5. Then reactivated all my plugins. Now, when I try to update a plugin I get the “Downloading” message and graphic but nothing happens. I checked write permissions and all required directories are read/writeable.

    Using WP 2.3.3

  35. Fizzgigg says:

    I really love this plugin and it works excellent, but there is one thing that I’d like to see in a future version: the option to add new plugins and delete unwanted plugins. That would make it a lot easier to work with plugins since there wouldn’t require a ftp program to do that sort of work.

  36. Fizzgigg says:

    Does this plugin really work with WordPress v2.5? I’ve had some messages about updates and then it works, but some plugin updates aren’t recognized? Is this because of the new plugins or this version of the updater?

    Other than that’s it’s a great plugin, I think this is the best of the bunch!

  37. Steven says:

    The Plugin only downloads the .zip files to /packages/ but does not install them. The .zip files are owned by Webserver on download and not owned by You (= me;) My rights are limited by Servage Provider.

    When I go to the online filemanager and unzip them online they are unzipped in /packages/ so still no update is done!?

    What can I do to change this and get the Plugin Updater to work?

  38. Alex says:

    hi. i used this plugin, but now when i try to delete, or overwrite some php file, from plugins that has been updated it’s giving “permission denied.” How can i solve this?

  39. boehser enkel says:

    i installed the plugin (after chmod 777) but i can´t see any update button…
    wordpress version is 2.6.3
    host: extra.hu

    please help

  40. earache cure says:

    very nice post! it’s really useful! thank’s, btw I’m getting the same error as the first post mentions. We have php 5.2 installed. PHP runs as cgi on our servers. Could this be the problem. If so can it be fixed.

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