WP-CLI 1.0 Released! Manage Your WordPress Site from Command Line
The first stable 1.0 version of WP-CLI was released on November 29th 2016, a milestone in the history of WP-CLI, which is a command line interface for WordPress created 5 years ago. Complete changes over previous versions can be found on wp-cli.org blog. In this tutorial, we will look at using WP-CLI to do basic WordPress website management.
How WP-CLI Can Benefit You
- Manage WordPress tasks more efficiently
- Save you a lot of clicks, page loads and time.
- Do things that you can not do in the graphical WordPress dashboard
How to Install WP-CLI on Linux Server
SSH log into your Linux server and download the
wp-cli.phar archive using
curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/wp-cli/builds/gh-pages/phar/wp-cli.phar
Then verify if it works using the following command:
php wp-cli.phar --info
You will see something like below if it’s working:
PHP binary: /usr/bin/php PHP version: 7.0.13 php.ini used: /etc/php/php.ini WP-CLI root dir: phar://wp-cli.phar WP-CLI packages dir: WP-CLI global config: WP-CLI project config: WP-CLI version: 1.0.0
Next, we add executable permission to the archive file, move it to
/usr/local/bin/ and rename it to
chmod +x wp-cli.phar sudo mv wp-cli.phar /usr/local/bin/wp
So now we can just type
wp instead of
How to Use WP-CLI
When running wp-cli commands that changes files and directories of WordPress site, you need to run the command as the web server user, which is typically named
When no option is given to sudo, it runs the command as root user. To run the command as another user, use
-u option like below.
sudo -u www-data wp plugin update --all
The above command will run
wp plugin update --all command as
www-data user. wp-cli commands that don’t change files or directories but just get information can run as normal user.
Another thing to note is that you need to change your working directory to the WordPress installation directory before running any wp-cli commands.
With that out of the way, let’s see how to manage WordPress core, WordPress themes and WordPress Plugins using WP-CLI.
Managing WordPress Core
Check WordPress core version.
wp core version
Display extra information of WordPress core.
wp core version --extra
Update WordPress core
wp core update
Update WordPress database
wp core update-db
Check MD5 hash
wp core verify-checksums
Managing WordPress Theme
List installed themes
wp theme list
Search for a theme
wp theme search <theme_name>
Install a theme
wp theme install <theme_name>
Install a theme from specified URL.
wp theme install http://example.com/theme_name.zip
Active a theme
wp theme active <theme_name>
Update a theme
wp theme update <theme_name>
Update all themes
wp theme update --all
Uninstall a theme
wp theme uninstall <theme_name>
Managing WordPress Plugins
List all plugins installed on WordPress. The name field shows you the slugs used by your plugins.
wp plugin list
List plugins that have update available.
wp plugin list --update=available
Display output in
wp plugin list --format=json wp plugin list --format=csv
Install plugin from WordPress plugins directory.
wp plugin install <plugin_name>
Install plugin from a URL.
wp plugin install http://www.example.com/plugin_name.zip
Activate a plugin
wp plugin activate <plugin_name>
Deactivate a plugin
wp plugin deactive <plugin_name>
Uninstall a plugin
wp plugin uninstall <plugin_name>
Update a plugin
wp plugin update <plugin_name>
Update all plugins
wp plugin update --all
Backing Up WordPress Database and Files
Run the following command to back up database. Note that it is very insecure to place the SQL file under the root of your website. Instead, place it at somewhere else such as your home directory.
wp db export ~/backup_db.sql
To backup the Files, we can use the good old tar archive utility like below.
sudo tar -cpzvf ~/wp-file-backup.tar.gz /var/www/wp-site/
A Simple Shell Script that Auto Update WordPress, themes and plugins
We can write a shell script that update WordPress core, themes and plugins automatically. Create a blank .sh file in root user’s home directory.
sudo nano /root/auto-update-wp.sh
Put the following lines into the file.
#! /bin/bash cd /var/www/wp-site/ sudo -u www-data wp core update sudo -u www-data wp core update-db sudo -u www-data wp theme update --all sudo -u www-data wp plugin update --all
Save the script and add executable permission.
sudo chmod +x auto-update-wp.sh
Then add a new entry in root user’s crontab.
sudo crontab -e
The following entry will check and perform auto update at 4 am each day.
0 4 * * * /root/auto-udpate-wp.sh
Of course, this is just an introduction. WP-CLI is very extensible and can do many more things. As always, if you found this post useful, then subscribe to our free newsletter. You can also follow us on Google+, Twitter or like our Facebook page.