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How To Install & Upgrade Plugins

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The way this works is slightly different to how you might have done it with other plugins, so I'll explain everything in detail here...

Adding Domains

When you log into the client portal, you can go to the page for a specific plugin and add domains.



These should be the root path to WP for each of the domains you want to run the plugin on. You can enter them in any format, as they'll be auto corrected if required. For example, all these are fine:

It doesn't matter if you've got WP installed in a subdomain or subfolder, it will still work. (However, if you've got WP in a subfolder you'll have to manually update the plugin when upgrading. More on this below)

Note: You can add new domains at any time.

Now, when you click the "Download Plugin" button, a zip file will download. This specific zip file has just been encoded to run only for the list of domains you see on the left. So if you try to install this specific zip file on a domain that was not listed here at the time, you'll get a "Not licensed for this domain" error:



Note: Some browsers let you open a zip file before it's finished downloading. (I know that Chrome does this). If you open a zip before it's finished downloading, it can corrupt the zip, then when you try and unzip it (or install it in WordPress) you get this error:

PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT (-10) : Unable to find End of Central Dir Record signature

So if you're getting this error, be sure to let the zip file fully download before opening it. Also downloading in another browser may be helpful.


Deleting Domains

You can't remove domains from the list once you add them.

There are however, 2 special circumstances where you can have domains removed:

  1. You made a mistake and the domain doesn't exist
  2. You no longer own the domain

If either of these apply, please email me (link in right hand menu) to get a specific domain removed.


Installing plugins on new domains

Here are the steps for installing a plugin on a new domain:

  1. Enter the domain in the client portal (You have to do this first)
  2. Re-Download the plugin
  3. Install this specific zip file on the new blog. You can use the WP zip uploader, or install via FTP - either is fine.
    (Remember, this specific zip file will only run on the domains you had entered at the time)



So to clarify a few of the system rules:

  1. The zip file you download is encoded there and then to run only with the domains you entered at the time
  2. To add more domains, you should enter the domain name first, then re-download the plugin. Don't try and install an old zip on the new domain.
  3. Once a plugin is running on a specific domain, it won't stop working, and you don't have to re-install the zip
  4. Something you CAN'T do, is to install the zip on a domain, and THEN enter the URL in the portal. You have to do it the other way around.


Updating plugins

Now, in the portal you've got the option to auto-update a particular plugin on all the blogs it's installed on:




In the future I'll add a checkbox option here, to "Auto update all blogs with each new version". This will mean you don't even have to click this button.

An important point to remember is that auto updating will only work after you've first install the plugin manually. The auto-updating feature uses custom code inside each plugin, and is different from how other plugins auto-update.

Note: Because some hosts have weird requirements (I'm looking at you, 1&1) they want a specially crafted php.ini file in every directory where Ioncube'd files need to run. If this is the case with your host you'll need to do manual upgrades (see below for details).



This auto updating will work if you can install and update other plugins in wordpress without having to enter your FTP details each time. If you do get asked for FTP details each time, you'll need to either:

  1. Change the server user (i.e. chown) of the all the plugin files recursively to the same user as WordPress is on the server. It's usually apache.
  2. If that's not possible or too complex, you can add this in your wp-config.php
define( 'FTP_USER', 'username' );
define( 'FTP_PASS', 'password' );
define( 'FTP_HOST', '' );

Replace the user, pass and host with your servers FTP details. For the FTP_HOST value, use the url that you would enter into your FTP program, then a colon, then your FTP port.

Enter the above lines just after the bit at the top of the file, and on their own new lines.

After doing this, WP won't ask you for FTP details when installing or upgrading plugins, and the auto updating feature of Codex plugins will work as well.

If both of these options aren't possible you'll have to manually update the plugin, by either:

  1. Deactivating, then deleting the plugin from the Wordpress plugins page. Then re-installing the plugin as detailed above

  2. Uploading and overwriting the new plugin files via FTP. Then deactivating the plugin and reactivating.

Note: Auto-updating will work fine for subdomains, but not subfolders. If your wp home page looks something like then you'll have to manually upgrade the plugin with each upgrade. (This only applies if you haven't installed WordPress in the root of your domain).

When you click the "Upgrade All" button, you'll get feedback on each specific domain and how the upgrade process went. If a message starts with Updated OK! then everything went fine, and any new versions avaliable are live on that blog.

However, if a message contains with any of these messages, the plugin has not been updated:

returned a HTTP status code of 404/503/403 etc
returned a non-json response
returned an empty response
returned an error


If you see one of these messages, you should double check that...

  1. You've correctly installed the plugin to each blog
  2. You can visit the plugin settings for each blog (to confirm it's actually there)
  3. Try temporarily disabling any "lockdown", rate-limiting or caching plugins on your blog, to confirm they're not causing issues.
    (I've thoroughly tested this system with all the major plugins, but they might update something in the future)


Got questions?


If you need clarification on some of the above, come across a problem, or want help installing the plugin on a specific domain, please shoot me an email.

Just click the "Contact Support" link in the right hand menu.



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