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For a while now I’ve been trying to find a conveninent way to keep my WordPress blog plugins, themes and platform up-to-date with the steady stream of patches and fixes that keep being rolled out.

More often than not, upgrading your WordPress platform can be a pain because it will involve various steps to ensure you don’t accidentally screw-up your entire site and database. And there is nothing wrong with it because backing-up your important data is always a good idea.

The annoying part is downloading the latest version of WordPress and then uploading those files to your server, ensuring you don’t accidentally overwrite your themes or plugins etc.

Using the built-in support for auto-upgrading via FTP is quite slick within WordPress 3.x and I’m sure will only improve.

I managed to be able to update WordPress from within the admin area using the following commands:

In this example I’m using VSFTPd as my FTP server and I’ve chosen to create a new user called ‘wordpress’.

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sudo apt-get install vsftpd
sudo useradd wordpress
sudo passwd wordpress # set password for wordpress when prompted.
sudo usermod -g www-data wordpress
sudo chmod -R g+w /var/www
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www
sudo vi /etc/passwd # change wordpress home to be: /var/www
sudo service vsftpd restart
sudo service apache2 restart

Hopefully those commands should be self-explanatory but if you need clarification, drop a comment and I’ll try and make it plain.