Bulk-Install WordPress Plugins with WP-CLI

Learn How to Bulk-Install and Manage WordPress Plugins with WP-CLI

Are you tired of manually installing or updating multiple WordPress plugins? WP-CLI is a free, open-source project that simplifies WordPress tasks by allowing you to manage your site using the command-line interface (CLI). In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to use WP-CLI to bulk-install and manage your WordPress plugins, including activating/deactivating and deleting them in bulk, all without logging in to your WordPress site.

Before we dive in, here are a few prerequisites:

– Your host must offer SSH access and have WP-CLI installed. Check the official WordPress list of supported hosts, or consider one of our recommended WordPress hosts that come with WP-CLI pre-installed.

– Your OS should be a UNIX-like environment (Linux, OS X, FreeBSD), and you must have PHP 5.4+ and WordPress 3.7 or later.

– This tutorial is not intended for beginners. People familiar with the command-line interface (CLI) and server management should use this tutorial.

What is WP-CLI in WordPress?

WP-CLI is a powerful tool that simplifies WordPress tasks such as installing WordPress, backing up the database, updating the WordPress core, and installing or updating WordPress plugins and themes. By typing a few commands in the terminal, you can save time, reduce errors, and increase productivity without logging in to your WordPress site. Learn more about WP-CLI from WPShout.

How to Install WP-CLI in a WordPress VPS or Cloud Server

If you’re hosting WordPress in a VPS or cloud server, you can install WP-CLI on your server. Here’s how:

Step 1: Login to your server with the root user or a user with read, write, and execute permissions in the “/var/www/html” directory.

Step 2: Download the wp-cli.phar file using cURL:

curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/wp-cli/builds/gh-pages/phar/wp-cli.phar

Step 3: Verify that the Phar file is working by typing:

php wp-cli.phar –info

Step 4: Make the WP-CLI file executable and move it to the bin directory:

chmod +x wp-cli.phar

sudo mv wp-cli.phar /usr/local/bin/wp

Step 5: Test if WP-CLI is properly executable by changing the working directory to the WordPress installation directory and running the following command:

cd /var/www/html

wp –info

Note: If you get a root access error, append –allow-root to the command.

How to Bulk-Install Multiple Plugins in WordPress using WP-CLI

Now that you have WP-CLI installed, let’s learn how to bulk-install multiple plugins in WordPress from the command line interface. Here’s the basic plugin installation command:

wp plugin install PLUGIN_NAME

To install multiple plugins, use this code (you can add as many plugins as you need):


To figure out the correct name of the plugin, visit the plugin’s URL page and copy the URL slug. For example, the Jetpack plugin URL is “https://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/”, so the plugin name is “jetpack”. Similarly, the Yoast SEO plugin URL is “https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/”, so the plugin name is “wordpress-seo”.

To install a single plugin, use this code:

wp plugin install jetpack

To install both Jetpack and Yoast SEO, use this code:

wp plugin install jetpack wordpress-seo –allow-root

How to Install and Activate Multiple Plugins in WordPress using WP-CLI

By default, the plugins installed by WP-CLI aren’t activated. If you want to activate a plugin immediately after installation, append –activate to the command. However, we recommend not activating plugins that require onboarding configuration (such as caching and backup plugins) directly from WP-CLI. Plugins that don’t require onboarding configuration, such as Insert Headers and Footers, can be activated from the command line:

wp plugin install insert-headers-and-footers –activate

How to Manage Plugins in Bulk with WP-CLI in WordPress

WP-CLI can also help you manage your plugins in bulk. Here are a few examples:

– To list the number of installed plugins in your WordPress site, use this command:

wp plugin list

– To activate or deactivate multiple plugins at once, use these commands:

wp plugin activate PLUGIN_1_NAME PLUGIN_2_NAME

wp plugin deactivate PLUGIN_1_NAME PLUGIN_2_NAME

wp plugin deactivate –all

– To update all installed plugins in your WordPress site, use this command:

wp plugin update –all

Wrapping Up

WP-CLI is a powerful tool that can save you time and increase productivity when managing your WordPress site. If you’re new to WP-CLI, we recommend trying it out on a staging server or a new WordPress instance before using it on your live site. We hope you found this tutorial helpful. Have you used WP-CLI before? What are your favorite tricks?

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