How to install WordPress CLI on Shared Hosting

WordPress Command-Line Utility, or WP-CLI for short, is an advanced utility for powerusers who wish to rapidly manage and deploy their WordPress sites using bash/SSH. This feature is standard on our Managed WordPress hosting, but is able to be configured for any hosting platform that has the php-cli module installed. The base WP-CLI suite includes an extensive toolbox, and even allows you to make posts to your WordPress site directly through command line. Actions such as updating the WordPress core, clearing the WordPress cache, backup and restore a MySQL database, installing plugins and themes, and managing users is streamlined in WP-CLI.

More information on the utility itself, and the different commands available for WP-CLI, can be found on their support site. You may also view the glossary of available commands at their command reference page.

DIFFICULTY Basic - 1 | Medium - 2 | Advanced - 3
TIME REQUIRED 15 min
RELATED PRODUCTS cPanel shared hosting

These instructions will walk you through installing WP-CLI on GoDaddy Linux Web Hosting powered by cPanel.

Obtaining and Installing the WP-CLI .phar file

Connect to your hosting account via SSH. (more info).

Once logged in, make sure you are in the home directory of your hosting account. You can ensure this by using the command pwd to print the working directory. It should show you as being in /home/username, where username is your primary username for cPanel.

Use the curl command to obtain the wp-cli.phar file which we will use as the executable for wp-cli

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

Edit the permissions of the wp-cli.phar file to be executable

chmod +x wp-cli.phar

You can then check to see if WP-CLI functions by using php to run the executable .phar file. The command below demonstrates how to do this.

php wp-cli.phar --info

This should load up information about the php-cli executable, as well as the WP-CLI utility itself.

Setting the bash alias for WP-CLI

So technically, you could use WP-CLI as-is. You would simply need to type php wp-cli.phar before any command to initialize WP-CLI. Not real user-friendly, right? Luckily, we have ways to change this using a bash alias. This is where we tell bash to alias a specific command to either a different command, or a specific executable. This is done by editing your .bashrc file, which exists in the home directory of your hosting account. The alias we need to add to this .bashrc file is:

alias wp='~/wp-cli.phar'

This tells bash that the command 'wp' will call to the wp-cli.phar executable in your home directory. Adding the required alias can be done through this simple command, which simply uses echo to output the required statement, then uses >> to append it to the file.

echo "alias wp='~/wp-cli.phar'" >> .bashrc

Then, use the source command to update how bash initializes.

source .bashrc

If you have made previous edits to your .bashrc file to establish another alias or install another command-line utility such as Drush, then you may instead want to edit your .bashrc file manually using a text editor such as Notepad++ or vim. However, as long as you are following the standard format and having bash aliases live at the bottom of the .bashrc file, the previous command should still work just fine.

Ensure that wp-cli works (and a simple example)

Now that you have set up the executable and alias, that should be all you need to use WP-CLI to manage your WordPress site.

To ensure wp-cli is working, first navigate to your WordPress install directory - then use the following command:

wp plugin list

You should see a list of all the plugins that are currently installed, thus meaning that wp-cli is working as it should.

For additional information regarding how to use WP-CLI commands, installing additional modules for WP-CLI, and how to configure WP-CLI for multisite, please read the documentation for WP-CLI.


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