Quick Start Edit

Congratulations! You’ve installed WP-CLI for the first time, and are ready to level-up your use of WordPress. This page contains a brief introduction to WP-CLI with some example usage.

Introduction Introduction

WP-CLI is a command line interface for WordPress. The project’s goal is to offer a complete alternative to the WordPress admin; for any action you might want to perform in the WordPress admin, there should be an equivalent WP-CLI command.

For instance, because you can install a plugin from the WordPress admin, you can also install a plugin with WP-CLI:

$ wp plugin install akismet
Installing Akismet (3.1.8)
Downloading install package from https://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/akismet.3.1.8.zip...
Unpacking the package...
Installing the plugin...
Plugin installed successfully.

And, because you can also activate plugins from the WordPress admin, you can activate a plugin with WP-CLI:

$ wp plugin activate akismet
Success: Plugin 'akismet' activated.

One key difference between using the WordPress admin and WP-CLI: performing any action takes many fewer clicks. As you become more familiar with the command line, you’ll notice performing a given task with WP-CLI is generally much faster than performing the same task through the WordPress admin. Investing time upfront into learning how to better use WP-CLI pays dividends in the long term.

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Common Terms Common Terms

Throughout your usage of WP-CLI, you’ll hear certain terms used over and over again.

For instance, a command is an atomic unit of WP-CLI functionality. wp plugin install is one such command, as is wp plugin activate. Commands represent a name (e.g. ‘plugin install’) and a callback, and are registered with WP_CLI::add_command() (doc).

The synopsis defines which positional and associative arguments a command accepts. Let’s take a look at the synopsis for wp plugin install:

$ wp plugin install
usage: wp plugin install <plugin|zip|url>... [--version=<version>] [--force] [--activate] [--activate-network]

In this example, <plugin|zip|url>... is the accepted positional argument. In fact, wp plugin install accepts the same positional argument (the slug, ZIP, or URL of a plugin to install) multiple times. [--version=<version>] is one of the accepted associative arguments. It’s used to denote the version of the plugin to install. Notice, too, the square brackets around the argument definition; square brackets mean the argument is optional.

WP-CLI also has a series of global arguments which work with all commands. For instance, including --debug means your command execution will display all PHP errors, and add extra verbosity to the WP-CLI bootstrap process.

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Practical Examples Practical Examples

Ready to dive in? Here are some common examples of how WP-CLI is used:

Download and install WordPress in seconds

  1. Download the latest version of WordPress with wp core download (doc).
$ wp core download --path=wpclidemo.dev
Creating directory '/srv/www/wpclidemo.dev/'.
Downloading WordPress 4.6.1 (en_US)...
Using cached file '/home/vagrant/.wp-cli/cache/core/wordpress-4.6.1-en_US.tar.gz'...
Success: WordPress downloaded.
  1. Create a new wp-config.php file with wp core config (doc).
$ cd wpclidemo.dev
$ wp core config --dbname=wpclidemo --dbuser=root
Success: Generated 'wp-config.php' file.
  1. Create the database based on wp-config.php with wp db create (doc).
$ wp db create
Success: Database created.
  1. Install WordPress with wp core install (doc).
$ wp core install --url=wpclidemo.dev --title="WP-CLI" --admin_user=wpcli --admin_password=wpcli --admin_email=info@wp-cli.org
Success: WordPress installed successfully.

That’s it!

Update plugins to their latest version

Use wp plugin update --all (doc) to update all plugins to their latest version.

$ wp plugin update --all
Enabling Maintenance mode...
Downloading update from https://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/akismet.3.1.11.zip...
Unpacking the update...
Installing the latest version...
Removing the old version of the plugin...
Plugin updated successfully.
Downloading update from https://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/nginx-champuru.3.2.0.zip...
Unpacking the update...
Installing the latest version...
Removing the old version of the plugin...
Plugin updated successfully.
Disabling Maintenance mode...
Success: Updated 2/2 plugins.
+------------------------+-------------+-------------+---------+
| name                   | old_version | new_version | status  |
+------------------------+-------------+-------------+---------+
| akismet                | 3.1.3       | 3.1.11      | Updated |
| nginx-cache-controller | 3.1.1       | 3.2.0       | Updated |
+------------------------+-------------+-------------+---------+

Add a user as a super-admin

On multisite, use wp super-admin add (doc) to grant super admin capabilities to an existing user.

$ wp super-admin add wpcli
Success: Granted super-admin capabilities.

Regenerate thumbnails

If you’ve added or changed an image size registered with add_image_size(), you may want to use wp media regenerate (doc) so your theme displays the correct image size.

wp media regenerate --yes
Found 1 image to regenerate.
1/1 Regenerated thumbnails for "charlie-gpa" (ID 4).
Success: Finished regenerating the image.

Wondering what’s next? Browse through all of WP-CLI’s commands to explore your new world. Or, catch up with shell friends to learn about helpful command line utilities.