Want to update WordPress but don’t know where to start? Beginners often worry that the update may break their site.
This fear is understandable, but it is important to use the latest version of WordPress – for maximum protection and the best performance of your site.
In this guide we will show you how to update your WordPress without breaking your site.
Updating WordPress is a task that must be performed regularly. Below you will see useful infographics to use. Click to see it in a larger size.
Why do you always need to update your WordPress?
A leading security study in WordPress shows that most WordPress sites are hacked because of outdated versions of the kernel, extensions, or theme.
WordPress is supported by developers around the world. They find and fix bugs, add new features, and try to fix code breaches. These changes are released in a new version of WordPress.
If this release is not large – WordPress can be automatically updated. For larger releases, you will most likely need to initiate this update yourself.
You need to update to make sure your site has the latest security fixes, and the best speed and performance.
Here’s how to safely upgrade WordPress to the latest version.
Prepare before making the update
The most important thing to do before moving on to the update is to create a complete WordPress archive.
Yes, your hosting most likely offers automated site archives. But, especially if you’ve made changes since the last automated update – if something breaks, you’ll need to make changes again in addition to restoring the site to an archive.
A complete archive includes everything:
- your database
- your images and files
- your extensions and themes
- the core of WordPress
After creating an archive and saving it (preferably in a location other than the server), you can proceed to the next step.
Update WordPress to the latest version
There are two ways to update WordPress to the latest version. One is automatic and the other is manual. Here we will describe only the automatic way.
WordPress update via the built-in system (1-Click)
This method is easier and is recommended for all users.
First, log in to the admin panel of your WordPress site and go to Scoreboard »Updates .
You will see a message that a new version of WordPress is available. Click the “Update Now” button to start the update.
WordPress will download the latest version and install it for you.
You will see the update process on your screen. During the update – WordPress will include your site in “Support” mode.
Your site will still be visible to users, but you will not be able to install extensions or themes while the update is in progress.
Once it’s done – you’ll be redirected to the WordPress home screen. Depending on each release, you may see a page describing what’s new and what you can try.
That is, you have successfully updated the core of WordPress.
How to update WordPress extensions and theme?
In addition to the kernel itself – very often (even more often than on the kernel) there are updates to the installed extensions, and / or the theme. To be able to do the update automatically – go to again Scoreboard »Updates . Under the heading “Extensions” you will see those for which there are new versions. You can check the box next to “Select All” to mark them all for an update, or one at a time. When you’re done, click the “Update Extensions” button. The site will be in maintenance mode again while they last. When the updates are complete – information will be loaded about each of them and whether it was successful.
Updating a theme can happen in an identical way, and under the Themes heading you can see if there is a new version of the theme you are using.
What to do after the update?
Once you’ve updated your WordPress, extensions or theme – you need to make sure everything works properly. Open your site in a new section of the browser (preferably incognito) and look at things.
If you encounter a problem – you can do research on how to fix it, or restore the site to an archive so that it works smoothly. Sometimes an update to an extension may be incompatible with another installed extension, and that’s why we commented on the archive at the beginning of the guide.
We hope this post has helped you update your site more easily. If the procedure seems difficult to you, or you do not have time to do it several times a month – check out our plans for site support .
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