Are you confused about updating your WordPress website? Or Are you looking for a safe method to update your WordPress website? In this article, you will learn how to safely update your WordPress website without any errors. Before we start, let’s understand why it is necessary to keep your WordPress updates.
Why Update WordPress?
Updating your WordPress website is a regular maintenance task. WordPress Updating process includes WordPress core, themes, and plugin updates. Updating your WordPress to the latest version not only improves your website security and fix bugs of previous versions but also adds new features and functionality to it. Let us understand the benefits in detail.
According to experts, updating your WordPress website regularly is one pf the best way to keep the site secured. Also, 35% of the internet is powered by WordPress which makes it a lucrative target for hackers. The Hackers attack the website as soon as they find a security vulnerability in WordPress Core, themes and plugins. Dependency injection, cross-site scripting, or malicious redirects are some of the instances of the harm they can do.
WordPress is managed by developers around the World. These developers continuously monitor core vulnerabilities and bugs, They fix these issues in security updates. According to WPBegineer, 86% of hacked WordPress website is not upgraded.
WordPress is being continuously developed by developers in order to make the CMS platform more efficient. Sometimes, in doing so several bugs in WordPress themes, plugins and core are discovered. The latest updated often fix the bugs that were discovered in the previous versions.
Additional New Features and Functionality
WordPress updates often comes with latest features and functionalities which leads to a better user experience. Also, some WordPress plugins requires you to be on the latest version of the WordPress core.
Each WordPress update is focused on making the CMS platform more efficient, which in turn results in higher speeds.
Pre-requisites For Updating Your WordPress Website
Backup of your WordPress Website
This is the most important pre-requisite when you decide to update your WordPress website. It is important to take a complete backup of your Website. A complete WordPress website backup consists of your web site’s database, all media uploads, all plugins and themes, and WordPress core files. You can either use an automatic backup plugin or manually backup your website.
If you are using any caching plugin on your site, we recommend you to turn it off before updating the website. Also, clear your cache files before upgrading your website. Caching modifies the way your website works on the back-end, which will have an impact on its performance.
Update WordPress Themes and Plugins
Updating your plugins and themes is important in order to keep your website secure and work efficiently. You can update your plugins and themes from the WordPress admin dashboard. When you update your theme, keep in mind that you will lose any custom changes unless you have saved those changes in a child theme.
You can update your WordPress website in two ways. One is automatic i.e. using the WordPress built-in system or manually. We will show both the methods in this article.
Note: We recommend you to put your website in maintenance mode while updating your website. We also recommend you to deactivate your plugins during the process
Method 1: Updating WordPress From Admin Dashboard
This is a 1-click and easier method to update your website. We recommend our readers to use this method. To use this method, you need to login to your WordPress admin panel. Go to Dashboard >> Updates. On the updates page you can also see all the available updates for your themes and plugins. The WordPress ecosystem also recommends you to create a backup of your website before updating it. Click on “Update Now”
On clicking the button, you will be redirected to a new page where you will be able to see the progress of your update. In this method, WordPress automatically fetches the latest version of the CMS and install it for you. During the update, your website will go into maintenance mode. Your Website will be visible to the visitors but you won’t be able to make any changes in the back-end.
On successful completion, you will be redirected to a welcome screen, where you may see latest bugs fixes, security patch information, latest features and many more.
That’s it, now you have the latest WordPress version installed
Method 2: Updating WordPress Manually Using FTP
We do not recommend this method for beginners. Also, use this method only if you are facing any issues in the first method. In this method, we use FTP to update your WordPress site. Before that, we need to download the latest version of WordPress from the official WordPress Website. Click on the Download button on the download page.
On clicking download, your browser will download a zip file. Extract this zip into a new folder. Name the folder whatever you want. Inside the folder, you will see a WordPress folder, which includes all the WordPress core files and folders.
The next step is to open your FTP client and connect it to your website. In the local site column in FTP, open the WordPress extracted folder.
In the remote site column, open your website’s root directory/folder. The Root directory/folder could be either named as public_html or named after your website’s domain name. This folder includes all your WordPress files.
Select all the files from your WordPress folder in the local site column. Right click and select “Upload”. Your FTP client will now start transferring your files.
A dialogue box “Target Files already exists” will appear on the screen as your website folder already has the older versions of the file with the same name. Select “Overwrite” and check the “Always use this action” box and click on “OK”.
Doing so, will replace all your older version files with new ones.
Once the upload is finished, visit your WordPress admin page. Some version updates also require to update your database. If that’s the case, a similar page with “Database Update Required” message will appear on your screen. Click on the ‘Update WordPress Database’ button to continue.
That’s it, you have successfully updated your WordPress website manually.
What To Do After Update?
Once you have successfully updated your WordPress website, there are certain thing you need to do. After updating, visit your website and check if everything is working properly. Also, you need reactivate your caching plugin from your Dashboard along with all other plugins.
We hope this article helps you to update your WordPress successfully. Please drop your queries in the comment section.
Also, if you want us to cover a specific topic, you can drop that into the comment section as well.