Updating WordPress is Not Complicated

There is nothing that can mess up your day like a "failed update"message and troubleshooting update failures can be a laborious task.   Often this headache can be mitigated with attention to updates as they are released.  If you do not have someone who is on-top-of recent WordPress updates, you could benefit from WordPress Management services from WebProvements.  If you are inclined to do-it-yourself, here are a few things to be mindful of.

Number one is...learn about WordPress!  Use the codex to study the platform.  If you do not have time (or interest) WebProvments has you covered!!!  If you DO have the TIME and INTEREST...read on;

The WordPress Codex outlines updating WordPress in this article Updating WordPress.

Updates come with a "WARNING: The upgrade process will affect all files and folders included in the main WordPress installation. This includes all the core files used to run WordPress. If you have made any modifications to those files, your changes will be lost."

ALWAYS create a back-up prior to any update and make sure the update is recoverable.  Using a Premium Managed WordPress host that provides daily back-ups which are recoverable can save the day!  If you back-up your content and uploads, you will be able to rebuild using your content, but your plug-in, theme and widget settings may be lost.

It is important that the core WordPress files are NEVER edited!  The ONLY files that can be modified are found in the wp-content folder and wp-config.php.

The wp-content folder includes:

  • plugins
  • themes
  • uploads

If you are making changes to the theme, always create and edit using a child theme for the parent theme.  If this sounds like a foreign language to you, no worries...(and no need to dive in any further) WebProvments can do the work for you as part of a WordPress Update Management plan.

The Steps:

  • Backup your site
  • Update the WordPress core
  • Update Plugins
  • Update Themes
  • Troubleshoot Issues

The WordPress Core is updated about 9 times per year.  With each update, subsequent updates for supporting themes and plug-ins are also often updated.  Click here to see the version history of WordPress since 2003

Themes and Plug-ins may not have updates right away and it is important to make sure the updates are compatible with the new version of WordPress.

It is important to check your website for abandoned Themes and Plug-Ins and make an effort to replace with current software.  Premium and well-documented Themes and Plug-Ins are always the best choice.  WebProvements has been customizing and updating WordPress websites since 2008, and with history comes knowledge of compatibility.

A benefit of premium WordPress Hosting will be a list of plug-ins that are not allowed.  This knowledge can help if you have little experience with WordPress.  Check your hosting provider for details and documentation.

If you plan to take care of your own updates, make sure you back up your site prior to each update AND check for plug-ins that have not been updated in 6 or more months.  Free plug-ins are often abandoned and can cause trouble for your site if not replaced with a different plug-in.  Premium plug-ins and well supported free plug-ins are well documented and WebProvements can help determine the safest and best option based on what we know today. Explore the over 54,000 plug-ins to extend the functionality of your WordPress site!