If you want to keep WordPress running smoothly, prevent hacking, and get access to the newest features, you want to keep your site up to date.
Today, I’m going to show you how to update WordPress (ass well as your themes and plugins) the correct way.
The Steps To Correctly Update WordPress
Here are the 5 steps you’ll want to follow when updating your site.
1. Create a Backup
Before you run an update to any aspect of your site, you want to be sure you have your site backed up.
While the majority of the time updates run smoothly, there are times when the update fails or the site crashes.
Nothing is worse than being stuck here without a backup to restore from.
You can also create a manual backup.
2. (Optional) Test On Staging
If you host with Managed WordPress Hosting, you can create a staging site with the click of a button.
This staging site is a great place to test-run the updates to make sure there are no issues.
Once you’ve run the update and see that everything is fine, you can make the updates on the live site.
Check out our post on the best Managed WordPress Hosting.
3. Run The One-Click WordPress Update
Once you’ve backed up your site, you can begin updating.
Whenever there is a WordPress update available, I run this update first.
In the WordPress backend, go to your updates window (Click “Dashboard” >> “Updates” in the left hand menu).
You’ll see an “Update Now” button to begin the One-Click update. It will take a few moments to complete. Let it run until it’s finished.
4. Update Plugins
Next, I update my plugins.
Again, navigate to the updates window.
Any plugins that can be updated will be listed. Select them and click Update Plugins.
5. Update Themes
Lastly, you can run updates on any themes.
If you have made any customizations to your theme, you’ll want to have a child theme. If you don’t already have a child theme, click here to learn how to create a child theme. If you run an update on a customized theme without a child theme, it’s very possible that you’ll lose your customizations.
I can’t emphasize how important it is to make a backup before running the updates. It’s better to spend a few minutes making an update than the hours that may be required to fix your site.
Also, when I’m doing an update, after each update I check my site to make sure there are no major errors.
If there are a large number of plugins, I will split up the plugin updates into a few stages.
If you haven’t updated your site before, it can seem scary. but once you do it a few times, you’ll get the hang of it.
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