Keeping your WordPress Website Updated


When the developers release security updates or enhance functionality, the WordPress platform and plugins will need to be updated. Outdated and vulnerable software is a security risk and one of the top reasons for WordPress sites getting hacked.  It is super important to keep WordPress and all themes and plugins updated to the latest versions.

WordPress provides automatic background updates for security releases.  You will still need to update major releases manually. Only core WordPress files will be included in automatic updates, not themes or plugins.  You will get an email notification when your site has undergone an automatic update, equally  you will receive an email notification if an automatic update fails.

When updating here are the stages you should follow:

1: Back Up Your Website

There are plenty of plugins you can use.  If I built your site you should have BackupBuddy installed already.  On rare occasions things can go wrong when updating and so it is really important to make sure you have a backup.

2: Turn Caching Off

Deactivate your caching plugin if you have one. In most cases this will be W3 Total Cache, Super Cache, or Quick Cache.

3: Carry Out Your Updates

To update your WordPress version manually or to update your themes and plugins, click the Updates link underneath the Dashboard menu on the left hand side.

The Updates page is divided into three sections. If WordPress itself requires updating, this will be displayed at the top of the page. Next you will see any available plugin updates followed by available theme updates.

To update your WordPress installation simply click the Update Now button. WordPress will download and validate the necessary files and update your website.

To update plugins, tick the boxes and click the Update Plugins button.  The new files will be downloaded, validated and installed.

To update themes, tick the boxes and click the Update Themes button.  The new files will be downloaded, validated and installed.

The WordPress Updates Page
The WordPress Updates Page. Image Credit: Easy WordPress Guide »

5: Reactivate Your Caching Plugin

Reactivate your caching plugin and clear out/purge the cache.

6: Check Your Site

Take a minute to look over your site and visit a few pages and posts. If something isn’t working properly, it is best to catch it now instead of later.

This is all very easy to do with the click of a few buttons but if you are not comfortable doing this yourself then most developers will offer a maintenance service for websites that they have built.

Download the full WordPress guide.

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© Tracey Rickard. If you want to use any of my content please ask me first, you can't use it without permission that's stealing. You can use an excerpt as long as it is linked back to this article.