WordPress should be updated every time a new version or a new change are launched, to be sure it will work properly and won’t fail when you want to install new tools, themes, or plugins.
Updates are very important not only for making sure your site will respond properly to the newest technology releases but also for keeping it away from the viruses or hacks. The older your WordPress version is, the bigger are the chances of being hacked. So try to stay in touch with the latest updates and nothing will affect your site.
But doing the update is not that simple either. You have to take some precautions before moving to another version. You need to back up your site to be sure you’ll find it exactly the way it was before the update.
What to do when updating your WordPress site?
The update affects all the files you have installed in the first place when you have built the website. That’s why you need to take care of them and to protect them.
Here are the basic steps of upgrading your site safely, without any of your files getting damaged.
- Back up your database, your themes and plugins.
This step is vital and no ono should proceed without having their website saved. To back up your database, you can either use the PHPMyAdmin or a WordPress backup plugin, which you can control right from your dashboard.
To back up the themes and the plugins, you can do it manually via FTP or using a specialized tool. For instance, Synthesis systems can hep with in this case.
2. Turn your caching plugins off… if you have ones
If you have any caching plugins installed, deactivate them all. When you’re doing the update, you need to be sure they don’t cache maintenance pages and the upgrade will be done corectly.
3. Do the update! Start with plugins and themes
After you carefully took all these precasions, you can now do the update of your plugins and themes. You have to do this before doing the upgrade of WordPress.
So first of all, update your all installed plugins and themes to be sure you’ve got the latest developers’ changes on their products.
Note: To be sure absolutely nothing will be lost, you can back up your site again. In this case, your plugin and theme updates will be themselves saved and safe before doing the final WordPress upgrade.
4. Update WordPress
To update WordPress is the easiest step in the process. Just click on the Automatic upgrade button and wait for it to finish its job. It could take more or less, depending on the number of the changes that the new version brings.
5. Turn on your caching plugins again
Don’t forget to reactivate your cashing plugins and clean up the cache folder.
6. Check your site to see everything is alright
After you’ve done all these steps, don’t just rely on the fact that your site is now updated and everything is alright. Check every corner of it to see if something went bad during the process and affected a certain file or section. You should check every page and tool on your site to be sure nothing went wrong.
7. You can back up your site again
This is an additional step if you’re one of these guys who are really desperate to have everything set and done, safe and secure. After the upgrade, you can save again all the changes the update made to be sure your “new site” ison good hands if something like hacks or vulnerabilities or viruses just show up on the road.
This is a simple guide for those who can deal WordPress very well and know how to apply all these steps properly. If you’re a beginner, then it’s fine to know that you can’t just update WordPress without saving all your website files. If you have problems with understanding how it works and how you should approach every step more exactly, this is an in-depth guide on how to upgrade WordPress safely.