Do you want to update WordPress but don’t know where to start? In this guide, we will show you 2 simple methods to update WordPress.
Of course, you may have heard of WordPress and what it does but for those who do not know, WordPress is a free open-source content management system (CMS) written in PHP. It was initially released in 2003 and has been taking the online world by storm.
Almost every site you see on the internet today is created via WordPress. We say “almost” because there are also other great CMS platforms out there but WordPress is generally more popular.
Why Should You Update WordPress?
Reason 1. Security.
As we have mentioned earlier, WordPress is very popular. It has great usability and versatility. But, along with its popularity, it is also prone to hackers.
If given the chance, hackers will exploit a website’s weakness and try to acquire sensitive data regarding that site. Luckily, WordPress is constantly doing updates to strengthen its security and remove that weakness to prevent hackers from going through.
Reason 2. Versatility.
Another reason is the theme’s versatility. Before, WordPress sites can only be accessed with computers and laptops. But, with the rise of smartphones and the number of people using it, more people are accessing sites via smartphones which requires more versatility of the sites using WordPress.
Reason 3. Themes.
One of the features of WordPress is that it includes a template system and plugin architecture also known as themes. These themes often differ from one site to another and often require compatibility with WordPress. And, surely enough, when WordPress updates, so does the themes.
The better the update, the better the themes. And with better themes, more design possibilities can be tackled.
Note: Sometimes, WordPress will update itself if it’s not a major release. But if it is (a major release) you will need to update it manually.
Prepare! You first need to prepare before updating your WordPress site just to be on the safe side in case something goes wrong.
This can be done by doing a backup of all your WordPress files.
Things to backup are as follows:
- Core WordPress Files;
- Images and other Media uploads;
- WordPress Database, and;
- WordPress Plugins and Themes
Updating WordPress is usually risk-free, but just to be on the safe side, it’s better to back-up your files first. It can be stored locally on your computer/laptop, or via the cloud, like google drive.
So, let’s jump into the 2 simple methods to update WordPress.
2 Methods To Update WordPress
1. Update using the built-in update system
This is, in our opinion, the easiest and is recommended for all users.
To start, go to your WordPress admin dashboard. On the Dashboard, click on Updates.
Here you will see if WordPress has an update. If they do have one, click update now.
If you think WordPress has an update and you cannot see it, click on Check Again to see if that update has arrived.
After you click on the update now, you will be taken to a progress page where you will see the entire progress of the update.
Do take note that when WordPress is updating, your site will undergo maintenance mode, so its important to make preparations beforehand. Depending on the size of the update, along with other factors, it can take a while to finish.
Also, you cannot install any themes or plugins during the update so you should also bear that one in mind.
After the update, you will be taken to the welcome page of WordPress where they will show you what’s new and what has changed during the update.
And congratulations! You have successfully updated WordPress to the latest version.
2. Manually Update WordPress Using FTP
If the first method above doesn’t work, for some reason, you can use this method to update your site. This does require you to log in to your FTP or File Transfer Protocol.
First, you have to download the latest version of WordPress. Go to the WordPress Download Page and click Download WordPress.
After downloading, you will have a zip file that you will need to extract. Inside the file, there should be a folder named, WordPress folder.
On the local site column, go to the WordPress folder you just extracted from the zip file.
On the remote site column, navigate to the root folder of your site. Usually, name public_html or your site’s domain name. Inside that folder, you should different WordPress files and folders.
Highlight all WordPress files on your local folder then right-click and click on Upload to start uploading the files.
The FTP client should start uploading your files.
If you got a pop-up message that says the target file already exists, don’t worry, it’s normal since both files on the local site and remote site are just somewhat the same.
Simply click on Overwrite to replace the older files with the new one, and click always use this action, to do the same to all identical files, and click ok.
Once it is done uploading, login to your WordPress admin page. Sometimes you will get a message that requires you to update your WordPress database. This is needed as newer versions of WordPress requires you to update the WordPress database also.
Just simply click on Update WordPress Database and the update process will start.
And that is it! You now have the latest version of WordPress.
A Few Words
Before anything else, check that your site is doing what it’s supposed to do. If something did go wrong, you can use the backup you did earlier to return to the previous status of your site.
If you do need professional help, feel free to contact us and we will gladly provide you the assistance you need.
We hope this article helped you update WordPress to the latest version. If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.
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