Updated December 10, 2015
Updates are made to WordPress and WordPress plugins regularly. It’s a good idea to keep your site up to date. Doing so keeps your site running smoothly, fixes bugs, helps with security and gives you feature updates.
When there’s a new version of WordPress (or plugins), you’ll see notices all over the place.
There will be boxes with links. There will be red circles with numbers. Really, unless you ignore them, you can’t miss ’em. Updating is quite simple.
Here are the steps to update your WordPress site
- Before you begin, make sure you have a recent backup of your site in case anything goes wrong and you have to revert to your current version. Check out my plugins list for the backup plugin I recommend.
- Click “Please update now” or any of the other buttons or notifications. Or, go to Dashboard –> Updates in the left column.
- Click the upgrade link. You can also upgrade any outdated themes or plugins from Dashboard –> Updates or from Plugins –> Installed Plugins. Again. click the appropriate upgrade links.
- You should be notified that the upgrade was successful.
A few things to keep in mind when updating
- Unless you are very confident in your host’s backup systems, don’t rely on them to keep backups for you. That’s why I suggest using a plugin as well (see #1 above).
- Don’t ignore the updates! I’ve talked to many WordPress site owners who neglect to update. This is dangerous since outdated versions often have unpatched holes that hackers will use to gain entry to your site.
- Keep your plugins updated too. In fact, outdated plugins can pose a significant risk to your site since they are written by various authors with various understanding of WordPress. I highly recommend you read my top plugin tips.
- Keep your theme and child theme update too. Not sure what a child theme is? Read about that here. And here’s how to choose a theme and the theme I use.