How to Update Your WordPress Website

Back in August, the CMS gurus at WordPress released update 4.6.  Designed to add additional stability and security to WordPress (as well as few pretty new features), the update promised  “new features to help you to focus on the important things while feeling more at home”, and for the most part, it has delivered.

Nicknamed “Pepper” in honour of jazz baritone saxophonist Park Frederick “Pepper” Adams III, the upgrade can easily be accessed via the WordPress dashboard.

What Is WordPress?

For the humble beginner, WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. It is probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (CMS) in existence today. Everything you see on the site, from the documentation to the code itself, is created by and for the community. WordPress is an Open Source project, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it.

Downloading and installing the WordPress software script allows you to add completely customisable content, provided you have a web host who meets the minimum requirements. You can use WordPress as a blogging system, and much more using thousands of plugins, widgets and themes.

But WordPress is much more than just a glorified web design template tool, with so many plugins and tools available it is important to ensure that your CMS is as up to date as possible.

What is the best way to update my WordPress website?

No doubt, other WordPress experts (self-proclaimed or otherwise), may have plenty of advice to offer on the best way to run an update, but in our humble opinion, this is the best way to do it.

First off, Backup!

The first step before running any update is to make sure you have a recent backup of your files and databases, just in case the unspeakable happens and you need to restore. There are several products out there that offer online backup and many more free backup plugins out there that provide both local and offsite backups. Whichever way you choose to do it, just make sure you learn how to restore your site from the backup should the unthinkable happen.

Check out the WordPress one-click update

The one-click update can be found under dashboard > plugins. This is also where you’ll find a list with all themes and plugins for which all of the newer versions are available. Update 4.5 will be there, along with a banner in your backend, urging you to install it.

Before hitting the “Update Now” button for the core files, first update your plugins and themes. Developers often give a heads-up for WordPress releases so they have time to adjust their software beforehand. Select the plugins you wish to update and click the Update Plugins button. Plugins can also be updated individually from the Plugins page.

If afterwards you hit the big blue button, WordPress should automatically download and install its new version without you having to do anything else. Once it’s finished, your site is up to date – job done!

Make Sure It Has Worked OK

Following the completion of the update, take the time to go through your website and check that everything element of your website is still working exactly as it should.

Be sure to pay extra attention to any areas of your website that are created using plugins.

If everything checks out, job well done!  Updates complete for the time being! Until the next time, anyway!

Struggling to update your WordPress website?

Are you struggling to update your WordPress website and need some help from an expert? We have a team of WordPress developers on hand to help you with any issues that you may be having with the CMS.

We work on a strictly white-label basis so you can liaise with your client while we get to work in the background.

For more information on the WordPress development services that we offer contact our team on 01257 758078.