Five steps to update your WordPress site.

Updates keep your WordPress site secure and running smoothly. Follow our update process to make sure your updates always go without a hitch.

Updates are a major part of life for anyone managing a WordPress site. WordPress core releases major updates every three or four months, with many more smaller security and feature updates in between. Plugins and themes, too, often get regular updates. To keep your site secure and performing well, it’s important to keep up-to-date.

If you’re not convinced, check out our article on why you should keep your WordPress site updated. Otherwise, read on for our handy primer on the steps you should take when you update.

  1. Back up before you start
    If you repeat a process enough times, eventually something will go wrong. When the inevitable happens and disaster strikes, you’ll be happy you have a fresh backup to revert to. Make sure you back up your site files and database daily. Then store them somewhere separate from the website – you’ll need to be able to access them even if the site goes down.
  2. Update and test on a staging environment first
    Avoid untested changes to your live site. Make any major changes – including updates – to a staging environment first. Some updates can introduce conflicts, or change the way certain parts of your site look in the browser. By testing updates on a staging site first, you can deal with these before your users see them.
  3. Run the updates
    This is the easy bit! To run the updates, log into WordPress and click on the Updates tab in the CMS sidebar. This takes you to your site’s update page. From here, you can update the site software, plugins, and themes with the click of a few buttons.
  4. Set an update schedule
    Your site may be up-to-date, but you aren’t finished there. You wouldn’t expect to get fit by going to the gym once. Updating, like exercise, needs to be a habit. Features, fixes and optimisations release all the time, and you need to make sure you’re there for them.

    Decide on an update schedule for your site, and stick to it. Monthly is good, but weekly is better. On the appointed day, log in to your site and see what updates are available. If there are any, run through these steps to install them all.

Looking for help managing backups and updates on your WordPress site?

You should get in touch.

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