WordPress websites need to be periodically updated for many reasons. When WordPress, a theme or a plugin offers an update it is not always because they want to offer new features. It can also be because they need to fix some bugs. This is a great thing because it means that WordPress is constantly making an effort to ensure that your site is safe from hackers and spammers.
How do I update my WordPress Site?
Updating is very simple to do and WordPress makes it easy for you. When you login to your WordPress dashboard, you can easily see if there are any available updates. You can find out by looking for the update symbol on the top menu that looks like this:
You can also go to Dashboard > Updates and it will take you to the update page.
Keep in mind, if you purchased a third party theme or plugin from outside of WordPress, then you will have to manually update that plugin or theme. You can simply go to the provider’s website and download the latest version and then upload it to your site.
If you have a lot of updates to run, I would recommend to run one update at a time. Sometimes, an update may not be compatible with another plugin or feature on your site. So, when you have a lot of updates to run, running them one at a time can ensure that the update doesn’t negatively affect your site. Preform one update and then check the front end of your site to make sure everything looks the same. If it does, then start the next update. If it doesn’t, then you know which plugin is the culprit.
Don’t forget to Backup your site first!
Before you make any updates to your site, I highly recommend creating a backup first. This is a safeguard just in case anything happens, you have a backup that you can easily go back to. If you need a good backup plugin, I recommend Duplicator or BackUpBuddy. An even easier method of backing up is by hosting your site with a provider that backs up on a regular basis for you. This is my favorite! I use Flyweel WordPress hosting and they create a backup every day and keep the past 30 days of backups. This is very convenient and I highly recommend Flywheel to all of my clients because of this feature (and many others). I like to download a backup that they created once a month or so, just so that I can have them on hand.
Ugh, do I have to update my site every time an update comes out??
I know that keeping your site up to date may seem like an extra task that you don’t want to add to your never ending to do list, but this one is important! If you want to prevent any issues with your site, then yes, you do need to preform these updates. I check my client’s sites daily for updates. You don’t need to check your site that often but I would recommend checking it at least once a month.
Don’t like the idea of keeping your own site up to date? Don’t worry, you don’t have to! You can hire someone to do it for you. WP3 Web Design offers this service. You can check out our maintenance plans here. If a maintenance plan is too much and you are only looking for updating only, then contact me for a free estimate on keeping your WordPress site up to date today!