We all know that keeping our website up-to-date is important. But when it comes to updating WordPress, some of us might hesitate because we’re worried about how it will affect our site.
Will updating WordPress affect my site?
The answer is, not if you’re in the majority of its user base. But if you use custom or paid themes, multisite installation, or certain server environments, you’ll need to take some extra precautions before running the update. If you’re unsure if you fall under any of those categories, don’t worry. We’ll explain everything below.
What does upgrading WordPress change on your site?
All core files stored in your database will be updated. This includes your posts, pages, comments, wp-admin, wp-content directories, and other data. There also may be changes to any custom files that aren’t explicitly mentioned. Upgrading WordPress will not delete any of this data – it will simply update it to the most recent version.
5 Factors that Could Endanger the Success of your WordPress Update
Now that we’ve gone over what a WordPress update will change on your site, let’s take a look at some of the factors that will affect whether or not updating will cause any problems on your site.
1. The age of your WordPress installation
If you have a brand new WordPress site, it’s unlikely that you will run into any issues when you update. However, if it’s been a few years since you last updated your WordPress site, there’s a greater chance that something could go wrong. That’s because older versions of WordPress are not always compatible with the latest version of the software.
2. The number of active plugins on your site
If you have a lot of plugins installed on your WordPress site, there’s a greater chance that one of them will cause a conflict when you update WordPress. Incompatible plugins are one of the most common causes of problems after a WordPress update.
3. The theme you are using
Just like plugins, your WordPress theme can also cause conflicts when you update WordPress. If you are using a custom or paid theme, it’s a good idea to check with the theme developer to see if they have an updated version that is compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
4. Whether you are using a multisite installation
If you have a WordPress multisite network, you will need to update each site individually. That’s because each site in a multisite network is a separate installation of WordPress.
5. The server environment you are using
The type of server environment you are using can also affect whether or not updating WordPress will cause any problems. For example, if you are using a shared hosting account, you will need to be careful when you update WordPress. If something goes wrong, it could affect other sites on the same server.
6 Tips to Help You Safely Update WordPress
Now that we’ve gone over some of the factors that will affect whether or not updating WordPress will cause any problems, let’s take a look at some tips for updating WordPress without any issues.
1. Back up your site before you update WordPress
This is the most important step you can take to prevent problems after you update WordPress. By backing up your site, you will have a copy to restore if something does go wrong.
There are a few different ways you can back up your WordPress site. You can use a plugin like UpdraftPlus, which will create a backup for you automatically. Or you can use a host that provides backups as part of their service.
2. Deactivate all plugins before you update WordPress
Incompatible plugins are one of the most common causes of problems after a WordPress update. To prevent this, deactivate all plugins before you update WordPress. You can do this by going to the Plugins » Installed Plugins page in your WordPress admin area.
3. Update WordPress and all your plugins at the same time
After deactivating your plug-ins, you can update WordPress and then immediately update your plug-ins. Doing the updates at the same time can reduce the risk of problems during the update process. This way, if a plugin is incompatible with the new version of WordPress, you’ll know right away and can take steps to fix the problem.
4. Use a staging environment to test the update
A staging environment is a copy of your live site that you can use to test changes before you make them on your live site. If your host offers staging environments, we recommend using one to test the WordPress update before you apply it to your live site.
5. Update WordPress manually
If you are uncomfortable using the built-in updater, you can also update WordPress manually. This process is a bit more technical, but it will give you more control over the update process.
6. Check for compatibility before you update
As we mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to check with your theme and plugin developers to see if they have updated versions that are compatible with the latest version of WordPress. You can also use a compatibility checker plugin to test your plugins and themes before you update WordPress.
How do I update WordPress themes and plugins?
Updating WordPress themes and plug-ins is a simple process. You can either update from the Admin Dashboard or via the FTP.
1. Updating from the Admin Dashboard
-Login to your WordPress site
-Go to Appearance -> Themes
-Click on the theme you want to update and then click “Update”
-The process will begin and you will be notified once it is completed
2. Updating via the FTP
- Login to your WordPress site via the FTP
- Go to /wp-content/themes/
- Download the theme you want to update
- Unzip the file and replace the existing theme with the new one
- The process will begin and you will be notified once it is completed
How long does it take to update a WordPress site?
It usually takes around 5-10 minutes to update a WordPress site. However, the time it will take will depend on the size of your site and the number of themes and plugins you have installed. If you are updating from the Admin Dashboard, the process will be quicker as all you need to do is click a few buttons. However, if you are updating via the FTP, it will take a bit longer as you will need to upload all the files to your server.
Things to do after updating WordPress
Now that you know how to update WordPress, here are a few things you should do once the process is completed:
1. Check your site for any errors
After updating WordPress, it’s always a good idea to check your site for any errors. You can do this by opening up a few different pages on your site and making sure they all load correctly.
2. Monitor your site for a few days after updating
Even if everything seems to be working fine after updating WordPress, it’s still a good idea to monitor your site for a few days. This will give you a chance to catch any problems that might crop up later.
3. Get help from a WordPress expert if you need it
If you’re not comfortable updating WordPress yourself, or if you run into any problems along the way, you can always get help from a WordPress expert. There are many people who specialize in helping WordPress users keep their sites up-to-date and running smoothly.
Digital Operating Solutions offers Website Maintenance Services managed on a month-by-month basis for a low monthly fee that can be canceled at any time.
Why you should update WordPress
Let’s take a look at the reasons you should consider updating WordPress to begin with.
- WordPress updates often include security enhancements that can help protect your site from hackers.
- Updating to the latest version of WordPress can improve your site’s performance and speed.
- New features and enhancements are often added in new WordPress updates.
- WordPress updates can fix bugs and glitches in the software.
- Updating WordPress can help keep your site current and looking fresh.
How Often do You Need to Update WordPress?
Major core file updates on WordPress are released about 2-3 times a year. Ideally, you should update WordPress as soon as a new version is released. However, if you’re not comfortable doing that, you can always wait a few days or weeks to see if there are any major problems before updating.
In general, it’s a good idea to keep your WordPress site up-to-date so you can benefit from the latest features and security patches.
For more peace of mind, Digital Operating Solutions offers Website Security Services to protect your site from any security threats such as cyber-attacks, malware, or data breaches.
Updating WordPress is a fairly simple process, but there are a few precautions you need to take to prevent any problems. By following the tips in this article, you can update WordPress without any issues. Make sure you have a backup of your site and test the update on your staging site first. If everything goes smoothly, you can update WordPress from the Admin Dashboard or via FTP. Monitor your site for a few days after updating and get help from a WordPress expert if you need it.
Digital Operating Solutions is a digital marketing agency that is happy to help answer any questions you may have about updating your site as well as help you through the process. Contact us today for a consultation!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know when it’s time to update WordPress?
The answer is actually quite simple. Just head over to the Dashboard » Updates page in your WordPress admin area. If there’s a new version of WordPress available, you will see a notice asking you to update.
Will updating WordPress break my site?
No, updating WordPress will not break your site. However, it is always a good idea to create a backup of your site before you update. That way, if anything does go wrong, you will have a copy of your site that you can restore.
What happens if you don’t update your WordPress site?
If you have not updated your website, it could become unsafe. Prolonging the updates could cause problems that can grow even worse such as site failure due to the lack of an update in your theme.
Do WordPress plugins automatically update?
Some themes and plugins can be updated automatically, but most often you need them manually installed. Since WordPress 5.5 was released it has become possible to install plugins automatically from the WordPress dashboard.
How do I update my WordPress site?
If you are comfortable updating WordPress yourself, you can do so from the Admin Dashboard or via FTP. If you need help, there are many people who specialize in helping WordPress users keep their sites up-to-date and running smoothly.
If you are not comfortable updating WordPress yourself, or if you run into any problems along the way, you can always get help from a WordPress expert. There are many people who specialize in helping WordPress users keep their sites up-to-date and running smoothly.