Each time when a new version of WordPress is available, people receive a message in the admin screen and it is time for them to update the CMS to the latest version. When it comes to the updating project, many people are thrown into a difficult situation since most of them are not with enough technical related background or skills.
However, updating WordPress sites on a regular basis cannot be ignored due to the following reasons:
- To improve features and add new ones: people may find the WP functionality stepping onto a new floor with the developed features and new-added ones like language packs, new password meter, improved WP search, documentation for hooks and so on.
- To enhance website’s security: usually, old WP software is vulnerable to be attacked. Duly updating with new security features can greatly help prevent hackers from breaking into websites and inserting malicious code arousing the problems of dropping ranking or getting unlisted in search engine results.
- To fix bugs: network is easily intruded by software bugs, especially there are more and more such devastating means and tools to cause great damage. Thus, an update is necessary if something isn’t working properly.
After explaining the importance and necessity of updating WordPress, we suggest people follow the guidance below to manually install the latest version of the software from the beginning to the end.
Step 1: back up websites
Just in case that all the posts, comments and links people created on the WordPress websites get erased or partly lost, there are two parts need to get backed up including database and files so as to back up the entire website. Here are the methods:
- 1. Ask website host to provide backup software: most reliable web hosts provide related backup tools, so people have chances to simplify the process by checking with the host to find out what services and programs they provide.
- 2. Create sync with the site: some programs like WinSCP allow people to sync with the site to keep a mirror copy of the content on server and hard drive, which saves time and makes sure people have the latest files in both places.
- 3. Copy files to desktop: the easiest way to copy files is via FTP, which facilities people to copy the files to a folder on their computers. When the job is done, just zip or compress them into a zip file to save space. People had better keep at least three backups of the files just in case that any of them is corrupted or gets lost, and store them in different places and on different devices.
Step 2: don’t forget to update themes and plugins
when a new version of WP is released, then plugins and themes framework go along with it, which go perfectly compatible with the updated website. Before proceeding with the guidance, make sure using an FTP program.
- 1. Delete the folders loaded with the old themes and plugins: connect with FTP program to the web server and navigate into the installation folder named as “wp-content”, and find the themes and the plugins folders. Click into the folders and find the sub ones that need replacing and delete them.
- 2. Upload the new themes and plugins folders: when unzipping the folders taking with the updated files, make sure that the entire updated folder is relocated at the same “themes” or “plugins” folders where the old ones are removed.
Step 3: it’s time to update WordPress
Since WordPress is developed based on MySQL, a new WordPress release surely comes with changes into its database. It is an easy task to finish this part once people have uploaded all the files to their websites, all they need is to go to the admin area where WordPress sends a notification of a required update of database by simply clicking the “Update WordPress Database” button which may take a little while for people to receive the success message from WordPress.
This is how to get WordPress manually updated. Although the upgrade brings some advantages carrying with improved features and enhanced securities, people who want to run the sites smoothly and uninterruptedly in a robust hosting environment should choose a reliable web host with experienced experts 24×7 supervising the sites.
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