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Video Length: 4:38

Update your WordPress website

It’s important to update your WordPress website regularly. Plugins, themes and the WordPress program itself are all updated regularly and you put your site at risk if you don’t keep up.

Updating your website is quick and easy. It only takes a few minutes and could save you weeks of pain, so schedule it in at least once a month.

In which order should you update?

Some people update the WordPress core, then the theme, then the plugins. Others do the plugins, then the theme, then WordPress.

Each side has valid arguments for why they do it their way.

I do it the second way (plugins, theme, WordPress) so that’s what I demonstrate in the video. Please do your research and decide for yourself which way you’d rather do it.

Backup your website before updating

You must backup your website before you update it.

This is a very important step and should not be missed. If one of the updates breaks your website (which does happen) you’ll need to restore your website. Having a backup makes that possible.

I made a video showing How to Back up your website.

Update Plugins

When logged into your WordPress dashboard, click on Plugins.

Any plugins that need updating will say, “There is a new version of………update now”

Click on Update Now, one at a time. Do not click away from the page while the update is in progress.

This will take a few minutes.

Update Theme

Click on Appearance > Themes

Any theme that needs updating will say, “New version available. Update Now”.

Click on Update Now.

You should really only have 2 themes installed – your main site theme and a spare in case you need to switch over for brief maintenance.

If you have a bunch of spare themes hanging around, as I did at the time of recording this video, delete them.

Update WordPress

Click on Dashboard

If WordPress needs updating you’ll see an alert at the top that says, “WordPress XXX is available! Please update now”

(Note it won’t actually say XXX, it will be a number. That number changes all the time so I used XXX in these instructions.)

Click on Update to XXX.

Note the warning up the top that says you must backup your database and files. You backed up already, right?

Click on Update Now.

It will go through a process:

Downloading update
Unpacking update
Verifying the unpacked files
Etc etc etc
Welcome to WordPress XXX

Check your website and make sure everything looks right and is working as it should.

And that’s it! Your WordPress website is updated. Well done.