Upgrade WordPress as frequently as there is a release.
This cannot be said enough, upgrade WordPress as frequently as there is a release. Don’t ignore the update alerts. If you’re uncertain on the steps involved in a WordPress upgrade, contact someone experienced who knows how to do the updates.
Below is a summary of the recommended steps in upgrading WordPress:
- Backup your website files, WordPress installation and database. This can be done manually or with the help of a premium plugin such as Backupbuddy or a free plugin BackWPup.
- Go to the Updates page in your dashboard and click Update WordPress (you will need to be logged in with an administrator account).
- Go to the Plugins update page and update the listed plugins.
- Check to see if your theme is compatible with the latest WordPress version and if there has been an update released. Upload the latest theme version via FTP. (ask your developer for the latest theme files).
- Test and ensure that your website is working as it should. If you run into any problems, restore your website from the backup.
Reasons to upgrade WordPress:
- Updates to WordPress, plugins and theme files are generally to fix bugs and security issues. (By not updating you are leaving your website bug-ridden and open to attacks).
- Why should you care if your site is hacked? It costs time and money to restore a site from a backup. Google will know your site has malicious code and can remove your website from search results. Your site can lose position on Google’s page ranking.
- New features. WordPress developers are always improving the user experience and functionality of the software. Version 3.9 has an improved Widget Interface, an updated Visual Editor with gallery previews, drag and drop functionality allowing you to drag images from your desktop directly into a post and audio and visual playlists to name the highlights.
Please remember to always do a backup of your database before installing any updates, just in case.
We’ve created a handy infographic to guide you with the WordPress updates. Click here to download the guide.