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How to Safely Update WordPress

In today’s digital landscape, staying up to date with WordPress updates is crucial for maintaining the security, functionality, and performance of your website.

Outdated versions can leave your site vulnerable to hacking attempts and compromise your data and reputation.

This article will guide you through the process of safely updating WordPress, whether you choose the built-in system or prefer to manually update using FTP.

We will also discuss post-update tasks and how to check for compatibility issues, ensuring your website remains secure and optimized.

Importance of Updating WordPress

The importance of updating WordPress cannot be overstated. Regular updates are crucial for maintaining the security and functionality of your website. By keeping WordPress, plugins, and themes up to date, you can prevent hacking attempts and ensure compatibility with the latest features.

However, it’s important to be aware of common update errors and how to troubleshoot them. Following best practices, such as creating backups and updating one component at a time, can help ensure a smooth updating process.

Preparing for the Update

Before initiating the update process, it is crucial to take necessary precautions to ensure a smooth and safe WordPress update. Here are the steps to prepare for the update:

  1. Create backups: It is essential to create a complete backup of your WordPress website, including the database, media uploads, plugins, themes, configuration files, and core files. This backup will allow for easy restoration in case of any issues during the update.
  2. Remote storage: Even with automated backup plugins, it is recommended to create a new backup and store it remotely. This provides an extra layer of security and ensures that your backup is safe in case of any server failures.
  3. Troubleshooting guide: Familiarize yourself with a WordPress troubleshooting guide. In case any issues arise after the update, you can refer to this guide to troubleshoot and resolve common errors.
  4. Compatibility testing: Before updating WordPress, it is essential to test the compatibility of your plugins and themes with the latest version. Update one component at a time to identify any compatibility issues and remove any unused plugins or themes to reduce security risks.

Updating WordPress Using the Built-In System (1-Click)

To update WordPress using the built-in system, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Dashboard » Updates page in the WordPress admin area.
  2. Click on the ‘Update to version X.X.X’ button.
  3. WordPress will automatically fetch and install the latest version.
  4. During the update, the site will be in maintenance mode.
  5. After the update, you will be redirected to the WordPress welcome screen.

Remember to:

  • Troubleshoot any errors that may occur during the update.
  • Backup your website before performing the update.
  • Take necessary security precautions to protect your site.

Manually Updating WordPress Using FTP

To update WordPress manually using FTP, you will need to download the latest version of WordPress from the official website and extract the files. Here is a step-by-step guide to manually update WordPress using FTP:

  1. Checking FTP connection: Before uploading files, ensure that your FTP client is connected to your website’s server.
  2. Troubleshooting FTP errors: If you encounter any FTP errors, check your credentials, server settings, and firewall settings to resolve the issue.
  3. Securing FTP access: Use secure FTP (SFTP) instead of FTP for enhanced security. SFTP encrypts data during transmission, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
  4. Common FTP issues: Some common FTP issues include connection timeouts, permission errors, and file transfer failures. Troubleshoot these issues by checking server settings, file permissions, and FTP client configurations.

Post-Update Tasks

After updating WordPress, it is essential to thoroughly test the website’s functionality and review the admin area settings. Check if everything is working properly by visiting the website and reviewing the admin area settings.

If any issues arise, refer to a list of common WordPress errors and their solutions or follow the steps in a WordPress troubleshooting guide.

Always backup your website before performing updates and update one component at a time to identify any compatibility issues.

Additionally, check for plugin and theme compatibility with the latest WordPress version and remove unused plugins and themes to reduce security risks.

Checking for Compatibility Issues

One important step in the process of updating WordPress is to check for compatibility issues. This ensures that the updated version of WordPress, along with its plugins and themes, will work seamlessly on your website.

Here are some key aspects to consider when testing compatibility:

  1. Testing compatibility: Verify that all the essential functionalities of your website are working correctly after the update.
  2. Plugin conflicts: Check if any plugins are conflicting with the new version of WordPress and resolve any issues.
  3. Theme compatibility: Ensure that your theme is compatible with the updated version of WordPress to maintain the design and layout of your website.
  4. Checking for outdated code: Review your customizations and check if any code needs to be updated to work with the latest version of WordPress.
  5. Compatibility with customizations: If you have customized your website, test if your customizations are still functioning properly with the updated WordPress version.

Taking the time to check for compatibility issues can help you avoid any potential disruptions or errors on your website after the update.

Staying Informed About WordPress Updates

To stay informed about WordPress updates, website owners should regularly check official channels and trusted sources for the latest information. They can do this by:

  • Checking update notifications within the WordPress admin area.
  • Subscribing to WordPress newsletters.
  • Joining WordPress forums.
  • Following WordPress blogs.

Additionally, website owners can set up automatic updates to ensure that their WordPress core, plugins, and themes are always up to date without manual intervention.


In conclusion, keeping your WordPress website up to date is crucial for maintaining its security, functionality, and performance. Regularly updating the WordPress core, plugins, and themes is necessary to protect your data and reputation from hacking attempts.

Additionally, updates often include bug fixes, performance enhancements, and new features that can improve the user experience and functionality of your website.

By following the best practices outlined in this article, you can safely update WordPress and ensure that your website is running at its optimal performance.

What are the steps to safely update WordPress?

Regularly updating WordPress is crucial for maintaining website security and functionality. Outdated versions can make your site vulnerable to hacking attempts. By following best practices such as creating backups, updating one component at a time, and troubleshooting common errors, you can ensure a smooth updating process. It is also important to test plugin and theme compatibility, remove unused ones, and review admin settings post-update. Elite Digital Marketing offers various services including website design, social media marketing, SEO, eCommerce solutions, graphic design, mobile app development, and more.

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