Updating a WordPress Website Core, Plugins and Themes

If you’re a WordPress website owner, you need to make sure your core software, plugins, and themes are up-to-date to ensure your website continues to function as it should and has the best protection from hackers and bots. Updating your WordPress website is simple to do and very important to do regularly.

Keep Your WordPress Website Up-To-Date

With around 40% of websites on the internet using WordPress as their CMS (Content Management System), hackers are very keen to learn how to hack them. Once they find a vulnerability, their hack will be sent out in bots to go through the internet, looking for vulnerable sites to attack with their malicious code.

Occasionally, WordPress will update its core software when security and usability issues are found in previous versions.

It’s important to make sure you always update your website to the latest versions of WordPress core, its plugins, and its themes.

WordPress can be set to update automatically, or you can choose to manually update it.

Either way, when you update WordPress core, it’s important to also update your plugins and themes to the latest compatible version.

Below is a quick guide on how to update your WordPress core, plugins, and themes.

Note: Before you begin updating your site, you should always make sure you have a backup of your file system and database to fall back on, just in case anything goes wrong.

Step 1: Checking if WordPress Updates Are Available

When you log in to your WordPress dashboard, if a WordPress core update is available, it’s usually the first thing on the page as shown in the image below.

You’ll notice that on the left menu, there is a number next to the words “Update” and “Plugins”. In the pictured example, we have 6 available updates, 2 of which are plugins (the remaining 4 are themes), plus the WordPress core software giving us a total of 7 updates available.

This is shown next to the update symbol on the top menu.

You can update the plugins or themes individually, but the quickest way to update everything at once is to click either “Updates” on the side menu or the updates symbol on the top meu (they both lead to the same page).

Checking if WordPress Updates Are Available

Step 2: Updating WordPress Core Software

If you don’t have the latest version of WordPress, when you’re on the updates page, you have the choice of downloading the latest UK (if you set up WordPress in English UK) or the US-English version of WordPress.

As you will see at the top of the updates page, it is important to ensure you have a backup of your database and file saved in case something goes wrong and you need to revert back to a previous setup.

Updating WordPress Core Software

Step 3: Updating WordPress Plugins

Once you’ve downloaded the WordPress core update, you’ll need to make sure you have the latest compatible versions of the plugins you use.

Go back to the “Updates” page and scroll down to “Plugins”.

Select the individual plugins you want to update or use the “Select All” option to update them all in one go.

Press “Update Plugins” and keep your browser window open until the process is finished.

Updating WordPress Plugins

Step 4: Updating WordPress Themes

Make sure your theme works with your new WordPress core software by getting the newest version on the “Updates” page.

I would recommend deleting any unused themes to make the update process quicker and reduce the risk of vulnerabilities, but if you have more than one theme installed, you can update them all in one go by clicking “Select All” followed by the “Update Theme” button.

Updating WordPress Themes

Step 5: Stay Up-To-Date

That’s it, everything is up-to-date.

You can now go back to the WordPress “Updates” page and choose to enable automatic updates for all new versions of WordPress by clicking the text link.

Enabling Automatic WordPress Updates

WordPress Website Maintenance Packages

At Riverview Enterprise Solutions, we offer WordPress website maintenance packages that work out to less than £17 per month.

Find out more by clicking the button below, or contact us to get started today.

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