It is known that WordPress is an awesome Content Management System and is continuously growing in popularity. But still, it is not completely perfect. See, all the website developers have different requirements and WordPress sometimes cannot fulfill all of those requirements. Therefore to help you in that, WordPress offers tons of Plugins and Themes.
It is confirmed that if anyone is using WordPress then they must be using different Plugins and Themes for fulfilling their requirements. As mentioned earlier there are tons of Plugins and Themes which are offered by WordPress and also by some third party plugins and themes development websites but if you are installing the Plugins and Themes or the WordPress then it is considered just as a beginning.
WordPress is an Open Source website building tool and developers work really hard to give us a genuine platform and the same thing applies to the various themes and plugins offered by WordPress. Still, you will come across some problems like the problems which arise due to the user errors and the solution is to make WordPress really easy and simple to use for the users. Sometimes you may discover some bugs which are introduced in a Plugin or theme. So to avoid such situations it is important to keep all these themes and plugins up to date because when you keep your plugins and themes up to date you will be able to use recently developed features or you can prevent bugs or remove any existing bug. Thus it is important to update WordPress as well as themes and plugins and this is all we are going to be covering in this blog!!
Let’s discuss why do we need to update WordPress, Plugins and Themes?
See WordPress and its Plugins and themes are just like some other software or application which is installed on your computer system and the developers regularly deliver updates which provide new features as well as fixes for bugs.
It is not compulsory that you should always require these new features because you may be happy with your current setup and therefore you may not want any more features. But even then you might be concerned about bugs and how to fix them.
These bugs can be in any shape or size or maybe in large numbers which may restrict any user from using a plugin or a theme or it may be small and that bug is concerned about only a particular part of the theme or plugin. In some cases, bugs can even cause severe security issues.
Despite everything, these bugs must be fixed. So if you are a user then whenever any update is delivered regarding how to fix a bug, then you should try to update immediately so that you will have a safest and steady version of WordPress. This same thing applies to WordPress as well as Themes and Plugins, and it is also not a very difficult process, so what it takes for you?
Let’s discuss how would you come to know that an update is available?
As I mentioned earlier that it is really very important to update the software, but it is not always possible for us to keep track of these updates every day to check whether there is an update available for WordPress or Plugins or Themes, in case if you are using a large number of them.
Luckily, whenever any new version of WordPress is released, then you could not miss it, because you will notice a message at the top of nearly every page of your admin panel. You will also notice other messages at the bottom of these admin pages.
It is somewhat different for Plugins and themes but if these plugins and themes are available on WordPress .org then this Content Management System will inform you whenever any new update or version is released for plugins or themes. You only have to visit the ‘Updates’ section of your WordPress dashboard.
You will notice how many updates are available, right next to this option. You can notice this number in the bar at the top of your screen on all the pages of your WordPress website whenever you are logged in. and it is positive news if you do not find any such number as it indicates that your WordPress along with all your Plugins and themes are up to date.
Let’s discuss how to update WordPress:
It is most important to update your WordPress itself because this content management system is prey to its own popularity as it is used by millions of people around the globe; therefore WordPress is an excellent target: if there is a simple security weakness then it will affect all the websites.
Again luckily, as mentioned earlier WordPress is open source and these security faults can be detected at the same time can be fixed immediately. Still as a precaution, if you want your website to be secure then you must update it.
For updating WordPress, you are required to add, delete and replace few files, manually or automatically. One important thing I want to share with you is that if the problem arises at the time of updating the installation, then your WordPress can get broken and this is what you really don’t want to happen. Therefore it is always a good practice to take the backup of your WordPress installation before starting the update process so that you can use this old but still working installation.
Let’s discuss how to update WordPress with a single click method:
As mentioned earlier it is easy to update WordPress due to the one-click method. People most often use this method because it automatically downloads the WordPress and also replaces the required files itself. Thus there are very few chances of errors and also it can save you time.
For updating WordPress through one click, navigate to the “Updates” option of the WordPress “Dashboard”. Now if your WordPress version is not latest version then you will notice a message as “An updated version of WordPress is available” near before the two buttons.
Click On the second button and you will get a ZIP archive file containing the latest downloaded version of WordPress. Thus you can create a new installation of WordPress or you can manually update the current installation as explained below:
See the first button is for the one-click method i.e. the “Update Now” button, if you click on it then WordPress will take you to another page which will automatically update you about the progress. It will download the latest version, and then, first of all, deactivate the Plugins, and then it will replace all the required files and again reactivate that plugin. During this time you just have to stay for a few seconds or minutes.
Let’s discuss how to update WordPress automatically:
WordPress started using automatic updates since version 3.7 and due to this feature, this content management system checks whether any new minor version of WordPress is available or not. If this is the situation, then it will automatically download that version and then install it on its own, that too without allowing you to do anything, not even a single click.
Now by coincidence, if the currently available version is a chief version, then also you will need to update the version on yourself, using one click or by doing manually, but you should always be sure that you have the latest and secure version of WordPress. For Example: If you are currently using WordPress 3.9 version and if version 4.0 is available then WordPress will automatically install it.
I want to repeat that: It is really important to have the latest version of WordPress and even if a small update is available, then tries to update immediately, because these updates help in fixing the bugs. That’s the reason why automatic updates are important and at the same time you don’t need to worry about whether the fixes are available or not: as you can ensure that this is the situation.
These automatic updates are activated by default and if you want to prevent them then it is possible by introducing a new constant in the wp-config.php file, at the bottom of your WordPress installation enter following code:
define (‘AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED’, true);
You can again enable this option of automatic update method for only the major updates again by inserting the following code in the wp-config.php file.
define (‘WP_AUTO_UPATE_CORE’, true);
This code will help in automatically updating the WordPress whenever a new update is released, whether the update is major or minor. There is one more automatic method available for WordPress development versions which are used for development.
This requires different values:
1. true: to activate automatic major, minor and development updates.
2. false: For disabling the entire major, minor and development updates.
3. minor: For activating only the minor automatic updates
Using filters is another option that you can use for activating or deactivating all these automatic updates if you do not want to modify the wp-config.php file due to some reason.
Let’s consider following example:
The previous constant i.e. AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED used above can be replaced with the following code in the functions.php file of a theme or plugin:
Above code will disable the automatic updates.
There are other filters which can also be used for activating and deactivating only particular automatic updates. In this case, your function should return true for every filter whenever you want to activate that related type of automatic update or you can use disable else.
For disabling only the automatic minor updates use the following code:
For enabling only the automatic major updates use the following code:
For enabling only the development updates then use the following code:
Let’s discuss how to manually Update WordPress:
There are always two options to select from for updating WordPress either by using the one-click method or by using the automatic method. Also, you can update the WordPress manually, if you desire or if you do not have any other choice due to some reason.
I want to warn you that: Be always careful! as you can make errors and can break your WordPress installation. Therefore, follow the below instructions carefully and most importantly, first give preference to taking a backup of your WordPress installation.
- The first step is to download the current version of WordPress and I have already explained to you how to do this when I was explaining how to update WordPress in one click or by another way you can download the latest version from WordPress .org. Thus it will generate an archive file so unzip it.
- The second step is to deactivate the plugins so that they will not cause any bug at the time of the update. Click the “Deactivate” option present in the drop-down menu which you can choose once all of the plugins gets selected.
- Now in this step, it is time to replace the correct files. Also, delete the wp-includes and wp-admin folders present in your WordPress installation and then exchange them with current ones.
- Here replace the content of the new wp-content folder with the old content. If you select overwriting the existing files, then you will be able to update old themes and plugins. There is no need to worry, as the remaining plugins and themes will remain as it is and also the media files will not get affected.
- Repeat the same steps with the files present in the root directory: exchange these files with all the new files by uploading them. You only have to worry about only one file which is: wp-config.php. It also will not get overwritten because it is not present in the new version: i.e. in the archive file which you have downloaded. Now the wp-config.php is renamed as wp-config-sample.php and compare them to ensure that a new line of code has not been added: if it gets added, then copy-paste that new line of code from the wp-config-sample.php file into your old wp-config.php file
- It is observed that an automatic update can fail sometimes and .maintenance file will get included in your WordPress installation, now if you update manually for fixing the problem, then it is required to delete this file.
- All your databases are also required to be updated. For checking whether your databases are updated or not navigate to your admin panel: if it is not updated then you will notice a message including a link. Just click that link and all your databases will get updated.
- Now the update is finished, now it is the time to reactivate all the Plugins which you have deactivated earlier.
That’s all for today! I hope you find this blog helpful. Please let me know your opinion, please share it in a comment section below. See you soon with another blog!
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