Keeping on top of WordPress updates is a super important task. We give you 5 good reasons to do so in this blog.

WordPress maintenance is a service we like to offer to our clients but if you fancy giving it a go yourself, here’s how.

Our step-by-step guide to making WordPress updates

Step 1 | Back it up

Before you make any WordPress updates or any changes to your website for that matter, you should always create a backup of the latest version of your site.

By backing up, you’ll have the reassurance that if anything goes wrong, you have the previous version to revert back to. It’ll save you the headache of trying to fix a broken website.

There are plenty of plugins available to make backups of your WordPress website. This handy article compares 9 of the best backup plugins out there.

Step 2 | Switch caching off

Turn off any caching plugins you have enabled before you make your updates. By doing this your updates will go live immediately.

If you don’t disable your caching plugins you and your website visitors will continue to see the old version until the cache updates (which can take weeks).

Step 3 | Don’t forget your themes and plugins

It’s not just WordPress that you’ll have to keep updated, you’ll also need to update your themes and plugins too. We’d recommend tackling these first.

Here’s how to update your plugins and themes…

  1. Visit your WordPress dashboard (wp-admin) and click on the update recommendation button.
  2. Once in you’ll see a full list of all your plugins that are in need of an update. Hit select all and click the ‘update plugins’ button.
  3. Come back to the same page and repeat the process for your themes. (You’ll see these listed underneath your plugin updates.)

Step 4 | Update WordPress

When a new version of WordPress is available, you’ll see a notification on the dashboard along with a button to ‘update now’. Go for it!

Hit that button and your site will automatically update and start using the latest and safest version of WordPress.

Step 5 | Turn caching back on

If you followed step 2 and switched your caching plugin off, you can now pop it back on.

Step 6 | Make sure your site is all OK

At this point you’ll have made updates to WordPress, your themes and plugins so it’s always good practice to take a look over your site.

You shouldn’t need to dig too deep into your site but try and click through each page and scan it over.

Step 7 | Back it up again

If you’re happy all the updates went according to plan, take a backup of your now fully updated website.

Get into the habit of doing this on a regular basis and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that your WordPress website is backed up, up-to-date and on the latest and safest version.

Like us to handle your WordPress updates?

We’d love to help. Get in touch to hear about our WordPress maintenance packages.