This page describes steps for the built-in one-click update, which will work most of the time. If your site hasn’t been updated in a long time, follow the manual update process in the WordPress Codex.
Before you update
- Perform a backup of your site database, themes, and plugins.
How to back up your WordPress site
- Turn off any site caching.
- Update your themes and plugins.
- To check for available plugin and theme updates, go to Dashboard > Updates in your WordPress Dashboard.
- If any plugins have new versions available, check the ones you want to update and then click “Update Plugins.”
- If any themes have new versions available, check the ones you want to update and then click “Update Plugins.”
Be aware that if you have made any changes to your theme files, a theme update will overwrite files and changes may be lost.
- On the “Update WordPress” page, after plugins and themes are updated, click the button “Update Now” to start the process of updating the WordPress core. You shouldn’t need to do anything else. Once it’s finished, you will be up-to-date.
- If you turned caching off, verify that your site loads correctly and turn it back on.
Some hosts will automatically update the WordPress core to the latest version soon after an update is released from the WordPress development team. Most of the time this will be okay, even if your plugins and themes aren’t updated first. In the event that a core update breaks your site, you can restore your most recent backup.
I do not encourage any automated updating of plugins and themes. There are far too many plugins and themes in the WordPress ecosystem to reliably know when an update will result in a conflict and break your website.
Don’t want to mess with this?
Check out my website maintenance service. I’ll monitor your site for updates every day and make sure it’s always up-to-date.