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How to Upgrade WordPress Version?

March 24, 2018
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Harry S
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Upgrade WordPress Version

In 2018, the new businesses, bloggers, and entrepreneurs are registering their online presence with a new website and who already own a website, are spending a lot of money to make their presence stronger by every day passes. Where small businesses, bloggers, and entrepreneurs look for online software to handle their website’s backend to manage the website on their own such as WordPress, Joomla, Opencart, Shopify, Magento, etc.

In today’s blog, we will explain that how important is to keep their software updated to the latest version in order to maintain and keeping safe the website.

We as a WordPress Development Company, highly recommend keeping always your software up to date. Let’s take WordPress as an example, WordPress often upgrades their software with new features, stable and better support. More often, they cover many security issues of their blogging platform in a new version they release.

Many people don’t upgrade their WordPress version due to some stories such as upgrading website/blog would break the design of my website, break the data and compatibility issue. So the question is How to upgrade a WordPress Website? Before you begin to update your WordPress website, Let’s follow below steps precautionary to keep all your files and data safe then upgrade your WordPress CMS.

1. Backup your Database & Files:

Backup Database and Files

Having backups of your database and website files ensure, during upgrading your WordPress version goes something wrong, you have an immediate action to roll back your website to the previous version.

  • Backup Database: Backup your database either from PHPmyAdmin or use database backup plugin installed on your hosting server. For more support, refer to hosting database backup process.
  • Backup Your Files: Again, you can backup all your files either manually by login in your control panel/FTP or use a backup plugin by WordPress. We have used BackUpBuddy on many occasions and found the satisfactory solution for backing up my files.

2. Verify Your Backup:

We recommend to verify your backup as sometimes your backed up files may have 1 or more files missing from backup or any file gets corrupted. Therefore, precaution is better than the risk.

Unzip your files on your local environment and create a new database on your local environment using your database credentials. Make sure your backup runs perfectly as it is on your live website.

3. Deactivate All Plugin(s) and Theme:

Deactivate All Plugin(s) and Theme

Our technical guns recommend deactivating all plugin(s) before updating your WordPress to the latest version. You simply to go your WordPress admin and followed by “all installed plugin(s)”, just select all checkboxes and deactivate plugin(s).

4. Download and Extract Your WordPress Package:

Download and Extract Your WordPress Package

You can always download a latest WordPress version from here. When you log in to your admin dashboard on the website you will see the notification citing the latest released WordPress software. Now, you go to the WordPress website and download it. When your download completes, you shall go to your local environment and extract the files.

5. Delete Old WordPress Files & Upload New Files:

Delete Old WordPress Files and Upload New Files

Go to your old version WordPress and delete all your wp-admin and wp-include files from the directory. Now upload your new extracting files to the WordPress directory.

You need not delete your wp-content directory and wp-config.php as wp-content directory contains all your plugins information and theme while wp-config contain database connection related information.

6. Run the WordPress update Program:

Run the WordPress update Program

Update all your core root files of the WordPress. It is supposed to overwrite all the file which were there before.

Now, run the WordPress update program through <www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin/upgrade.php> in case if there are any MySQL database changes in the latest version.

Upon successful completion of the upgrade, you can simply navigate through your wp-admin.

7. Update .htaccess and Permalinks:

Update .htaccess and Permalinks

When you will go through your local environment of the upgraded WordPress you will see “.htaccess.txt” instead “.htaccess”. Now you need to make sure that you renamed it to “.htaccess”.

For Permalinks, as you are still in process to upgrade your complete WordPress in which you also need to update your permalinks based on the Domain (site URL) and Pages as it was before.

8. Install Updated Plugin(s) and Theme:

Install Updated Plugin(s) and Theme

To Install and update all your plugin(s) and the theme is a similar process of backup, update and restore to the WordPress version.

  • Backup your plugins (already did)
  • Retrieve the files
  • Delete all files
  • Add new files and review the changes.

9. Reactivate Plugin(s):

Reactivate Plugin(s)

Go to the plugin list in the wp-admin and checkboxes all deactivated plugins and activate them all. To check the changes made to the plugins and website, clear the browser cache and review the changes.

10. Test Your Website with all Functionality once before you go live:

CSS Tree recommends when you are finished with uploading all your files to the latest version with all changes. Now, you must go to the browser and access your localhost URL after upgrading WordPress website to look for all pages and functionality in order to make sure that it looks and works fine as expected.

Once you’re done with your testing, you are now good to upload your files to the web host and cross check once again.

In case, you need an expert help from a WordPress Development Company or want us to upgrade your WordPress software please Get in Touch With Us.

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