Something that every WordPress blog owner should do is to keep the site it completely up to date. Keeping your WordPress blog up to date ensures all plugins will continue working, you will have access to the latest features and most importantly, your blog will be constantly protected from hackers and intruders.
Most people don’t know how to update their WordPress installation, but luckily it’s very easy. You can use the auto-upgrade feature in the dashboard, and if that doesn’t work, upload all files manually, and if that doesn’t work use one simple technique to fix any problem plugins.
The first thing you should do when going to update WordPress is go to your dashboard, and on the top left corner should be an area that says updates. All you have to do is go to that updates area and click on one button and this will automatically download the latest version of WordPress, unpack it, and install it where your blog is.
After that’s done, you now have the brand new features and version of WordPress without having to use FTP or edit any kind of databases. This is really the easiest way, but there are alternatives if this “one click” method poses a problem.
For example, if you have been working with an older version of WordPress, or for some reason the automatic update feature is not working properly for you, the solution is still very simple. What you can do is go to download the latest WP compressed version, extract the files and upload the newer WordPress files to your server. WordPress detect that your files are new but your database is out of date and it will do its best to update that database for you.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Go to WordPress.org/download;
- Once there you will see a big blue button;
- Click and download a zip file with the most up to date version of WordPress;
- Once the downloaded is complete, extract all files to your desktop;
- Then open your FTP client and upload those files your WordPress directory;
- Make sure to overwrite the existing files in that directory.
Don’t worry this won’t overwrite any of your content because they are the files that run WordPress and your content is just stored in the database in a different location.
Now once those files are all done, simply load your blog and it will say that WordPress has an update, do you want to update? Click on a button and it will make sure your database is up to date, and now you have a current, up to date version of WordPress.
Sometimes (though infrequenly) when upgrading this way a plugin might go wrong and might crash your entire blog, or it could show some extra errors, so take a note of what the plugin name. For example, if the plugin is titled fast-and-easy traffic, write that down and then in your FTP client, browse to a folder that is called WP-Content, and then browse to the folder called plugins after which you should find and delete the problem folder, fast-and-easy traffic.
Now when you load WordPress again, the blog should load properly and you can add the plugin back the way that it was, and that is the way you upgrade WordPress. Go into your dashboard to the update area and see if you can update it in one click, if not go to WordPress.org/download, grab the zip file, unpack and upload the files. If there are any problem plugins then go into WPContent/plugins and delete or rename that folder and reload WordPress, and everything should be okay.