Complete Guide WordPress Upgrade Best Practices

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A Complete Guide About WordPress Upgrade Best Practices

What Do You Need to Do Before Updating WordPress?

First of all, let’s go through the reasons why you need to upgrade your WordPress. If you want your website to be secure, upgrading it is very important. Secondly, who wants a website with compatibility issues and old version? No one! That’s exactly why we need to keep our WordPress upgrade. The third issue that comes with an outdated WordPress site is the load speed. We all know how hard it is to rank a website on Google if it has a slow load speed. If your WordPress is not upgraded, you might face this issue. Updating it will improve its load speed for sure.

Lastly, we all know that with every upgrade comes new functionalities. Keeping it up-to-date makes your life much easier as a website owner. So what are you waiting for? Whether you want to upgrade your core WordPress, themes, or plug-ins, we have covered all the best practices in this article.

In case you miss a step while updating your WordPress site or mess with the code, you need to be prepared for every possible outcome.

Creating a Backup of Your Site: It is the most essential step that you need to take if any mishap happens while updating the website. If you have a backup, you won’t lose anything. Your previous site will be there as it is.

Plug-ins Need to be Inactive: Compatibility issues arise as you update your site. Your old plug-ins sometimes cannot adjust to the new version, so in order to keep your upgrade hassle-free, make sure you deactivate all the installed plugins. Now we’ll quickly go through the current best practices to upgrade your WordPress site.

How to Update Through Dashboard: This method only takes one click to update your WordPress site. It’s recommended since it’s done by your admin dashboard.

  • Login
  • Go to the admin dashboard
  • Check on the top left of the dashboard if there’s an update available
  • Click “Please update now” to start
  • You will be redirected to another page where you will have to press the “Update Now” button again

Please note that in case of a small update, there will be a success message displayed. But in case of a major update, there will be a page with all the details of the upgrade.

Taking a Manual Approach for Granular Control

How to Update your WordPress Manually?

Before you begin, remember this method is a little bit risky. You are likely to break pages and damage your site, so be very cautious. Make sure you’re using this method only when you can’t access the admin dashboard for some reason. The manual method takes a little more time than the first method. All you need is access to your WordPress root directory. Remember, you can use one of the following for this purpose: FileZilla or FileManager.

Once you’ve accessed the root directory of your WordPress site with the help of file manager or FileZilla, the next step is easy. Old WordPress core files (wp-admin and wp-includes) need to be replaced. So how will we go about it? Let’s dive in:

  • Download the zip file, extract it on a location that’s easy to access.
  • Download the latest stable version of WordPress and unzip the files on your computer.
  • Now simply open the folder and delete the wp-config-sample.php file and wp-content folder.
  • Next, connect and log in to your WordPress via FileZilla.
  • From your web host, delete both wp-admin and wp-includes directories.
  • Now on the left, click on the new wp-admin and wp-includes folder, select the Upload button.
  • Next, upload the rest of the files that you extracted earlier to the web host directory.
  • Once the new files are over-written on the server, you will see a confirmation message, “Target file already exists.”
  • Simply select “always use this action” and “apply to the current queue.”
  • Now you’ve uploaded the files. Visit your site [name].com/wp-admin/upgrade.php/ to make sure everything is working smoothly.

Automation with Easy Updates Manager

As opposed to the manual methods, WordPress can also be updated automatically. However, to update automatically, you need to have a plug-in installed. There are many plug-ins for this purpose.

We prefer Easy Updates Manager. It’s a light plugin and offers one of the best features for updates. Even if you have more than one WordPress site, this plugin takes care of everything on its own.

Easy Updates Manager is an obvious choice for anyone wanting to take control of their website updates.


There’s another method through which you can easily enable auto-updates on your WordPress site. A line of code is all you need to add to your wp-config.php file.

Simply follow the steps given below:

  • Login > File manager > Files
  • Public_html > wp-config.php
  • Click on edit, add or change the following line:
    define('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true);
Upgrading, Updating, etc.

Updating Themes and Plug-ins

Once you’ve updated your core WordPress files by following one of the above given methods, it’s time to give some attention to your themes and plug-ins. Your WordPress site will not work properly if everything is not up-to-date. It will cause unwanted errors and wouldn’t function properly if theme or plug-ins are not updated. And guess what it takes to save yourself from the trouble?

You're just one click away. Simply navigate to Updates from your admin dashboard. While scrolling down, you will see options like “Update theme” and “Update plug-ins.” You just have to click on the button and boom! Your site is up-to-date.

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Clarity WordPress Experts

In this article, we discussed the best practices to upgrade your WordPress site. We started from the simplest method, i.e., updating through the admin dashboard. Then we moved to the manual and automatic methods to upgrade the core WordPress. Lastly, we discovered the importance of upgrading the themes and plugins along with the core WordPress and how to do it.

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