How to Upgrade WordPress
WordPress is continually making improvements and fixing bugs. Therefore they come out with new releases several times a year.
Updating WordPress can be a daunting until the first time you do it and find out how simple it can be. (It can also be overwhelming if you 100 blogs!) It is daunting if you run into a glitch!
The first thing I do is to look at what fixes have been added to the revised software. If there is a security update then I want to look carefully at what they have fixed. It the update has a ‘security hardening’ then I definitely start upgrading all our WordPress blogs.
If the upgrade is not a security risk, then I typically wait to update the blogs.
The first thing I always do before any update is backup the databases. The easiest way to do this is with a WordPress plugin. I like WordPress Database Backup plugin. It is fairly easy to setup. (You can download it here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-db-backup/)
Next I go back to the dashboard and click on ‘Updated’ in the upper left sidebar. WordPress shows me all the updates that are available. First I upgrade the software by clicking on “Install Automatically”. Now just sit and wait while the software updates.
NOTE: You used to have to deactivate all the plugins and put the site in Maintenance Mode but now the software does everything in the background.
When the upgrade is complete you will get the following message: Actions: Go to Dashboard
Now you want to make sure your plugins and themes are all up to date. So click ‘Go to Dashboard’ and WordPress will tell what is down level.
If you have a plugin or theme that is down level, simply check ‘select all’ and click ‘upgrade’ and you plugins and themes will automatically be updated.
That’s it! It really is fairly simple! BUT BEWARE…
You can encounter errors. This is the scary part for most WordPress users. I have done this hundreds of times and dread running into an upgrade glitch. Not only does it take time to fix but many times the solution is not obvious and it may take hours to figure out what went wrong and then find a fix.
I have close to 100 blogs and so upgrading is a time consuming task. However, if one of these breaks it isn’t the end of the world for me.
However, when I upgrade a clients site and this is their livelihood I have to get it fixed ASAP. Therefore I had to come up with a solution to getting a client back online fast, even if I had to go back to the original level. I use a cloning software that works great for a number of WordPress tasks. You can take a look here: WordPress Help
I will go into more detail in another post.