Updating WordPress is very important and some might tell you it is easy. Go to your WordPress website’s dashboard and click “Update Now”. But merely clicking update could have devastating consequences if something goes wrong with the update. That is especially true if you had any customization done to your website or have many plugins. The site might break and certain functions might stop working altogether.
First and foremost, there are two types of updates: Simple and major. The simple ones may update on their own without any need for your intervention. This would depend on how your web designer set up the platform. Major updates need to be handled with more care. Again this is to prevent any serious and irreversible issues.
The one thing that needs to be done before you click the “Update Now” button is to back up the entire website. That means the website’s files and folders stored on your server as well as the mySQL database which contains your content. It is crucial to do both. This backup should be stored in a different location than your server. If you save it on your server, it is highly possible that the update could erase or replace your backup. And if something went wrong, there would be little to do but pay someone to repair the site. This type of repair work is be expensive and it would mean your site would be down for days or weeks.
If you subscribe to a backup service with your hosting provider like GoDaddy, log onto your GoDaddy account. Go to the security section and then backup. Make sure both the site add its database were backed up today. If anything goes wrong you can revert to the version saved earlier that day. Reverting is simple and should only take a few minutes up to one hour. If you do not see a back up listed, simply click backup now and wait until it is completed before making the WordPress update.
If you do not subscribe such plan with your hosting provider, it becomes a bit more complex. You would need to download the files via FTP onto your computer and you would need to export the data from the database by going to the cPanel. If you do not know how to do this, you must hire someone to do the backup. This is why a lot of WordPress websites have maintenance programs associated with them.
Once you are certain that the backup is 100% successful and safeguarded on a device, then you can click “Update Now”. The update should only take minutes. Next the first thing you want to do is check your pages for any visual problems and test all of your forms. If this is an eCommerce or forum type site, you would need to check all functions from checking out to registering.
If this is scary, don’t worry we can help you make sure your next WordPress update is done safely and correctly. Simply contact us.