WordPress is ever-evolving and there are updates available every now and then. Beginners are often afraid and concerned about a new update breaking their website. And it is pretty much understandable as some updates do break your site. However, updates are important and we need to stay up-to-date on the latest features and functionalities if we want to keep up with the ongoing tech world. Also, updates are important for our site security and performance as well. Updates include new features, bug fixes, interesting enhancements, and more. That’s why we need to update our sites to the latest version of WordPress and embrace the new changes. Today, we are going to list out some of the easiest methods to update WordPress safely without breaking anything on your site.
But before we get started, the most important thing is to completely backup your WordPress site. You need to create a new backup and store it safely before making any changes to your site. This will help you stay on a safe side while your site is updating. Check out some of the best WordPress backup plugins you can use in order to backup your site easily. Once you create a backup and store it somewhere safe on your device, now you can begin the updating process. Let’s get started.
Easy Methods to Update WordPress
We are going to provide these three easiest methods to update WordPress. It includes:
- Automatic Updating
- Manual Updating
- Updating WordPress with WP-CLI
The Automatic Update is an easy method as it does not include many tasks for you to perform.
All you need to do is visit Dashboard > Updates and click on the Update Now button.
WordPress will now automatically fetch the latest version of the software and install it on your site. You will see the updating process on the screen. Remember, your site will go under maintenance mode during the updating process.
Once the update is finished, your site will be live again and you will be redirected to the WordPress welcome screen. You now have the latest WordPress version installed on your site and the new updates are waiting for you.
The Manual Update is easy too, but it consumes a little more time than the automatic. Also, there is always some uncertainty while performing tasks manually. This manual update requires you to download, copy, and paste the new version yourself. Let’s begin.
First of all, visit wordpress.org and download the latest version of WordPress. After downloading the zip file, you need to extract the file on your desktop.
- For Live Sites
For live sites, you need to open your FTP and connect your website. Once it is connected, go to the ‘wordpress’ folder of the extracted zip file in the Local files column.
Similarly, in the Remote files column, go to your site’s root folder. Please keep in mind that this folder could be public_html or named after your site’s domain name. You will find your WordPress files and folder under this folder.
Now, you need to select all files inside the ‘wordpress’ folder on your Local file and Upload it by right-clicking. Your FTP will now upload the WordPress files from your Local folder to your Remote site folder. While in the process, since your site already has an older version of the files with the same name, it will ask you to either overwrite, rename, or skip them. You need to overwrite them to apply new changes.
Once the process is finished, you need to visit your dashboard to ensure your database update. Sometimes a newer version of WordPress requires you to update your database as well. While visiting the dashboard, if you see a page asking you to update your database, click on the ‘Update WordPress Database’ button.
The manual method to update WordPress ends here. You will now have a new WordPress version installed on your site.
- For Localhost
Inside the extracted “wordpress” folder, you can find all the necessary files. You need to delete the “wp-content” folder that’s inside the ‘wordpress’ folder. After deleting the wp-content folder, copy all other available files and folders.
The next step is to paste the files we just copied. For that, first you need to remove the existing version of software. Visit local Disk (C:) > xampp > htdocs > wordpress folder. Now select and delete every file except the ‘wp-content’ folder and ‘wp-config.php’ file.
After you have deleted the files, paste the files that we copied earlier from the new WordPress folder.
Now head towards your dashboard again and refresh the page to see the new update in action.
UPDATING WITH WP-CLI
- For Live Sites
Please note that your server might not have the SSH option. In this case, you will not be able to use the WP-CLI method to update your WordPress
The first thing you need to do is contact your host to get your SSH server, username, and password. Make sure you’ve enabled SSH on your server. Some hosts also need Public Key Authentication or some might have other specific steps for different operating systems. So, we suggest you give your host a call and confirm.
Once you have your server, username, and your password, simply download PuTTy. While PuTTy is up on your screen, enter your Host Name, and click Open to be prompted for your username and password.
After you SSH into your server as the cPanel user that owns the site, use the cd command to switch to the document root directory of your website. For example, cd public_html/my website. Make sure you replace the public_html/my_website with the actual path to the document root directory of your site.
Now, run the wp core update command to update WordPress. Your new WordPress version shall now start installing.
- For Localhost
It is super easy to update WordPress on localhost using WP-CLI. Simply open the command prompt and run the wp core update command. Your localhost shall now start installing the new version of WordPress. Simple and quick!
So, these were some of the easiest methods to update WordPress safely. We hope this article helped you update your WordPress version.
If you have anything to ask, add, or share, feel free to drop your comments.