WordPress just issued a new release. That means you will see a message at the top of your screen telling you to click on the upgrade button. The newest issue of WordPress is very cool. See the video below.
There is a definite order of steps to go through to make sure your site comes through major upgrades without a hiccup. And sometimes, even then, you may experience a glitch. If you have a child theme uploaded , such as one from StudioPress, you will have a better chance of coming through the process with flying colors.
For those with terror in their eyes at the thought of doing anything technical with their site, we will help you upgrade your WordPress blog, themes and plugins on a monthly basis. For more information, CLICK HERE. The very miniscule monthly fee we charge will be one way to keep you less stressed out.
For those who are braver, here are the basic steps.
(without getting too complicated)
- It is always wise to wait about a week after a WordPress release comes out to upgrade. Most often times there are bugs to work out. Do not wait any longer than that, however, as you may experience security issues.
- DO A BACKUP OF YOUR SITE. If you have not done so already, an easy way is to upload a plugin called WordPress Database Backup. It’s pretty self explanatory. Perform the backup and have the backup file sent to your email or computer. I like to have the plugin do automatic backups at least once a week. There are other backup plugins available, but this one is simple enough for most people.
- Go to TOOLS and click EXPORT. Choose ALL CONTENT. This will backup all your content which includes posts, pages and landing pages. Save that to your computer.
- Make sure your hosting service is up to date to handle the newest WordPress version. Upload a plugin called Health Check. It will tell you if your server is ready to go or not for WordPress 3.2 and onward. If you have Bluehost, Host Monster, or Hostgator, your server is most likely healthy as a horse. However, other hosting sites are not so spiffy. (if their support has people on the other end with thick exotic sounding accents, that’s a clue)
- Deactivate all your plugins. (Go to PLUGINS, click SELECT ALL, go to BULK ACTIONS and DEACTIVATE all of them. If you have purchased premium plugins, they may have specific instructions to read before you do an upgrade. It is always a good idea to keep your plugins up to date to prevent issues with WordPress.
- Deactivate your current WordPress theme. Activate the TWENTY ELEVEN theme. (that is the “out of the box” theme that comes with your WordPress installation) If you do not see the TWENTY ELEVEN theme, your site may be growing cobwebs.
- Now you can go ahead and press the WORDPRESS UPGRADE BUTTON on the top of the dashboard. Pray a lot. If you have kept your WordPress versions and plugins updated this should not be a problem. If you have not updated since sometime last year, you may not come through as smoothly. It may be better to do your upgrade inside the CPanel of your hosting company.
- You may notice that your regular theme is asking to be upgraded too. Check with your theme company (for premium themes) to make sure there are not any additional instructions before your perform the ,upgrade especially if your theme has been customized. That is why child themes like StudioPress rock. They are kept up to date frequently and are compatible with new WordPress versions. If, for some reason, your theme looks lopsided after the upgrade, there will be support available to fix the issue. With free themes, you take your chances.
- ACTIVATE your plugins again
- ACTIVATE your normal theme.
- Have a shot of vodka. Hopefully you made it through.