WordPress is increasingly being used all over the world to create websites, blogs and ecommerce stores; and more people are adopting the content management system every day. To help make the platform more robust and user-friendly, as well as secure, Automattic, the company behind WordPress, manages to release a series of updates several times a year. The recent update just happened – version 3.5.2 – which focused primarily on security. The next version, 3.6, is due out any day now; and more are planned for October and December. If you want to take advantage of these updates, you’ll be glad to know that the process is incredibly simple. We’re going to walk you through it so that you can understand the effects of the latest WordPress updates firsthand.
WordPress Updates – Start By Creating A Backup Of Your Site
In order to understand the effects of the latest WordPress updates (learn more), and to begin the process for updating your current version of the platform, you should first create a backup of your site. That way, if you run into any problems updating the site, you can just recover the backup and start fresh.
All you have to do is locate the WordPress codex to find the instructions for how to back up your site. The details are listed under ‘WordPress Backups’. When you’re all finished, you will finally be prepared to understand the effects of the latest WordPress updates.
Turn Off Plugins
WordPress will notify you when there is an update available. First, turn off your plugins and make sure your backup is in a safe place in case you need it. Then, you will want to try an automatic update, which is the easiest way to upgrade to the latest and all subsequent WordPress updates.
Automattic says that most people will be able to understand the effects of the latest WordPress updates by choosing the automatic feature. Simply click on the banner link that notifies you that the update is available. If there is no banner ink, go to Tools>Ugrade and then choose the option “Update Automatically” to begin the process. That’s all you have to do and you will be able to enjoy all the WordPress updates that have been released so far.
If the automatic update doesn’t work for you, it might be due to the fact that all of your WordPress files don’t belong to you or you don’t have the proper file permissions. Don’t panic if this happens; you’ll merely have to update manually. The manual process for accepting the latest WordPress updates is described in detail below.
Manual WordPress Updates
You want to understand the effects of the latest WordPress updates, but the automatic update didn’t work. All you have to do is download the latest version of WordPress, just like you did when you first installed the platform. Unpack the zipped file and make sure you deactivate all of your current plugins, then open your site using an FTP program (or shell access via your web host).
When you have all of your current files open, find the filenames ‘wp-includes’ and ‘wp-admin’ and delete these. These are the old files you will be replacing in order to enjoy the new WordPress updates.
Next, upload the individual files from the new wp-content folder to your current wp-content folder and overwrite them. Make certain that you don’t delete your existing wp-content folder or any files or folders in your existing directory.
Finally, upload all the new loose files from the root directory of the new version of WordPress to your existing root directory.
Remove .Maintenance File
If you have attempted to understand the effects of the latest WordPress updates, but your automatic update failed, you’ll want to delete the file named .maintenance for your WordPress directory using FTP. If you don’t complete this step, you’ll receive a failed update message that will be difficult to get rid of otherwise.
That’s all there is to it. Login to your WordPress site and follow any directions the platform gives you. You may have to upgrade your database for the WordPress updates to take effect, but all you have to do is click a link when prompted to do so.
Then reactivate your plugins, clear your cache and your cookies and you’ll finally be able to understand the effects of the latest WordPress updates along with everyone else who visits your site. Now you’re ready to enjoy a safer, more robust and far more customizable WordPress platform.