WordPress update helps you to be up-to-date with the latest bug fixes and newly added features. Like any other application, WordPress also needs to be updated with the latest release. You can update your WordPress platform with one or two mouse clicks. It’s that simple. You don’t need to search for updates all over the internet. The WordPress itself shows a notification saying to update your version of WordPress. The notification might look something like the screenshot given below. And in this guide on How to update WordPress, we are giving the complete guide to update your WordPress platform.
Before updating WordPress to the latest version, you should ensure the following –
- A compatible PHP version. Check how to update your PHP version in WordPress.
- No other update process should be running. Otherwise, it will return the ‘Another Update in Process‘ error.
- Ensure your themes and plugins are compatible with the latest WordPress version.
- Take a backup before any major update.
- If you have a very busy website with a lot of users, perform the update in a staging environment.
How to Update WordPress
All you need to do is just clicking on the ‘Update now‘ link, and you will be redirected to a screen like the below screenshot. You may also reach this page from Dashboard > Updates on your WordPress admin sidebar.
If you are seeing something like this, WordPress might be already at the latest version –
If you are seeing something like this, continue the process –
You have two methods to update your WordPress. By clicking on the ‘Update‘ or ‘Upgrade‘ button, WordPress will automatically do all for you. You can just sit back, and your WordPress platform will be automatically updated. This is the quick and simplest way to update your WordPress. (In the newest versions of the WordPress, the button will say Update Now.)
If you are experiencing any problems or facing any errors, you can go for the second option by clicking on the ‘Download 2.7.1’ (2.7.1 will be replaced by the current latest WordPress version) button. In this method, you need to manually download the WordPress installation files and activate it followed by the upload.
You can download the latest version of WordPress by going to the WordPress download page.
Why should you update WordPress?
Like any other software, WordPress is also evolving. So it is important that you stay up to date with the latest changes in the code by upgrading your WordPress version. This will help you prevent any WordPress vulnerabilities that were present in the older versions of WordPress, which are no longer maintained.
It is also important to note that by upgrading to the latest version of WordPress, you are ensuring compatibility with the existing plugins and themes. For example, almost all the latest plugins and themes are developed with the latest versions of the WordPress in mind. Even though they might still work, if you keep the older versions for years, eventually, some issues might arise.
These are some of the most important reasons why you should keep your WordPress updated –
- Compatibility: In order to ensure compatibility with the latest plugins and themes.
- Support: Most of the time, only the latest versions of WordPress get directive support from the community and the developers.
- Security: To ensure the best security possible for your WordPress website, you should be on the very latest version.
- Bug fixes: Almost all newer versions of WordPress come with a lot of bug fixes.
- Performance: Newer versions of WordPress also comes with performance enhancements, requiring lesser resources and performing better than the older ones.
How often should you update?
How often should you update WordPress is completely up to you and the number of versions that came out in a certain period of time. There are many different types of WordPress updates, such as minor updates and major updates.
Major updates can usually wait because they are not really concentrating on the security or bug-fixing aspect. They are usually intended to introduce breaking changes. Hence, if you are not ready yet, you may wait for a while. For example, an update from WordPress version 6.x to 7.0.
Minor updates on the other hand, usually comes with security patches or bug fixes. It is recommended to update your WordPress websites as soon as these come out. This will ensure that your website is performing at its fullest capability, utilizing the latest updated code available.
With that being said, you may not always have to update to the latest WordPress version. You may wait until people check it out and make sure there are no new bugs introduced.
As a rule of thumb, update WordPress at least once every 6 months.