WordPress is a great CMS and continues to grow in popularity. We all have different needs and WordPress out of the box cannot satisfy all of them.
If you use WordPress, chances are that you have installed plugins and themes to satisfy your particular needs. There are thousands of plugins and themes publicly available on WordPress. WordPress is a living project. Developers work hard on this CMS to provide us with a reliable platform and we can say the same thing for many of the plugins or themes available. However, there can be problems with any software.
Some of those are user errors, and can be avoided by making WordPress simpler for your users. Some, though, are bugs that are introduced or discovered in your plugins or themes. To use newly developed features or to prevent potential bugs or remove existing ones, you should be keeping things up to date.
WordPress and its plugins and themes are like any other software installed on your computer, or like any other application on your devices. Periodically developers release updates which provide new features or fix known bugs. Maybe new features is not something that you necessarily want?
Well, you are still likely to be concerned about bugs. Software bugs can come in many shapes and sizes. A bug could be enormous such as preventing users from using a plugin or it could be very small and only concern a certain part of a theme for example. In some cases, bugs can even be serious security holes.
Regardless of their level of severity, software bugs must be fixed. As a user, when a software update is released that fixes a bug, you should update as soon as possible to have the most secure and stable versions of the product.
You will even see another message at the bottom of these pages! For plugins and themes, it is different, but if they are available on WordPress. You will see right next to this entry in the menu, how many updates are available. This number also appears in the bar at the top of your screen on all the pages of your website when you are logged in.
WordPress and all your plugins and themes are up to date! Used by millions of people around the world, WordPress is a good target: Fortunately, WordPress is Open Source and security flaws can be detected and fixed quickly. However, in order to be safe, you have to update your installation. To update WordPress, you have to add, delete and replace some files, manually or automatically.
This method is preferred, as WordPress will automatically download and replace the right files by itself. That way, you avoid errors and gain time. By clicking on the second button, you will download a ZIP archive containing the latest version of WordPress.
You will then be able to create a new installation of WordPress or manually update your current installation which is described below. The first button is the one click method. All you have to do is wait just a few seconds or minutes. Automatically Updating WordPress With version 3. Thanks to this feature, the CMS will check everyday if a new minor version of WordPress is available.
If that is the case, it will download and install it alone, without you to have anything to do, not even a click. By default, if the latest available version is a major version, you will still have to update by yourself, in one click or manually, but you can be sure to always have the latest stable subversion of WordPress.
For example, if you use WordPress 4. But if the new version is something like 4. Always having the latest version is important and if a minor update is available, you should update as soon as possible, as minor updates fix bugs. Automatic updates are enabled by default.
But if you want to disable them, it is still possible to by adding a new constant in your wp-config. Still in the wp-config. If you use a development version of WordPress, development updates will also be automatic with this constant. This constant can take three different values: Other filters can enable or disable specific automatic updates. For each filter, your function must return true if you want to enable the corresponding type of update, or false otherwise.
However, it is of course still possible to update the CMS manually, if you wish or if you have no choice for some particular reason. Moreover, remember that backing up your installation first is always a good idea.
Download the latest version of WordPress. You can do that with the button we saw when we described how to update in one click, or you can download it from WordPress. You will get an archive, so unpack it. Now you have to replace the right files.
In your current installation, delete the wp-includes and wp-admin folders. Then upload the new ones. Upload the content of the new wp-content folder into the old one. Overwriting the existing files, you will update the old official themes and plugins. Do the same with the files in the root directory: The only file you need to worry about is wp-config.
You now have to compare that file with your wp-config. Sometimes, an automatic update can fail and a. If you manually update to fix the problem, you need to delete this file. Your database may also need to be updated.
Visit your administration panel to see if that is the case: Click on it, and your database will be updated. The update itself is finished. All you have to do now is reactivate the plugins you use. Updating Plugins and Themes Updating core WordPress is important, but it is also important to update the themes and plugins you use, as a bug in one of these can affect your whole installation.
Updating in One Click Like WordPress itself, you can update plugins and themes with a one click method. If there are some plugins or themes that can be updated, they will appear here, right below the part which tells you if a new version of WordPress is available or not.
The same can be done with themes: Whether for plugins or for themes, you will be led to another page which will inform you about the progress of the update, just as it does with the WordPress update. Note that for plugins, another section will also allow you to update in one click: If a plugin can be updated, a message will appear right below it, with a link to update it automatically. Automatic Updates We saw above that WordPress itself can be automatically updated, without you needing to do anything.
Automatic updates for plugins and themes are disabled by default. To enable them, you can add a filter into the functions. Manually Updating Plugins and Themes Like WordPress, updating plugins and themes with the one click method is preferred. But you can also manually update them. In some cases, you will have no choice: To manually update a plugin, begin by downloading its new version on WordPress.
In most of the cases, you will get an archive, so unpack it. Then, deactivate the plugin to prevent eventual bugs.
If the plugin is a single file, replace it by uploading the new one directly into the plugins subdirectory of wp-content. But most plugins are stored in a folder and, if that is the case, uploading the content of the new version into the old folder, overwriting the existing files. Then, reactivate the plugin.
Manually updating a theme is similar so, as we did with plugins, begin by downloading the new version and unpack the archive. If you currently use the theme you want to update, you should now deactivate it by activating another one.
Then upload the content of the new version into the old one, replacing the old files. Now, you can reactivate this theme. Everyday, it checks if that is the case for the ones that are available on WordPress. But even if you have access to the one click or automatic update, it may not work, especially if you try to update a local installation on your computer. To be able to update WordPress, a plugin or a theme automatically, the CMS must have the right to write files.
In other words, WordPress files must be owned by the web server user, or this same user must have the right to write this files. There are also several third party services and tools that can help you manage updates amongst other things. In Conclusion Running the latest versions of the software you use is important.
Now, you know how to do this with WordPress, its plugins and its themes. As you can see, there is more than one way to update them.