Methods to Update WordPress Safely

There is a common misconception lurking about stating that the update to your WordPress might only be for cosmetic purposes. Despite the fact that one factor is the cosmetic aspect, this is far from being the only reason. There are a lot of methods to update WordPress safely, and they all exist for more than one reason. Before we cover these methods, we will have a conversation that should let you in on the importance of updating your WordPress. 

using different methods to update WordPress safely is very important
There is a lot of reasons to update your WordPress.

The reason that takes precedence over the cosmetic aspect is safety. Safety should be your primary concern whenever you are taking a look at your WordPress site. Even though you may feel safe momentarily, there are a lot of monsters hiding docile under your bed, waiting to attack. In order to suppress these monsters, and make sure that you are constantly safe is to update your WordPress. This should be on the list of the 10 commandments, even. There are more than a few methods to update WordPress safely, considering that different updates take different time, and all of them will be helping you maintain integrity and security. 

Why would I apply various methods to update WordPress safely?

Even though we mentioned safety as the primary reason, there are a few others. The methods to update WordPress safely we will mention are here to achieve several things. The ones that matter the most are the following. 

Protection / Security

WordPress sites are the largest market for bugs, vulnerabilities, and hacks. New ones are created daily, and the best way to battle these changes is by updating your WordPress site. Each update you perform on your WordPress site makes it more difficult for new bugs or hacks to be successful. Every new update you do fixes a bunch of holes and mitigates any security risks lurking about.

All of this exists to prevent any harm coming to your site and preserving its longevity.

New goodies being available with each update

The best part of each update is the long list of new functionalities that are being introduced. By not having the current update you could be potentially missing out on plenty of these. And they are most certainly worth the update.

These updates can work two-fold. Ones are going to introduce completely new functionalities, whilst other updates could just take old ones and make them work even better. This is all with the intent to make your website better and to improve the user experience of each new visitor!

Another important feature that does not upgrade any existing one (but all of them!) is the increase in speed. Each update introduces new optimizations that make everything running smoother and faster.

Increased compatibility with new technologies and tools

The speed at which the globalization is evolving technologies is remarkable. As cool as this may be, it forces you to take certain steps in order to keep up with all of it. WordPress helps you keep up with these technologies, but you need to use various methods to update WordPress safely.

So, how do you do it? You want to update your WordPress, so you need to know the different methods to do so. Let’s get into it!

Different methods to update WordPress safely

Keep in mind one very important thing. Before you get into the different methods to update WordPress safely, you need to remember to create a backup (or two) of your WordPress website. There are countless plugins you can use to do this, so feel free to browse the internet for options, or contact us if you can’t figure it out on your own (or you don’t want to). Some legit options are:

  • VaultPress
  • BackWPup
  • BackupBuddy

However, there are countless more. The second thing you need to do is to deactivate all your existing plugins. There is a small chance that your plugins will cause conflict, but even though it is unlikely to happen – you shouldn’t risk it.

wordpress settings panel
Simply update it through WordPress Dashboard.

So, let’s get into the methods to update WordPress safely.

Use the WordPress admin dashboard as one of the easiest methods to update WordPress safely

Your number one choice should always be to use the WordPress admin dashboard. It is the easiest way, bar none.  Simply, if there is a new update waiting for you, there will be a notification in the dashboard telling you to do it. Simply activate the notification and click ‘Please update now’. That’s all there is to it. This will show you all the potential updates you can have if there is more than one.

You can do it also manually with FTP

If this is too simple for you, there is an option to update the WordPress core manually by using FTP. However, before you can proceed to do it with FTP you are going to need:

  • Username
  • Password
  • Hostname
  • Port

Once you have all of this information ready, you may proceed. The procedure is a bit complex, but still not that difficult to comprehend. Simply download the latest version of WordPress from the official website. Once you do so, extract the content with WinRAR or WinZip. Following this, using FTP details, get access to the WordPress root directory. Once done, take the files you extracted earlier and drop them into the root directory (replace existing files with the newer versions).

Note: make sure that no changes are made to the wp-content folder. This could affect all your themes and plugins that live in this folder. 

Use cPanel, wp-config.php, and functions.php

This one is short and sweet. It will do all the updates automatically, without you even knowing it. This is maybe not the best approach, but if you are certain all the updates are going to suit you, this is one of the fastest methods to update WordPress safely. Simply locate your wp-config.php file and add one more code:

HTML code
It’s not this complicated. All you have to do is:
  • define(‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, true);

From this point on WordPress will do everything on its own.