Learning how to update a website using WordPress can be simple because the WordPress interface shows a notification at the top every time a new version is available.
Running your WordPress updates is easy but knowing all the minor details helps keep things running smoothly. It is just like doing your laundry, in that doing laundry is easy, but it pays to know how much powder to use, which temperatures to set, and which clothes to wash together.
Here is your laundry list of minor details you should know about updating WordPress.
1. Version Update Notifications Will Appear on Your WordPress Interface
If you are wondering “What is the latest version of WordPress?” you need only check your WordPress interface, where you will be able to find the name of the current WordPress version you are using and the name of the most recent WordPress version. If your version is different to the version shown on your WordPress content management system, then run a WordPress manual update.
2. WordPress Updates and Plugin Compatibility
Some of your WordPress plugins are simply not going to work once your WordPress content management system is updated. This may mean asking your plugin developer to patch the plugin or you stop using the plugin to find another that is more frequently updated.
If your plugins do not appear compatible anymore, then go online to plugin-related forums and ask people if they are having the same problems. If you find solutions, then add them to forums too. Become part of the online community by asking questions and giving answers, and in most cases, you will find solutions to your compatibility issues far faster than if you contacted the developers.
3. The Reason You Should Update Every Time
Hackers build tools that help them gain access to your website more easily. Whenever there is a WordPress update, their tools need updating and fixing in the same way that WordPress plugins need updating.
The longer you wait to update, then the easier hackers will find it to penetrate your security. The same applies to your passwords. Hackers have programs working day and night to crack your passwords, and their efforts are thwarted whenever you change your password.
4. Security Updates Occur with Each Version Update
Want to know how to update WordPress website security? There are three methods.
The first is to keep your WordPress website up to date by updating whenever it asks.
Secondly, you should change your password every month and write it down on a piece of paper rather than on something digital.
Thirdly, you should install two or more trusted security plugins/extensions.
5. SEO Updates
How does updating WordPress website content differ from updating your WordPress content management system? The difference is that updating your WordPress has a small but long-lasting positive effect on your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), whereas updating the content has a direct and immediate effect. WordPress is so popular that an update has never had a big “Negative” impact on SEO.
6. Plugin Updates
If you are lucky, then your WordPress update will not affect your plugins. However, it may be worth going through your plugins to see if they have updates waiting to be downloaded and installed. It will save you from bugs and hassle later on.
Run bug checks to try to find problems. For example, some websites have very tiny text simply because their text-related plugins are not compatible with the most modern versions of WordPress.
7. Theme Updates
There is also a chance your WordPress theme will need updating. If it is not set to automatically update, then you will need to check on it and do it manually if needed.
Should you use auto-update for things such as themes and plugins? If you check on and manage your website on a regular basis, then keep them on manual and do them yourself. If not, put them on automatic update. The only problem with automatic updates is that you may spot a problem with your website and then discover that 20 of your plugins updated over the last week and you now have to figure out which one is causing the problem.
8. Make Somebody Else Responsible
Maybe you have a staff member who is directly responsible for keeping your WordPress website and its associated features updated. Take the responsibility out of your hands because it is not a difficult task, but it can become a hassle that busy people and small businesses don’t have time for.
9. Test Your Newly Updated Site on Different Web Browsers
Do not simply test the website on your phone and on your PC. Check it on different web browsers. If your website doesn’t work as well on one of the web browsers, then you need to make some big changes. Websites that do not work well on certain web browsers will always suffer in SEO terms.
10. Make a Backup Every Time You Update
If you add to and update your web content on a regular basis, then you may be better off with a routine backup schedule. However, if your website has content added or updated on a less frequent basis, then use each update as an indicator that you need to back up your website. Not only will this help you recover if there is a problem, but it also backs up your website just in case your update goes wrong or the update causes irreparable problems.
One Last Thing!
Bug Check – Especially with Plugins that have not caught up yet
Once you have completed your WordPress updates, you need to check your website for bugs. Do this by checking your website on different devices and on different web browsers. Click links, try videos, and especially try your checkout if you have one. Many bugs are born from the fact that some of your plugins have not caught up with the new update yet. Sometimes, the easiest (albeit inconvenient) solution is to disable the plugins that are causing the problem until they are updated/patched.
If you are interested in new ways to improve your website, and/or you are searching for new ideas that will speak to your viewers, then check out the YZ Designs blog.