Understanding WordPress Updates: A Stress-Free Guide for Non-Techies

Keeping Your Website Updated, Safe, and Secure.

Do you ever find yourself hesitating when you see those notification bubbles on your WordPress dashboard? The ones that alert you about available updates? It’s a common feeling, especially if you’re not entirely comfortable with the technical side of website management. Today, I’m here to guide you through the process, step by step, making it as straightforward as possible.

Why are Updates Important?

Before diving into the steps, let’s quickly touch on why updates matter. Just like your car needs fuel and water and a filter change every now and again, websites need updates too. Updating ensures everything runs smoothly, efficiently, and securely. Ignoring updates can lead to vulnerabilities, slower performance, and potential compatibility issues.

Before You Start: Back It Up!

The first golden rule of website management is to always back up before making any significant changes. It’s your safety net. Use reliable plugins like Updraft Plus to save a copy off-site, preferably in your Dropbox account. This way, if anything goes wonky during the updates, you can easily revert to a working version of your website and then work on figuring out what the update is clashing with.

Have the Keys to the Castle Ready

While updates generally go smoothly, it’s wise to be prepared. Have your hosting login credentials or FTP access handy. This will provide you with direct access to your website files in case anything unexpected happens. If you haven’t heard of the “white screen of death”, you’ll definitely be grateful you have hosting or FTP access for an easy fix.

Navigating the Update Process

  1. WordPress Core Updates: This is the heart of your website. Ensure it’s always up to date for enhanced security and improved functionality. Simply head to your dashboard, click on Updates, and select ‘Update Now’ if you aren’t running the most current version.
  2. Theme Updates: Your theme provides the look and feel of your website. Updates often come with improved features, bug fixes, and security patches. Go to Appearance > Themes, select your active theme, and click ‘Update’.
  3. Plugin Updates: Plugins add functionality to your website. Keep them current to prevent compatibility issues and maintain optimal performance. Go to Plugins, check for updates, and update each one individually.
  4. PHP Updates: Although not as frequent, keeping your PHP version up to date is crucial for security and performance. Your hosting provider should offer an option to update it in your hosting dashboard.

Remember, regular updates are like preventive medicine for your website. They keep it healthy, fast, and secure. And to make the process even smoother, don’t forget to grab your free copy of our comprehensive guide on How to Update and Maintain Your WordPress Website DIY straight to your inbox!

By following these steps, you’re not just managing updates, you’re safeguarding your website’s longevity and ensuring it continues to serve your business effectively.

If you get stuck, reach out to me. I can provide your first 20 minute chat for free, where we can possibly even troubleshoot any issues there and then! So get in touch.