Keeping your WordPress website up-to-date is very important! If you don’t update your WordPress site on a regular basis, you could run into the following problems:
- Broken or plugins that don’t work
- Decreased functionality of your site
- Broken links
- Pages not working
- Spam issues (MAJOR ONE!)
- Keeping your website up-to-date is critical to the longevity of your site
The five main areas include:
1. Create a Back-up of your Website
2. Update to the latest WordPress version
3. Keep your plugins maintained
4. Make sure your theme is updated and current
5. Check the site functionality (everything working OK?)
Step-by-step tutorial for maintaining your WordPress website or blog:
1. Login to WordPress and download/install the UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration Plugin.
Click here for the blog post on How to Back-up your Website in 5 Simple Steps.
2. Now upgrade your WordPress software.
- Go to Dashboard > Updates
- You will see a message such as:
WordPress 4.3 is available! Please update now.
- Click on PLEASE UPDATE NOW and the hit the UPDATE NOW button.
- Don’t touch anything. Just let the program load and update (sometimes takes a couple minutes). VERY IMPORTANT.
Once the upgrade is complete, refresh your website (or open your website in a different browser). Then review all of the pages of your website to make sure everything is still intact and functioning correctly, including:
- Overall design of the site looks good
- Images and text are still there
- Links are not broken
- Form are still working
3. Update your Plugins
I’m not going to lie, Plugins can be really annoying! Sometimes they can become outdated because the software developer has stopped maintaining them.
The safest way to update your plugins is to update them ONE AT A TIME. Click on each plugin and hit the update button. Wait for the plugin to update, then check your website to make sure everything is still working correctly.
Then move on to the next plugin and REPEAT. This takes a little extra time, but it’s well worth it in case you run into any problems.
While updates are happening, if you click on your website you will get this error:
Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.
DON’T PANIC! Once the updates are completed, you should be able to refresh your browser and view your site.
- Go to Plugins > Installed Plugins
- Click the box of the plugin you would like to update
- The click the Update link
- Again don’t touch anything, just let the plugin update
4. Update your Theme
I’m not delving into backing up themes since everybody has different themes, but feel free to give me a shoutout in the comments if you have specific questions.
5. Schedule Regular Back-ups
Scheduling back-ups of your website on a regular basis is very important. If your site gets spammed, you can easily use your back-up to quickly restore your website or blog. Determine the back-up schedule based on how often you make updates to your site. For example, if you update daily, make sure to back-up daily. If you update weekly, make sure to back-up weekly. And so on.
- Download the Updraft Plus plugin here
- Read the blog post, How to Back-up your Website in 5 Simple Steps
- Make time to review your website on a regular basis, to make sure everything is working properly.
Now that your website is updated, you need to stay up-to-date! I like adding these tasks to my Google Calendar and repeat them weekly.
Resource List Bonus 🙂
- View the video tutorial on UpdraftPlus plugin
- Click here for the Free Website Malware and Security Check