How to Update a WordPress Website (Easy Guide)

Understanding WordPress Updates

WordPress is a dynamic platform that frequently releases updates to enhance security and introduce new features. It’s essential to keep your WordPress website updated to ensure it’s running smoothly. This tutorial will guide you through the process.

Why Updates Are Important

Updates provide regular improvements to WordPress’s core functionality, themes, and plugins. They ensure top performance and security by fixing bugs and patching vulnerabilities.

Ignoring updates could potentially expose your website to security risks, reduce its performance, and hinder its compatibility with the latest themes and plugins. Thus, regular updates are paramount.

Preparation Before Updating

Before updating your WordPress website, it’s crucial to create a backup. In case an update fails or causes issues on your website, a backup will allow you to revert to a previous state. You can manually backup your WordPress website, or use plugins like UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy.

With a backup in place, you are now ready to update WordPress.

How to Update Your WordPress Core

  1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard: This is typically your domain followed by /wp-admin (i.e.,

  2. Go to the “Updates” Tab: This can be found on the left hand side of the dashboard. If there’s an update available, the tab will display the number of available updates.

  3. Click “Update Now”: WordPress will automatically handle the update in the background. Once the update is complete, you’ll be redirected to the welcome screen detailing the changes.

Alternatively, WordPress offers automatic updates. You can enable this by adding define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, true ); in your wp-config.php file. However, use this with caution as some updates may not be compatible with your existing themes or plugins.

Updating WordPress Themes and Plugins

Keeping your WordPress plugins and themes updated is as critical as updating the core software.

To update WordPress themes:

  1. Go to the “Appearance” and then “Themes”.

  2. Click ‘Update Available’: You can view the details of the update or directly click ‘update now’.

To update WordPress plugins:

  1. Go to the ‘Plugins’ tab in your WordPress dashboard.

  2. Click on ‘Update Available’: Here, you can see a list of plugins with available updates.

  3. Select plugins you wish to update and hit ‘Update’.

Troubleshooting Update Problems

Occasionally, you may encounter issues when updating your WordPress website. If your site is stuck in maintenance mode, delete the file .maintenance in your WordPress installation directory.

In case your WordPress updates are failing, you can manually update using FTP.


Keeping your website updated is crucial for its performance, security, and compatibility. Always remember to create a backup before updating, and use reliable sources for themes and plugins. Happy updating!

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