Hosting Tutorial & Guide

How to Upgrade WordPress for Both Core Installation and Themes

updated on Jan 08, 2015
How to Upgrade WordPress for Both Core Installation and Themes For the sake of online security, you should keep WordPress and themes installed on the site updated all the time, especially when a new release is available. This is because doing so adds a lot more new features and keeps your WordPress blog safe by fixing many vulnerabilities. There are commonly 2 ways to get the task accomplished which include 1-click update and manual upgrade using FTP.

You need to pay attention that whichever way you choose, you need to make sure that you have backed up your database and all the WordPress files including .htaccess file. This ensures that you can restore or recover your site if there is anything wrong with the upgrade. Doing backups should always be the first step to complete. When backups are ready, choose one guide in below to follow to get WordPress core installation and themes updated properly.

Upgrade WordPress Using 1-Click Updates

If you are running WordPress 2.7.x or high versions, you get a feature of 1-click updates which enable you to launch upgrades by having only several clicks in the dashboard. When WordPress releases a new version, you will see a notification banner in the backend, and once you click the link in the banner, you start an automated update.

Click the Link in the Notification

If you don't see the notification, you can click Updates in the dashboard, and choose "Update Now" in the new page to start the upgrade process. There is nothing else to do except for waiting for the process to be finished. If everything is right, you have made an upgrade to your WordPress successfully.

Upgrade in the Updates

Upgrade WordPress Manually

Upgrade WordPress Manually When you choose to 1-click update WordPress, there may be a circumstance that you fail the update for some technical reasons like the improper file permissions. In this case, you need to handle the update manually. Remember that if you get a failed update message, you need to remove the .maintenance file from your server to get the message deleted.

Actually, manual upgrade gives you more power for customization and rich experience of dealing with some basic technical issues by yourself. Assumed that you have backed up the website and prepared an FTP client, now follow the steps below to make WordPress up-to-date.

1. Deactivate all the plugins on your WordPress site. To avoid troubles and prevent errors and broken installation caused by the incompatibility between some plugins and the new version of WordPress, you'd better deactivate all plugins first.

Deactivate Plugins

2. Download the zip file of the new WordPress version from and extract the file on your local computer.
3. Replace the old WordPress files with the new ones. To complete this step, you can either delete the old files (excluding the /wp-content folder, .htaccess file and wp-config.php) and upload the new ones or choose to overwrite all the existing files when the FTP client informs that the target file already exists.

Overwrite Old Files

4. Run WordPress upgrade. Open a web browser and visit the upgrade page // Simple follow the instructions to update the WordPress database and make changes to other settings as you want.

Upgrade WordPress Database

5. Check if the upgrade works. You need to access your website and the dashboard to check whether you have made changes successfully.
6. Check if the plugins are compatible with the new WordPress version. Have a check on all the plugins that need to run on your site to make sure that they can work. Make upgrades to the plugins if necessary, or in the case that some plugins fail, you should contact the author to see whether there is any solution.
7. Update the themes on your site in the same way as you have upgraded plugins. Most quality theme marketplaces update their items as soon as the new version of WordPress is available.

Update a WordPress Theme Mannually

After knowing how to update WordPress core installation, now it's time for WordPress themes and templates. Generally, this includes three steps.

Step 1
As is known that many themes put into the websites require a new version in order to replace the old ones, but various mistakes are usually made when webmasters are trying to upload a new theme which has already existed in the directory, and a notified list would always appear automatically to warn that destination folder already exists and then theme's installation fails. To avoid and address this kind of problem, webmasters have two options to choose.

How to Update a WordPress Theme First of all, there is one easy solution that just remove the old theme and then replace it with a newer version. But in case the new theme has potential bugs during the installation, users are recommended to make a backup of the old version. Then, another solution to solve this kind of problem is to rename the new version when uploading it to the server, which ceases some worries and anxieties that webmasters may have.

Step 2
Many webmasters would frequently encounter the circumstance, where their new themes couldn't upload successfully. Also, two alternative solutions are available for webmasters-new themes are able to be added up to sites by using cPanel or utilizing FTP manually.

How to Update a WordPress Theme The former one is to download the to control machine and navigate the folder in the cPanel file manager. Attention should be paid to the installation of the theme in the document root folder or sub-folder, as the content of theme's table is not identical to each other.

And the latter one is to download the theme archive and upload the theme files into the FTP directory. During the uploading process, webmasters need an FTP client to get access to the host web server and create a directory in the provided directory to save the theme.

Step 3
The moment webmasters upload the theme successfully to the computer, they should then log into the WordPress administration panels and select the appearance panel or themes. Then in the panel a preview of any theme can be displayed and themes are able to be activated through clicking the activate button. Having activated the newer theme, webmasters can enjoy their websites' new appearance with great satisfaction.

How to Update a WordPress Theme In the process of using the vast variety of themes to beautify websites, webmasters should make efforts in choosing the right WordPress theme that matches their needs in both customization and business goal. What's more, for e-commerce websites the simple and clean business theme is the most excellent option, and for food relevant websites the colourful and creative theme is the most suitable decision.