Keeping your WordPress Theme and Plugins Up to Date
Your WordPress website relies on a theme and plugins for both its look and feel, and functionality. Keeping your theme and plugins up to date ensures your site will run smoothly, and reduces the risk of security issues. Read on below for a basic guide on how to update your WordPress theme and plugins.
We recommend checking for and performing updates to your theme and plugins at least once a month.
Performing updates is very simple, and can be done by following the steps below:
Log into your WordPress admin dashboard
This can usually be done by visiting www.yoursite.com/wp-admin. You will see a login screen with username and password fields.
The Admin Dashboard
Unless you or your designer has installed any kind of redirection plugin, you will be taken to the WordPress Admin dashboard upon login. As you can see in the image below, the Updates menu item at the top left has a red circle with a number 1 inside it.
This shows that 1 theme or plugin requires an update. Click on Updates.
Please note: It is always best to go to the Updates page even if there is no notification showing. Sometimes the notification will only show up once you are viewing the updates page.
The Updates Page
In the screenshot below you can see that we have different headings for Plugins and Themes. There is a plugin update for Contact Form 7, and we are told that our theme is up to date.
Check the checkbox next to the theme or plugin you wish to update, or the checkbox next to Select All to select all themes or plugins you wish to update. You can only update all themes OR all plugins at the same time.
Once you have checked the correct checkboxes, click the ‘Update Plugins’ or ‘Update Themes’ button.
WordPress will begin updating the selected items and you will see a page similar to the below screenshot. Once the update has been completed two links will appear at the bottom of the list: ‘Return to Plugins page’ | ‘Return to WordPress Updates page’.
If you have more updates to do, you can return to the updates page to perform them in the same way. If not, you can simply log out at the top right of the Admin Dasboard.
Regularly backing up your site is advised for many reasons, including the small chance that something can go wrong when updating themes or plugins. It is a good idea to have a working version of your website backed up and ready to restore while you troubleshoot the issue you have run into.