My parents had the toughest time convincing me to keep my room clean growing up. When you’re a kid, it just doesn’t seem like a huge priority. I mean, you can still play with friends and go to school without a clean room, so why bother? I don’t think I’m the only one who had this mindset, and I don’t think I’m the only one who’s struggled to grow out of it, even as an adult. Some people naturally understand the importance of refreshing your space and keeping things tidy. Others might need a little more convincing.
As it turns out, this “clean room” issue seeps into just about every other area of life, especially if you find yourself in a position of leadership. For our readers, that probably means you’re in charge of the website for yourself or your business. If it’s your job to figure out the best way to spread your message with your website, you should make sure you know the importance of keeping that website “clean.” You do this by making sure it’s always updated and running the latest versions of website features, like plugins, themes and security measures. Too many people put all their effort into creating a fun, interesting website, but then forget about the importance of keeping up with technical updates. Don’t let the word “technical” scare you away. If you want to know how to update WordPress websites easily and efficiently, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll talk about the importance of updates and how to make sure you’re implementing them correctly. By the end, I hope you’ll also see WP Super Host can make this process even easier.
Table of Contents
Why Should You Update Your WordPress Website?
WordPress makes it incredibly easy to keep tabs on the updates you need to implement to make sure your website runs efficiently. You always need to make sure that you’re running the latest version of WordPress, so pay attention to the notifications on your WordPress dashboard. WordPress will let you know if there are new updates, which makes this process pretty easy from the start. However, there are other important ways to update your website and make sure you’re running the latest versions of WordPress themes and plugins. But, why does it matter?
There are several reasons why you want to make sure your WordPress site is updated. Not only does it impact your website’s appearance and usability, but it also can ensure that your site remains secure against attacks. When website owners don’t immediately update WordPress themes and plugins when they’re released, they could become victims to hackers or malware that can identify vulnerabilities in older websites.
How to Update WordPress Automatically
Like I said before, WordPress is a great platform when it comes to making updates to your website. Most WordPress users are able to make necessary updates using what WordPress calls the “one-click update,” but you can also do it manually. The “one-click” method is as easy as it sounds–all you need to do is click the “Update Now” button from your WordPress Dashboard.
But wait! Before you start updating your site, you need to make sure you back it up first. With the right hosting provider, this can be done automatically. You can also run manual updates. Either way, running backups must be the first step to updating your WordPress website to make sure you don’t lose any important files when you run updates. Nobody ever anticipates that their updates won’t work the way they hoped, but it happens nonetheless. But, with the right tools, you can protect yourself and your website against the unfortunate event that something like this happens. Then, you can easily restore your website to an older version and go through the process again. If you decide to back up your website automatically, it can be easy to think that it only takes a few buttons. But don’t let the ease of the process make you forget the most important step: backing everything up first. (I’m sure I sound like a broken record by now, but hopefully you can see how important this step is to the update process.)
You should also make and test these updates in a way that doesn’t impact your website visitors as the updates are being made. You can do this by making the updates in a staging environment, which keeps a copy of your website and shows how the updates and changes will really work and look before you make them go live on your website. This is a feature that your WordPress hosting provider should offer, so make sure you have that staging option before you make updates.
How to Manually Update WordPress
Like just about everything else that comes with creating a website, there are always more hands-on approaches if you prefer those kinds of methods. To update your WordPress website manually, you can follow these steps from WordPress.org. This method allows you to replace the old files on your WordPress site with new ones, all without changing your PHP code. This is important, because it can be easy to lose certain customizations in your code during updates.
How to Update WordPress Theme
You want your website to attract as many visitors as possible, right? I sure hope so, since that’s one of the first things people notice when they access a website. If your website looks or feels outdated, there’s a good chance that it will turn your audience away. Not only does your website theme show your site visitors that they can trust your website, but it also communicates your branded message. Without an updated WordPress theme, your website won’t just look unprofessional; it will also fail to communicate your message in a way that sets you apart from the many other websites that are trying to say the same thing.
One great way to make sure this doesn’t happen is by updating your WordPress theme. Just like the other processes in this article, it’s pretty easy to do! However, there are still some precautionary measures you should take when updating your theme, especially if you have made your own customizations to its code. When you make these customizations, they can be lost during updates. That’s why it’s important to edit your theme by making what’s called a “child” theme first so that your “parent” theme will stay protected in case anything goes wrong. Child themes work with parent themes in the WordPress hierarchy to still make changes and additions to your website without overriding the features that exist in the parent theme. You can make changes to your child theme that impact your parent theme, but when you make updates, you’ll still be able to access those edits. However, if you make changes to the parent theme, then your child theme could be impacted, and you would lose those original edits (since they were made in the parent theme.) That being said, just remember that child themes are an important aspect of updating your WordPress theme.
How to Update WordPress Website Plugins
Like many WordPress updates, you can do this with a few clicks (after backing up your site, of course!) from your WordPress Update menu. When you use third-party plugins and features, you need to update them manually. You can select the plugins you want to update from your WordPress admin menu, but if you want to update manually, you can download the most recent plugin version, which is available from the developer. Add it to the WordPress folder that holds all your current plugins, and you’re set! Just don’t forget to delete the old folder with your old plugins, or WordPress won’t update correctly.
How to Update WordPress with WP Super Host
Like I sad throughout this article, the right website host can make updating your WordPress site very easy. WP Super Host does this in a few ways. First, we run automatic daily backups of your site so you don’t have to. This ensures that you have the most recent copy of your site available before you make updates, and you don’t have to do it manually. WP Super Host also offers easy-to-use staging and development environments for your WordPress website so that you can test your updates without worrying about remembering to do it manually. (Okay, not only do I struggle to keep my room clean, but I forget a lot of things, too! This feature is great for people like me.) WP Super Host also checks your plugins and themes for you, letting you know what needs to be updated. You can also see what features are doing the most work for your site, which makes it easier to identify and troubleshoot issues that arise when too many plugins or other features are installed (or, when they’re simply just not the right fit for your website.)
If you already host your WordPress website with another hosting service but aren’t happy with the features you’re getting, WP Super Host makes migrating your website easier than ever. That’s because our talented team of developers performs the process for you, so you don’t have to! (But of course, if you want to do it yourself, we’re not gonna stop ya.)
If you’re in charge of spreading your message on your website, you want to do so in a way that engages your audience and keeps them coming back. Sure, you could design the cleanest, most interesting website on the internet, but if you don’t put in time and effort to make sure it stays clean, you’re in danger of losing that audience very quickly. Even though it still takes more effort for me to keep my spaces in order, I’ve gained a better understanding of why it’s so important as I’ve grown up. This is a great lesson for all of us, especially when it comes to creating and managing a website. With WP Super Host’s tools and features, keeping your website “clean” and updated is easier than ever. Let’s get started!