The timeline below shows how we update basic WordPress websites. Basic sites are those that do not fall into any of the categories below:
- eCommerce Sites
- Membership sites
- High traffic sites
For these, complex sites we recommend creating a staging site first and updating the staging site to ensure there are no issues.
Backup your site
Before making any changes to a WordPress website you need to take a backup. This way is there is an issue you can roll back.
Update each plugin, one at a time. Updating each plugin at a time ensures you know what plugin caused the issue should there be one.
Open a private/icognito browser window. Visit the site and test the part of the site affected by the update. E.g. if the update was to Gravity Forms – check that the forms work as expected. Note: if you are using a caching plugin you may want to flush the cache first.
Repeat steps 2 & 3
If there are more plugins to update then repeat steps 2 & 3 above until all the plugins are updated. Once complete you can carry out another backup.
Updating a theme needs to be carried out very carefully, it can have a major impact on the site. If your site is using a child theme then there should not be too many issues.
Carefully check the site after upgrading your theme. You will need to check every page and blog for issues.
Update WordPress Core
Care should be taken when upgrading WordPress – we also recommend you take another backup if you have already updated plugins and/or the theme.
Carry out a thorough test of the site, check every page and post and every function to ensure everything is still working.
Backup your site
Now that the site is fully up to date and fully operation take another backup.