We’ve been finding recently that some WordPress auto-updates are failing for us. By auto-update we mean when you log in to your WordPress admin and click the ‘Update Now’ button. WordPress has made this so easy over the last few years that we’ve come to rely on it.
But if that happens, all is not lost. Do you remember such a thing as a manual update? We’ve reminded ourselves of this and applied it to a number of sites over the past few weeks with great success.
Here’s a run down of the steps you need to take.
1. Back Up
As with all updates it’s absolutely essential to back up your website first. By this we mean download the files that make up your website and also the database. Please don’t go any further until you’ve done this.
2. Get the Latest WordPress
Go to https://wordpress.org/download/ and download the latest WordPress onto your computer. It will download as a zip file, so will need unpacking.
We like to run a virus scan of anything we download from the internet, even when it’s a trusted source like the WordPress site. So, before unpacking the zip we would right click on it and run a scan on just that folder – it only takes a few seconds.
Now you can unpack it using your preferred zip extractor tool.
3. Prepare the Website
The next thing to do is deactivate all the plugins running on your website. You do this by going to Plugins in your WordPress admin. You can either click ‘Deactivate’ for each plugin one at a time, or you can select the checkbox for each and choose Bulk Actions > Deactivate.
4. Replace the Files
Now comes the slightly scary bit as you are going to be deleting files from your server.
- Connect to your website using FTP.
- Delete the wp-includes and wp-admin directories.
- Upload the new wp-includes and wp-admin directories from the new copy of WordPress that you have just unpacked.
- Don’t delete wp-content. Instead open up the folder and overwrite any files using the wp-content in the new WordPress.
- Upload all the loose files from the root directory, overwriting what is already there.
- Compare the new wp-config-sample.php with your own wp-config.php files by opening them in your preferred text editor and see if there are any new settings introduced by the update. If there are move them across individually and upload the edited wp-config.
5. Finish the Update
Go to your WordPress admin. You may be asked to log in again, but don’t worry if you’re not – this varies depending on the update. You may also be asked to upgrade the databsae, in which case follow the instructions.
6. Reactivate Your Plugins
Now you can go back the Plugins page and reactivate all your plugins – again you can do this one-by-one or as a bulk action.
7. Test Thoroughly
Test both the front and back ends of your website and make sure everything is still working as it should.
8. Back Up
We also recommend that you take a back up of the updated site once you’re finished.
Are you having trouble updating your WordPress site? Carrying out the steps above does require some technical know-how. If you need a hand please contact us and we can get you sorted in no time.