A Step-by-Step Guide to Update WordPress

A Step-by-Step Guide to Updating WordPress

Since its evolution, WordPress has released over 250 updates! Makes one wonder, why are all these updates necessary? Is it really important to keep your WordPress updated at all times? The answer to the second question is a resounding YES – it is important to keep your WordPress updated at all times. To answer the first question, it is necessary to understand that since WordPress is an open-source platform, anybody can study the code and find loopholes. Also, the expectations of users and SEO guidelines keep changing regularly. A community of WP developers keeps an eye on these bugs/loopholes and user expectations along with SEO guidelines and meticulously create fixes for them. These fixes are made available to WordPress users via updates.

Hence, it is important to keep your WordPress updated at all times. WordPress can be updated in two ways:

  • Automatic
  • Manual

Automatic WordPress Update

For automatic updating of your WordPress, follow these steps:

  • Log in to your dashboard
  • Click the option ‘Update Now’ when WP alerts you of an available update
  • Done.

automatic wordpress update


Manual WordPress Update

If you want to manually update your WordPress, then you will be required to update the WP Core, plugins/themes separately.

WordPress Core Update

To update the WordPress Core, follow these steps:

  • Before you start, backup your website.
  • Click on the ‘Download’ option (refer image above)
  • Unzip all the files that you had downloaded and saved them in the folder where WordPress program files reside.
  • All plugins need to be deactivated.
  • Go to the root directory of your website and delete WP-Include as well as all admin directories.
  • Install and upload the unzipped files.

Note of caution: The WordPress Content Directory or any files in it should NOT BE DELETED.


  • When you are transferring files to the root directory of your website from the downloaded version, some files would be required to be replaced.
  • Assess and analyze the WP-config-sample.php file and modify it if it is distributed.
  • Remove the .modification file from the root directory
  • Clear the cookies and sign in to the admin page (/wp-admin)
  • If you receive a prompt to upgrade the database, then do so.
  • Enable all plugins.
  • Run a check to see if users can view the content as earlier.

Update the themes/plugins

To update your themes/plugins, backup your website and download the zip file of the theme or plugin.

add plugins


Next, select a location on your local machine to unzip the files.

select files


Once the files are unzipped, delete the current directory of the theme/plugin. Finally, upload the unzipped directory to the themes or plugins directory (wp-content/plugins/directory or wp-content/themes/directory)

Upload file from server


Check if the changes are updated.


The steps mentioned above should help you in updating your WordPress. However, there is a simpler and smarter way of doing this – hosting your website on Managed WordPress hosting. These WordPress hosting plans usually offer automatic WordPress updates, backups and other maintenance tasks as a part of the plan. So, you have a team of tech-experts managing the technical aspects of your site and more free time on your hands to focus on your core business.

How was your experience in updating WordPress? Do share it with us in the comments below.

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