How To Update WordPress Securely Each Time

WordPress is important to keeping your site practical and secure, but updates can disrupt personalizations or perhaps break your site.

That’s why, in this post, we cover the 5 factors to consider you should bear in mind when it pertains to setting up WordPress updates. Follow these and you’ll have the ability to update whenever without harming your site’s performance!

1. Back Up Your Site Routinely (and Before Updating Anything).

To avoid any worry of an upgrade damaging your site, ensure to support your site before you set up any updates. You’re spoilt for option with choices on this front.

Our first suggestion would be VaultPress if you’re looking for maybe the quickest and most convenient option. Established by none besides the folks at Automattic, it’s a slick and full-featured premium remote backup solution that’s a cinch to setup and use.

Mentioning remote backup services, that’s the only type we recommend. There’s little point in backing up to your server if some kind of fatal error damages both your website and its backup( s). Inspect out our advised suitable backup services if you’re a Dropbox fan.

There are plenty of other services– both totally free and premium– and we have actually included the most popular here. And in the interests of efficiency, if you feel the need to perform a manual backup at any time, the WordPress Codex has you covered.

2. Usage WP Safe Updates to Check Plugin Updates.

Because of the myriad combinations of designers, variation compatibilities, and quality control, plugins are typically the source of upgrade disputes.

Fortunately, developer Antti Kuosmanen has actually created a brand-new plugin called WP Safe Updates that lets you test plugin updates in a ‘sandbox’ environment. This allows you to find prospective update conflicts before they have the chance to be an issue on your live website.

In practice, WP Safe Updates adds a brand-new Test Update button that appears when a plugin update is available. Clicking this button lets you preview any changes the plugin makes before committing to them. WP Safe Updates will reveal exactly how the updates will behave on your actual site when you do things like producing new posts or changing settings.

Please note that setting up WP Safe Updates needs modifying a percentage of your website’s code– directions for which are readily available in the Setup area of the plugin’s Plugin Directory page.

While WP Safe Updates is a promising option to a typical WordPress updates frustration, you need to know that the plugin is still in its alpha variation. It may not be completely reputable in its functionality. That being stated, we do recommend WordPress Safe Updates to anyone concerned about plugin updates disrupting their website’s functionality.

3. Use a Child Theme.

Perhaps WordPress’ biggest selling point is its customizability by means of plugins and themes. With excellent power comes excellent obligation, and when making tweaks to your site’s style, you should make sure that you do so properly.

It’s tempting to make personalizations by editing your theme’s PHP or CSS files straight, but you must avoid doing so for 2 factors:.

There’s a risk of getting the dreaded “white screen of death” due to one misplaced bracket or semicolon.
Changes you make to the original style files are impermanent (i.e. upgrading your site’s style will overwrite them).
To avoid both these issues, you must constantly utilize a child theme to personalize any of your website’s code. Kid styles are easy to create, and they enable you to experiment to your heart’s content.

4. Evaluation Theme, Plugin, and Core Update Changelogs for Disputes.

Before you set up any update, we encourage that you read its changelog for prospective conflicts. Keeping up to speed with exactly what’s brand-new in the latest version of any given style, plugin, or core upgrade is useful in and of itself, however beyond that, you’re looking for any changes that might disrupt your unique setup and modifications.

For instance, if you’re using custom CSS to customize the appearance of a plugin-generated contact type, you need to make certain the update does not change any of the CSS IDs or classes that your customized code uses.

Where to discover the changelog will depend upon exactly what you’re updating.

For plugins downloaded from, the changelog is among the offered tabs on the plugin’s Plugin Directory site page.

For themes, you must consult the theme developer’s site. Default WordPress styles such as Twenty Sixteen have their changelog available within the WordPress Codex. All quality styles– free or paid– should include a changelog.

For updates to WordPress core, a total changelog of every version to date is readily available in the Codex.

Evaluating the changelog for potential conflicts is crucial to making sure that any WordPress updates go efficiently.

5. Never Ever Evaluate Updates on a Live Site.

To make sure the user experience isn’t really disrupted by an upgrade failed, you must never evaluate updates on a live website. Following this easy rule will save you an awful lot of headaches with time.

There are numerous options for screening WordPress updates outside of your live site. The one you choose will depend on your hosting option, your technical capability, and the magnitude of the upgrade. Options consist of:.

Produce a WordPress staging site through your web host. The specific information will depend on your hosting service provider, however handled hosting options such as WP Engine, FlyWheel, and Pressable all make this possible.
Test updates with a plugin such as WP Staging. An excellent option for those on shared hosting strategies, WP Staging “produces a file clone of your website into a subfolder of your present WordPress setup with a whole copy of your database.” You can then use this clone to evaluate any updates. If an upgrade breaks the test site, your live website will stay unscathed.
Test updates in a local development environment containing a carbon copy of your site. For more details, check out our overviews of developing a regional advancement environment on a Mac and in Windows.
Using any of the above options will allow you to check updates and straighten out the kinks before going live. A staging website is my individual choice; for more details, have a look at our overview of producing a WordPress staging site.


It’s one thing comprehending how important upgrading WordPress is, however having the confidence to install updates without the fear of prospective conflicts occurring is something else completely. With this post, you have the option.

Follow the simple guidelines below to make sure that WordPress updates on your live site( s) effectively whenever:.

  • Back up your site routinely (and before upgrading).
  • Test plugin updates with WP Safe Updates.
  • Make all theme personalizations in a child style.
  • Evaluation upgrade changelogs prior to using them.
  • Never ever check updates on a live site.
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