You have to update your WordPress, WordPress plugins and themes to get new features and latest security fixes. Content management systems, like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, have many resources dedicated to security. When they addressed security issues, they’ll send out an update. Thus it is highly recommend to download any WordPress update, including system upgrade or plugins upgrade, that have fixed security issues in earlier versions. You may be reluctant to update for new features in WordPress, but skip those security updates and you’re asking hackers in. In another guide, we showed you how to update WordPress manually through FTP. However the easier and safer way to update WordPress is to log in WordPress dashboard as administrator then make use of the WordPress auto update feature built-in. Today, we will discuss how you can update WordPress without FTP.
How to Update WordPress, Plugins, Themes Automatically?
Basically to update WordPress you have to update the WordPress system, WordPress plugins installed and WordPress themes installed. We will discuss how to upgrade theme separately below.
How to Update WordPress Automatically?
WordPress is the most widely used CMS around the web. People love it for different reasons. One of them is the easy upgrade. Unlike many other content management system, you have to update the CMS through FTP. If you use WordPress, you can choose the one-click auto update of WordPress. Here is how you can achieve that.
Firstly log on your WP dashboard as administrator. By default ‘admin’ is the username of your WordPress administrator account. However for better safety of your WordPress site, you can refer to this guide to change WordPress admin username. This is because hackers usually use automated tools to hack your username and password, if you use the default username, your websites will be more vulnerable. Once you are logged in as WordPress admin, go to the Dashboard >> Updates. Here is the place you can automatically update WordPress core, including WordPress system, WordPress plugins and themes. You have two options to update WordPress version. At the first beginning of this article, we have included the link to the guide which you can follow to manually update WordPress through FTP. Another option is the auto update of WordPress. If you are not on the latest version of WordPress, you will be prompted to upgrade, “An updated version of WordPress is available. You can update to WordPress version *** automatically or download the version…” See below screenshot.
The easiest way to upgrade WordPress to the most recent version is to click the Update Now button, and the WordPress system will update itself for you automatically.
Back up site before updating WordPress:
Before updating WordPress version, you have to back up your database and WordPress files. Each WordPress install requires a MySQL database, and almost all good WordPress hosting should offer database management tools in the hosting control panel, such as the most notable one, phpMyAdmin. You can refer to this guide to back up WordPress database using phpMyAdmin. As to the WordPress files, you can simply download them through FTP client or your online file manager.
Alternatively you can also install WordPress backup plugins to back up WP sites (files and database). If your sites happen to be hosted with a cPanel hosting service provider, you can also refer to this guide to back up websites in cPanel.
How to Update WordPress Plugins?
Hackers will make use of the vulnerabilities of old WordPress plugins and bring your site down or gain illegal access. When installed WordPress plugins have new version available, you can also automatically update the WordPress plugins from Dashboard. Log on your WP dashboard, go to Dashboard >> Updates, you can find all available plugin updates, select any WordPress plugin you want to upgrade or one click to select all plugins, then click the Update Plugins button to update WordPress plugins automatically.
Best web hosting service would send out important WordPress plugin security updates to their customers, also detailed instructions to upgrade the plugin in WordPress control panel.
How to Update WordPress Themes?
Almost every WordPress user will change the default WordPress theme for more customized and unique website appearance. We do not want to create a generic site. Luckily there are many resources you can get professional WordPress themes with unique styles. You can refer to this guide to find and install WordPress themes. You can find a huge number of themes on the web or the official WordPress site. Some are premium themes you have to pay, such as these elegant portfolio themes for WordPress. Some are totally free to download and use, like these free education themes for WordPress.
When installed WordPress themes have new version available, you can also automatically update the WordPress themes from Dashboard. Note that this excempts those WordPress themes downloaded or purchased from third party resources. Should I stick to the WordPress official site for new themes or can I buy premium themes from other sites? Is there any security risk? Check out more details in this article: is third party WordPress themes safe?
Log on your WP dashboard, go to Dashboard >> Updates, you can find all available theme updates, select any WordPress theme you want to upgrade or one click to select all themes, then click the Update Themes button to update WordPress themes automatically. If you do not like some installed themes and do not plan to use them any more, you can simply delete the WordPress themes, so you do not need to upgdate those inactivate WordPress themes any more.