Lately we have been having clients contact us about problems with their WordPress websites. They had various functions not working, or displaying incorrectly and asked that we look into the problem.
One for one, the problem traced back to WordPress, or one of the plugins, being out of date. WordPress is constantly being updated to add new functionality and make it more secure.
The plugins which supply additional functionality, such as calendars, contact forms, slideshows and image galleries, need to be constantly updated too. If they don’t then they might stop functioning altogether. Or worse, they might create conflicts which can bring the site down. In the worst case, the failure to update to current versions may allow a hacker to take over your website and deface it or serve up malware.
We are in no way trying to scare you away from using WordPress, in fact we recommend it to many of our clients. We are, however, strongly recommending that all aspects of the site are kept up-to-date. That being said, it has to be done carefully.
- Check if your site needs updating: Simply go to the dashboard and click the updates menu. This will take you to the WordPress Updates page where you will see what needs to be updated.
- Check to be sure your host meets the minimum requirements for the update: the current requirements for WordPress are PHP 5.2.4 or greater, MySQL 5.0 or greater, and mod_rewrite Apache module. If not, you’ll need to ask them to make these upgrades.
- Backup the entire site: Backups ensure that you have an immediate action plan should something go wrong. You need to backup both the database (there are several good plugins for this) and all the files. Especially if your site has been customized.
- Turn off caching: If you are using a caching plugin be sure and turn it off while doing the changes. Then turn it back on when you are finished. That way you will be able to see any changes the updates make and spot problems faster.
- Update themes and plugins: Be sure all your plugins and the active theme are up to date. It is also a good idea to update the latest WordPress default theme just in case. This can be done from the WordPress Dashboard Update menu
- Update WordPress: Click the Automatic Update button and let it happen.
- Reactivate caching.
- Check your site: Take the time to look the site over and be sure everything is working right. Check a few pages, some posts, and any special functionality to be sure everything looks right.
While all this sounds like a lot of work it’s not that bad once you’ve done it a few times. Of course, if you don’t feel comfortable or don’t have the time, CityCenter Co. will be happy to do it for you.