Update WordPress to Keep Your Site Safe and Secure

It’s important to update WordPress regularly to keep your site secure and functioning properly. Show me how.

You can update WordPress with just a few clicks, but first there are two important points you must understand.

  • You should backup your website before you make any major changes, including updates
  • If you’ve manually changed the computer code for WordPress, your theme or any plugins you use, this code could be lost when you upgrade

Luckily: most web hosts Keep automatic backups for you. And as a new site owner, you’re unlikely to have hand written any computer code for your website.

What you need to know to update WordPress

There are three things you need to update to keep your site secure…

  • WordPress
  • Themes
  • Plugins

You can update all three using point and click tools that are built into WordPress.

First: make sure your web host makes regular copies of your site.

Next: log in to WordPress

You’re now ready to update WordPress

In the WordPress Dashboard, hover over the Dashboard tab and choose Updates.

Hover over the Dashboard tab to find the update WordPress options
Hover over the Dashboard tab to find the update WordPress options
  1. Notice the warning. Backup your site before you begin!
    Then make your updates in this order…
  2. Plugins
  3. Themes.
  4. WordPress

Update your plugins and themes first. Then click the blue button to update WordPress. So: update plugins, then update themes before you update WordPress. Doing things in this order should avoid any compatibility issues when you update WordPress itself.

You might find that you only need to update your themes and plugins.

How often should you update WordPress?

As often as you can. Some web hosts will send you an email every time a security update is released for WordPress. But if I was you I’d put it in my diary to check for updates on the same day every week. I’m logged in to my website every day, so I check every day to see if these are any updates available and if there are, I apply them straight away.