If you are running WordPress then the most important thing that you can do is to keep WordPress up to date. Many people complain that their WordPress installation is affected by some malicious script and in most cases, the culprit is the old WordPress installation.
Each major WordPress release comes with new features and changes to the software. WordPress developers are always trying to make things faster. Each new release comes with several performance improvements that make WordPress run faster and more efficient.
Often plugin and theme developers coordinate their updates with major WordPress releases to ensure they’re taking advantage of newly available features and enhancements.
There are also things you should do before updating your WordPress to the latest version, and here they are.
1) Check requirements
Before getting started, it is best to check the current minimum requirements page first to make sure that your web host has the required versions of PHP and MySQL.
2) Check and update themes and plugins
Check with your theme’s developer and make sure that your theme is compatible with new version of WordPress. Some themes create problems after updating to the latest version and therefore it is essential to check first, before updating. If you are using a WordPress default theme Twenty Eleven or Twenty Twelve theme, then your theme will also be updated when you update WordPress.
WordPress will automatically update Akismet and Hello Dolly to the new version As for other plugins, the plugin authors will release updates to their plugins whenever they feel the need to.
Also, check out our guide on choosing the right WordPress theme.
3) Backup your WordPress
Make sure to take a backup of all your WordPress files by using a FTP client, or directly from cPanel. Next, go to WordPress Dashboard > Tools > Export. Select “All content” and hit the “Download Export File” button.
4) Update your WordPress
Once you have completed all these steps, you can proceed with the update. The easiest way to update WordPress is by using the Automatic Update which works great for most people. There’s also a manual way to update WordPress, but this topic is out of the scope of this article. To launch an automatic update, click on the link in the new version banner at the top or go to Dashboard > Upgrade menu. Click on the “Update Automatically” button and the update process should start.
Once the update is complete, you will be redirected to the Welcome screen. Congratulations! You have successfully updated your WordPress installation to the latest version!