How to update WordPress without problems

If you are also among the 40% of people who use WordPress to create their website, you must know how to update the world’s most popular CMS without any problems.

WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System), i.e., a web content management software, straightforward to use, and its great popularity is due precisely to its ease of use. Suffice it to say that 39.6% of existing websites are created with the open-source software published by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in 2003.

However, even though the update procedure is also straightforward to manage, there are some aspects to keep in mind if you want to avoid problems during this operation.

How to update WordPress safely.
Whether used for a blog, a showcase site, or e-commerce, it is always important to be cautious before taking action. Here’s how to safely update WordPress in a few simple steps.

The first thing to do is to check if there are updates available for the themes and plugins in use and that these updates are compatible with the version of WordPress you’re going to install.

Under each plugin, WordPress adds the words “Tested with your version of WordPress” or “Not tested with your version of WordPress” to indicate the level of compatibility. This indication is, in principle, reliable. However, it’s always a good idea to check on the plugin developer’s site to see if the update is compatible and if there are any recommendations.

The same applies to themes. If the article has been purchased from a sales platform (like ThemeForest), you should check the new version’s release notes and limit users’ feedback for particular problems.

At this point, it is necessary to make a full backup of the files and database of the site. This security measure allows you to recover work hours if required.

In this regard, be sure to use WordPress on a hosting service with secure and reliable backup software like Jetbackup, which will protect you from any data loss by restoring the latest version of your site as if nothing had happened.

After backing up, you’re ready to start updating WordPress, which automatically performs the same CMS following these steps:

the compressed file with the new version is uploaded and is unzipped, and then used only to overwrite only the files of its Core with those of the latest version;
the database is then updated and optimized for the latest version.
During these operations, the site is placed in maintenance mode. In practice, WordPress creates a temporary file hidden in the site’s root directory. This .maintenance file causes all pages to display a message informing visitors that the site is temporarily under maintenance. At the end of the update, WordPress removes this file. However, it may happen that due to delays in processing the update, this file is still present even after the end of the update. In this case, the file must be removed manually.

If you are using a VPS or dedicated server, you might run into the problem of WordPress asking for FTP credentials. This happens because PHP has not been configured to work with the correct user, as the default user www-data may not have access to the user’s home directory with whom the site is associated, for example, if you have multiple locations associated with different users.

In this case, you should configure PHP to work in multi-user mode. Many tutorials illustrate this procedure, but most of them are incomplete and do not explain exactly all the necessary steps.

We recommend that you hire an experienced system administrator to implement this change. This will allow you to avoid the risk of making mistakes that could affect all the sites you manage.

As we have just seen, the process of updating WordPress follows a set path in which it is vital not to omit any step. After reading these simple cautions, you’ll finally know how to update your site in WordPress without any problems.

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