If the technology under your website get too far out of date it may become a securty risk.
Try to login to your website every 2 weeks to a month and run updates. A security plugin like Wordfence will notifiy you when things need updating.
Always Back Up First
Before updating WordPress it is good to run a backup. Using a plugin like BackdraftPlus you can have backups run automatically on your website. But since they run on a schedule i.e. fortnightly they may not be the most up to date copy of your website. This is more of an issue if you frequently update your site.
Does WordPress ever update itself?
Yes bbut only within a version of WordPress e.g 4.7 in which 4.7.1 will automatically update to 4.7.2. However you need to manually update for major versions e.g. 4.7 to 4.8
If you encounter an issue as a result of an update please get in touch with your web professional.
Run an Updraft Backup
This assumes your website has the UpdraftPlus backup plugin installed. Use this to run a backup prior to doing a WordPress update. A backup is usually not necessary for theme and plugin updates.
Updraft can be configured to automatically take backups but if your site content has changed recently then best to be on the safe side hit the backup now.
- Go to Settings > UpdraftPLus backups
- Click on Backup Now. An overlay window displays – see next step for more.
Backup Options and Progress
- An overlay window displays
- Accept defaults (or if necessary choose other options) and click Backup Now
- Wait for the operation to complete – an progress indicator will show.
WordPress Update Page
WordPress provides a ‘one-stop’ page for managing all updates. After backing up use this page to run the updates.
Go to Dashboard > Updates
Updating WordPress has the potential to cause they greatest issues so it is important to run a backup prior to updating
- From the WordPress update page click on the Update Now button.
- WordPress will start updating. This may take a short while. Do not leave the page. Once completed, you will be redirected to the Welcome to WordPress Version page
- From the WordPress Update page select the themes you need to update. Even if a theme is not in use it is good to update it.
- Click on the Update Themes button.
- Once complete a message similar to the following displays:
- From the WordPress Update page select the plugins you need to update – select all by clicking in the top checkbox. Even if a plugin is not in use it is good to update it.
- Click on the Update Plugins button. Allow time for the plugins to update (may take a while)
- Once complete a page similar to the following displays showing the status of the plugins: