The latest version of WordPress has arrived – WordPress 4.0 is named “Benny” in honor of jazz clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman and is now ready for download on your website.
Upgrading WordPress – First Steps
Before you click that update button with eager excitement to see the new features of WordPress 4.0, there are a few things you need to do first.
Backup your entire site
Just to be on the safe side, before you delete or alter anything on your site, it’s always a good idea to create a full backup of your site so just in case something happens, you have a copy of your site that can be restored. (This is just insurance – in the 7 years I’ve been using WordPress, I’ve only ever had one hiccup).
We use Backup Buddy to create a full backup and then send it to the Stash – the offsite storage included with Backup Buddy.
A little housekeeping
Now that you have a full backup you can do a little housekeeping on your site:
- Delete unused plugins – If you have any plugins that you’re not using (you know, things you’ve tried out but didn’t like), now is the time to de-activate and delete. Simply de-activating is not enough, you need to delete completely.
Leaving unused plugins on your site is an open invitation to hackers to gain access to your website.
- Delete any unused themes. It’s highly likely when you were first starting your site, you downloaded a selection of different themes to try them out. Now they are just taking up space and again, like the unused plugins, providing easy access to your site for hackers.
Simply click on Appearance/Themes in the dashboard menu to see the themes you have installed.
Your active theme will be on the top left. If you’re using the Genesis framework and a child theme, make sure you retain both the child theme (which will be active) and the Genesis framework (which will be second on the list).
For any themes you want to delete, hover over the theme and click on “Theme Details” and then click “delete” located at the bottom right of the window.
- Upgrade any plugins that need updating – if you have any plugin update notifications, run those now too.
Now that you’ve done a little cleaning and maintenance, take another full backup and send it to the Stash for safekeeping.
This now ensures you have a full copy of your “cleaned up” site just in case something happens during the upgrade.
Run the WordPress Update
Now that all unused plugins and themes have been deleted, plugin updates have been run and you’ve got a full backup for safekeeping, it’s time to click the button to update your version of WordPress.
Once the update is complete (it happens pretty quickly), you’ll be greeted with the new WordPress welcome screen which includes a quick video introduction and then a list of the new features included in this version of WordPress.
If you already clicked away from this screen, you can watch the video here:
and read about the new features here – http://wordpress.org/news/2014/09/benny/
Need help updating?
If you’re feeling nervous about updating your website to the latest version of WordPress, let us do it for you – jump over to our contact page, send us a quick note and we can get that done for you.