How to Update your WordPress Website

In this post I will show you step by step how to update your site whilst keeping your site up and running.

Updating WordPress is crucial for your websites security. If you are running WordPress on an outdated version you are giving hackers the keys to get in.

Updates could either be for WordPress itself, your theme or your plugins.

However, when updating your site things can go wrong  – plugins can conflict, your customizations can get lost or your site can break. Thats why I have made this step-by-step tutorial to avoid complications.

In short these are the steps:

  • Check for updates
  • Backup your site
  • Prepare test site
  • Update on test site
  • Check everything is working
  • Update your main site



1.Check for updates

First you want to sign in to your admin account – you would do that by typing your website url then /wp-admin.

To check if your site has updates you must look at the top left for this symbol . There is usually a number near that arrow symbol, that indicates how many updates are available. (Here there are 2 updates available.)


2.Backup your website

This is so that in case something were to go wrong you’ll have your old version to fall back on.

  • Go to plugins – add new.
  • Search for all-in-one WP migration
  • Click install now,  click activate.
  • On the left hand side go to all in one WP migration – export .
  • Click export to file – this is going to your whole website, it’s even going to take your password so if you’re going to update it into a different website that has a different password you’re going to have to use the password that you have on this site, and download it.
  • Click download.

3. Prepare test site

This is going to require you to go into your hosting account. There are 2 ways to do it either by making a clone (copy) of your website into a staging environment or by installing another WordPress site. We will go over both very briefly as everyones host works differently.  

Staging environment

If you have access to a staging environment clone your site and test the updates there.

Install WordPress

Install a new WordPress site, install all-in-1 WP migration plugin. Click import and find the wpress file that you downloaded earlier. You will then test the updates on this site.

4. Update test site

go to dashboard and click on that updates symbol or on the updates menu on left hand side of dashboard.

5. Check everything is working

check that your website is working as it should. Click on all the links, fill out contact forms…

6. Update your main website

Follow the steps for updating test site.


Well done. Now you can rest – your site is up and running on the latest version and hackers don’t have the key to get in.

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