WordPress Tips

WordPress Tips It is always good to keep your WordPress software and plugins up to date. Updating WordPress keeps hackers at bay and is usually quick and simple but it can have its downfalls. Sometimes there are plugins that aren’t compatible with the latest version of WordPress or there are themes that will break when you update them. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t update them but you should make sure that you create backups before you go.

Creating a WordPress Backup

To manually create a backup Inventive Web Design suggests using a plugin like Updraft Backups. After installing this plugin you can create a backup of your database and your WordPress files straight onto your server or sent to other cloud services like Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. Here are some steps to create a backup with Updraft:

  1. Install the plugin.
    1. Go to Plugins -> Add New
    2. Search for Updraft
    3. Click Install and Activate when ready
  2. Go to Settings -> Updraft Backups
  3. Click Backup Now
  4. Check all the boxes (including those that appear when you click the 3 dots …)
  5. Click Backup Now

The backup procedure can take a little while depending on the size of your site so we suggest you leave the window open and go do something else. If you do close the window you can just go back to Settings -> Updraft Backups and it will tell you the status. You can also check the Existing Backups tab to see if the latest one is finished.

Some hosting accounts like Bluehost and Siteground (these are affiliate links) offer backup services. These usually require you to purchase either a medium to high level hosting plan or their addon backup services which can cost as little as $3.00 per month and go up from their depending on your plan.

If you have this just contact your web administrator or contact the hosting company directly and ask how to setup a backup, let it run and once it is done complete the update process.

Updating WordPress

Now that you have created a backup you can move forward with updating your website.

  1. Login to your website
  2. Go to Dashboard -> Updates
  3. Update WordPress by clicking the first Update Now button you see, if you don’t see one WordPress is probably up to date.
  4. Once it finishes updating make sure you go to your live site to check that everything is still working.
  5. Next you can go to the same updates page and update any plugins or themes that are installed on the site. Just check the boxes in front of the items that need updating and click Update Plugins or Update Themes.
  6. Once all the updates are done once again check that the site is still working.

Troubleshooting WordPress Updates

If for some reason the updates just don’t work and the site is broken you can just go restore the backup you already made. If you used Updraft Backups go to Settings -> Updraft Backups, click Restore and check the items you want to restore. Then click Restore at the bottom of the popup window and follow any instructions that come up.

If you used your hosting companies backup system contact them or your web administrator to see how to restore a backup. Most of the time it is fairly easy.

If you ever run into any problems when updating your WordPress website feel free to contact us anytime.


Matthew Minten

Matt is a techy, web guy that loves to program but am also blessed with a creative streak. He does graphic design, web design, augmented reality and photography (and many other things). He believes that anything can be done on your website; if you can think it up, he can create it. Matt founded Inventive Web Design in Reno in 2009 and has been helping local business ever since.