If you are a regular user of WordPress, you would know that there are always updates to carry out within the core, plugins and themes.
But there are certain things you need to do and know before you carry out any updates.
In this short episode, we discuss exactly what you need to do.
Ahmed Khalifa: And here we go. This is IgniteRock Podcast where in one week I interview those who are doing awesome stuff with WordPress. In the other week, I shared some tips and advice on making the most out of your online business and career.
Thank you for tuning in. And now, let’s get straight on to the show.
Today we’re going to be talking about what you need to do before a WordPress core update, and it’s an important one. And also it’s a very good thing to happen. We should be very grateful for this update because they’re there for a reason.Click Here to Show Transcript
And you know, some of the main reasons, really, for the updates is to fix any bugs and errors that’s effecting you, to access new features that could make your website, maybe, perform better or make it easier for you to run your website, and also for security reasons as well, to just make sure any loopholes are sealed and keeping any hackers away as well. So, even though we have updates all the time, if you have not just WordPress, but the plug-ins and themes, they all need updates as well.
Even though it’s frequent, they’re necessary and it’s a good thing that they happen. But there are also things you need to do before you instantly update them. So, we’re going to have a show about that. Although I’m going to be mainly focusing on the core, the same principle applies to the plug-ins and the themes as well.
Let’s just get into it. One of the first things I always say when you have a WordPress site, in general, is to make sure that it’s backed-up regularly. And when you’re going to do your updates, then it’s even more important to back-up before you update anything. The reason being is because certain updates may break your site. It could maybe clash with another plug-in. Maybe it just won’t work at all. Maybe there’s still major bugs to be fixed and it’s causing problems with your site.
If you have a back-up already, then you can obviously go back to your previous version. Of course, you can uninstall and delete, but sometimes it still has that lingering problem there, as well. So, always back-up your site before you do any updates, as well.
You may have noticed yourself, that they tend to be the smaller updates. For example, at the time of recording, we are at November 2017, right now. We are on 4.8.3, and that 3, is the smaller updates that happen; that third digit. For example, before that is 4.8.2, before that, 4.8.1. That third digit, are the smaller updates, and they tend to be around or related to fixing bugs; the security updates. On most occasions, you need to update them instantly.
And of course, back-up first, and then update it. But, on most occasions, you have to update them because they tend to be very important. And especially if there are security fixes that need to happen, then you really need to stay on top of it and make sure that you update the smaller updates quite instantly.
For the bigger updates you can actually wait a few days, so that that any bugs that have crept-up, can be squashed instantly. So if you want to save the bigger update, we’re talking right now, 4.8, and next week on November the 14th, 2017, it’s going to be version 4.9, and that is one of the bigger updates. When 4.9 will be released, and even for the future ones, I like to wait a day or 2, maybe a little bit more, before I do the update. The reason being because sometime when you release it, there is no need to make sure that any bugs are fixed. People tend to keep an eye on it and report it and make sure that it’s fixed instantly.
So sometimes it’s good to have, maybe just a day or 2 or more, just see how it goes before you do any major update; for example, 4.9. Of course you are free to test it, not only to have a better version, but even if they have released it and you want to update it instantly, you can do that. If you have a site which is not really essential, you can update it there. If you have a development site or testing environment or what you call a “sandbox environment”, this is a safe place for you to test it to make sure that it works fine before you put it on the live site.
That’s something that you could also consider as well, before any kind of major updates, even small ones as well. Any major update, you can test it on your staging site, on your development site, and make sure that it looks okay before you put it on a live site. But that tends to happen for the major updates.
When we are talking about the bigger updates, obviously they are bigger ones when we talk about, for example, the next one will be version 5. Obviously before we had version 4 and then the subsequent smaller update, and then 3, 2, and so and so forth. The next big update is version 5. That tends to have a lot of new features included in the dashboard of WordPress. They tend to be quite exciting because you want to play with these new tools as well.
Again, the same principle applies for these bigger updates. It’s important that you do it safely, and you have to back-up your site. Also, you can wait a little bit as well before you even try it or you can test it in your staging environment. Just to be safe, because you never know how the rest of your site will behave.
You may have a perfectly fine working site but there might be that one plug-in that could cause a huge mess for your site; that one plug-in. You just never know. That’s why the plug-ins tend to be updated frequently, not just because of a bug fix and security, but also to make sure that it’s compatible with the core update as well. Again, it’s fine if the plug-ins are a few updates behind. Maybe they’re not like 4.8.3, as we are at the time of recording. But if they’re not maintained, then it’s really not worth having them installed on your site at all. I’m going to put a link and a show note to a blog post on what questions you should ask yourself before you install any plug-ins.
One of the questions you should ask yourself is, “Is it maintained?” There’s a reason for that, because if it’s not maintained and you have an update somewhere if you’ve updated your core, then it could cause a major problem. Make sure you do that before any kind of small or major update, the essential thing is to make sure you have a back-up, and you back-up before you do that. It is a safe way of doing that.
I hope that helped because it’s really important to think about it because you have to keep your site up-to-date; you have to keep your core and your theme and plug-ins all up-to-date, especially the smaller ones. They need to be updated, pretty much instantly, because there will be important security fixes that you need to do. You do not want your site to be unsecured, definitely not.
I hope that helped. Let me know what you think. I’ll catch you another time.
Thank you for listening to the Ignite Report cap. I hope you have enjoyed the show. If you want show notes, all you have to do is visit igniterock.com\podcast. And don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes, if you have enjoyed the show. It would make me a very happy guy and I would really appreciate.
In the meantime, let’s talk with WordPress.