How to Update WordPress to the Latest Version with Automatic and Manual Methods

For a minor release, WordPress can automatically update itself without any user inputs. But, for a major release, there is built-in update notification system in WordPress, with that you can easily get notified and update your WordPress site to the latest version.

There are certain reasons for Why You Should Always Use the Latest Version of WordPress.

Some of the website owners do not know that there is an update available for WordPress. The reason they do not log in to their WordPress dashboard regularly or not getting notified of the updates. There is a way through which you can get notifications for WordPress Updates via email. Want to know how then let’ take a look for that.

Notify For WordPress Update Through Email

To get notified by email for WordPress Update, first, install and activate the WP Updates Notifier plugin. After the installation of WP Updates Notifier plugin, go to Settings → Updates Notifier and configure the plugin settings.

WP Updates Notifier plugin setting page

Every hour this plugin checks your site for updates and for that it uses WordPress Cron. You can also change this setting to once or twice in a day. This plugin checks for updates like WordPress itself/core update, plugin updates, and themes updates.

To get notified, all you need to do is to save the settings and for that simply click on test email button. And you’ll receive a test email.

Once the plugin starts getting functioning, you can update the WordPress through the WordPress Dashboard itself.

Install WordPress Updates from Dashboard

To update your WordPress site, first, log in to the dashboard of your WordPress and go to the Updates page then simply clicking on “Re-install Now” button will install those updates.

Install WordPress Updates from Dashboard

If you are using WordPress 3.7 or above, then by default the automatic updates are turned on for minor releases and you can also turn on the automatic updates for major releases, plugins, and themes.

There are three things you should keep update to with your WordPress site, and those are WordPress core, plugins, and themes. To update your current WordPress website with the latest version, there are two ways, automatic and another is manual.

Now, let see how to update WordPress with these two methods. First, let’s take a look for automatic installation.

How To Install WordPress Updates Automatically?

You can also update WordPress automatically. WordPress offers you to enable automatic updates for a major release, Plugins, and Themes.

Automatic upgrading WordPress choice is a bit of unsafe because if you are not using managed WordPress hosting, then your hosting service provider automatically update your WordPress site with a major release of WordPress and won’t take care if your site breaks and if it happens then you won’t be online to fix that break. You can only once you check the things manually and fix the site breaks.

But still if you like this option you can do it with two ways one is using the plugin and another is using code. First, we’ll take a look at the plugin method.

Install WordPress Updates Automatically With Using Plugin

Install “Easy Updates Manager” plugin and activate the same. After Activation, go to Dashboard → Update Options page for configuration of the plugin.

Easy Updates Manager Plugin Setting Page

This will take you to the Automatic Updates page where you can enable automatic updates for WordPress itself/core, plugins, themes and translation files. Once you made the changes save those settings and you are done.

Install WordPress Updates Automatically With Using wp-config File:

To update WordPress itself/core automatically with using a wp-config file, all you need to do is adding one simple coding into your wp-config file.

define(‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, true);

Also, you can update plugins and themes on your WordPress site, but for that, you have to add 2 lines to your theme’s function.php file or a site specific plugin:

add_filter(‘auto_update_plugin’,’__return_true’);
add_filter(‘auto_update_theme’,’__return_true’);

So, from these two ways, Plugin and adding one liner codes to your wp-config & function.php file, you can automatically update your WordPress to the latest version.

Now, let’s take a look at the manual method.

How To Install WordPress Updates Manually?

To update your WordPress Updates manually, you will need FTP client. But before upgrading your WordPress, it is essential that you create a backup of your website first.

For that, you can use the plugin to create a backup, or you can also manually create a backup of your WordPress site. We already published a guide to creating a manual backup of your website here.

Also Read: The Most Useful WordPress Backup Plugins For Automated Backup

Once you are done with the backup, download the latest WordPress software from WordPress.org on your computer and extract the zip archive. Inside the zip archive, you’ll find a folder named WordPress.

Now, if you don’t have FTP client installed on your computer, then download and install FTP client. Use free FTP client named FileZilla it works on both Windows and Mac.

Use of FTP To Upload WordPress:

Now, use FTP client to connect your website and access website’s root directory. Upload all the files inside WordPress folder from your desktop to your website’s root directory.

Use of FTP To Upload WordPress

Once you did this, your FTP client will start uploading files from the WordPress Folder on your desktop to your web hosting server.

Throughout this process, your FTP client will ask you that the filename already exists in the target directory, please choose an action, then select Overwrite and make sure that it always uses this action.

FTP Overwrite

WordPress Database Update

It is possible that a new WordPress release may include changes into WordPress database. So this would require a database update. Once the task of uploading files on your website is completed, simply visit your WordPress admin area. This will show you a database update required notification.

WordPress Database Update

Now, click on Update WordPress Database button to continue with updating. WordPress will show you a success message after updating your database.

This is it. With these easy steps, you have successfully updated your WordPress website manually to the latest version.

So keep up to date with the latest version of wordPress and make your site more efficient. Hope you like this post. Don’t forget to share your experience with us.

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