7 October 2016
Update your Wordpress themes !
Many of our support queries revolve around problems with Wordpress themes which could have been avoided. The biggest culprit is complacency. Many clients put up a wordpress website and leave it unattended for months, sometimes even years. Inevitably something will fall over, break or become corrupt and you could lose all your hard work and even your online business presence while the site it down.
Wordpress should be treated just like any software you have on your phone or your computer. It needs to be updated on a regular basis. What makes this really easy to do is Wordpress is an open source community so there are people all over the world who are able to advise you , for free, on how to improve on or fix your website problems. These updated versions are released very frequently and there should be no delays in getting your particular snags sorted out.
The thing to look out for is new plugins and when these updates are released a bug fix report is always close by to help you repair or replace what could be problematic. Hackers love finding these vulnerable places on your Wordpress sites and and will seek out those site which have not been updated for a while . They can easily view the page source and check the version of Wordpress you are running and if it’s old or outdated… whoops they are in.
While this might seem to be a time consuming practice and difficult to remember to do, you should make a monthly checklist to prevent these hackers from using your site to send out spam or insert damaging code.
If your site is hacked and sends our malicious date… search engines could even remove your site to prevent the problem from damaging other sites or sending out spam. This could undo all the work you have put in for your search engine optimisation and of course your position on the search engine results.
If you notice your site is becoming a bit sluggish and is taking longer to load or photos are slow to show.. you could also improve the performance of the site by updating the wordpress version you are running. Speeding up of scripts and queries are constantly being perfected and improved and the updates will give you the latest technology and replace any old script which is holding your site back. This includes the occurrence of occasional bugs in your site .. when something just wont load or show, or it just churning around and around and the update can resolve the problem as someone has found a fix !
If Wordpress delivers a new major release of new updates you will probably also get an update to ensure that your version is compatible with the new features. A plugin should always be checked for compatibility and some plug ins can actually clash.. which leads us to another essential if you are maintaining your wordpress website regularly… back ups !
The steps to follow for all wordpress users have been listed on many websites and you will probably come across similar ones if you search but these are advisory tips before you effect any changes, updates or new plugins.
Back up your site.
This ensures you have an emergency plan should you do something wrong, or upload an incompatible version to your site. Screaming at your ISP will not help if you have no back up in place. Imaginet has a policy of backing up weekly but we cannot guarantee a day to day version of your site. It’s best to do that with a back up system which is trusted and tested, like stratos cloud back up, which Imaginet offers as well.
if you have a database you should back that up with PHPmyadmin or with your new dashboard tool. This can be found on the sidebar with the title of Software Monitor under Updates. Themes and plugins can also be done separately via FTP as well.
When doing Updates Turn Caching Off
Deactivate your caching plugin. In most cases this will be W3 Total Cache, Super Cache, or Quick Cache. This makes sure that you are not caching your maintenance pages during the updates as this would interfere with the process.
Important to remember -Update all of your plugins and themes before upgrading WordPress.
Updating the actual Wordpress.
Now it is time to update WordPress itself! Just click the automatic upgrade button and let WordPress do its thing. This is not instant so just be patient which the dashboard is blanked out as this can be a bit worrying if you are not expecting that to happen.
Reactivate Your Caching Plugin
Reactivate your caching plugin and clear out or purge the cache.
Check Your Site
Take a good look around your site and check on your pages and navigation. If something is not working as it should be , it is best to catch if just after an update and you can then revert to your saved copy and seek further advice from Imaginet .
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