Before you get all excited and install the new version of WordPress, do some housekeeping to keep your website safe. It isn’t 4.0 with a huge change, but it’s always possible your theme or plugins may not be ready for you to upgrade to WordPress 4.1.
Step 1 – Backup Your Website
Do a full backup of your website. This way if you need to do a recovery you can without lost time and angst! I use Backup Buddy (40% off right now – affiliate link) but it can be fussy; VaultPress is probably the easier solution if you aren’t a techie. Whichever your method, backing up your business website is a necessity. If you aren’t already doing this, give yourself peace of mind and get this setup (or contact me, I’ll do it for you).
Backup your website to a separate location (off your webhost server). You can even download it to your computer.
Step 2 – Check Your Theme and Plugins for Compatibility
- First check your theme. Hop over to your theme developer website and check to see if your theme is compatible with WordPress version 4.1. It’s not unusual for a theme to age out. If yours is older than two years, DO NOT skip this step. Hopefully your theme developer has that information posted (or you can put in a support ticket and ask.)
- Check Your Version of WordPress. If it’s been a while, check in the lower right-hand corner of the WP Dashboard to see what version you have (or go to the Update tab.) Before you upgrade, be sure to backup your website!
- Check Your Plugins. I use Better Plugin Compatibility Control to save time. Once you have installed the plugin, go to the Installed Plugins tab under Plugins and check which version of WordPress your plugins are compatible with. You will see the info displayed next to "Edit" under the plugin name.
- Update Your Plugins. If any old plugins need updating, it might be wise to do this now. Also after you update WordPress to 4.1, some plugins will need to be updated again with newer versions that work with 4.1.
If you have done the above, on to the fun!
Step 3 – Update to WordPress 4.1
OK, you did a full backup of the website and downloaded it to a separate location, you have checked the theme and plugins are compatible (if not, hold off until they are). Cruise on over in your WP Dashboard to the Updates tab at the top and click on "Install Now." Happy dance!
Now before we go all disco, look at the front of your website and make sure everything is okay. If there’s a problem with your dashboard or a plugin, hopefully that’s evident at this stage. That is why you need a backup; restore the backup and figure out what might not be ready for WordPress 4.1.
Dude – Not My Scene
If you find the above overwhelming or simply don’t have the time, sign-up for our Security maintenance plan. It includes backups, updates to plugins and WordPress software. Get peace of mind today!
Nancy Seeger, the owner of Arts Assistance, believes website design is part of the marketing toolkit that attracts your audience. Their roster of clients includes a GRAMMY artist, coaches, small businesses and non-profits. Get web design insider tips to more easily manage your website and attract your audience.