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How to Upgrade WordPress on a Site that has been Neglected

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We’ve covered WordPress Backup Basics and how to upgrade Plugins and themes but we haven’t talked about upgrading a WordPress site that hasn’t been updated regularly. Well, I have just such a WordPress site right here. This site is at WordPress 4.6.3.

When Everything Needs to be Updated

Let’s go to that site and then to WordPress Admin. Now, in this case, this is really not a live real site. This is a development site that I haven’t been at forever. But it does have an old version of WordPress.

Create a Backup

So when you have an old version like this, first off obviously you want to back your site up. Once you’ve backed your site up then you are going to and see what needs to be updated.

Update WordPress First

Looking at this site right now you can see there are a whole bunch of updates. There’s a couple of Thesis updates, some plugin updates, skin updates and there are WordPress updates. When that’s the case, the thing to do first is update WordPress. So that’s what I’m going to do now.

Ordinarily update WordPress is sitting right here but since it isn’t we’re going to go over to updates. You can see you can upgrade to 4.7.2 automatically so let’s do that. Hit update now. That had already been backed up to today.

Update Plugins Second

So we’ve got WordPress updated now to 4.7.2. Then the next thing I do is go to plugins and look at those that have updates available. And in this case these are all relatively simple plugins so I’ll just select them all and then go to a bulk actions and say update. As I noted when we talked about upgrading WordPress plugins if they are complex plugins you can do those individually.

Once all the plugins are updated then I move on to updating Themes. On a site like this there’s a lot of updates to be done. Again, this is the order I do them in, WordPress first, plugins second and then I come over to Appearance and Themes.

Update Themes Third

Because there are a bunch of updates available for these themes I’m going to do Thesis separately. First I’m going to update this one, twenty fifteen. I don’t even like twenty fourteen so I’m going to go to theme details and delete it. Really, you only need one or at most two default themes on your site.

Then we’ll update this. I’ve got twenty fifteen and twenty sixteen. This one is at the latest version now too.

Process for Updating Thesis

Now that I’ve done that then I go back to my process that I described earlier for updating Thesis which is going to the skin editor, data manager and create a new backup. We’ll call it Prior to Upgrade to Thesis 2.2. It was actually a pretty old version of Thesis on the site.

Come back over there and back to Thesis home and we’ll update Thesis now. Go to the skins and we’ll update the skin. And again we’ll update classic responsive. As I said before, whether you’re using them or not you should never leave anything on your site that is not updated. Everything needs to be updated.

Update Agility Skin

Now we can update BYOB Agility Nude. And this is sort of what monthly updates look like. We’ve done that so now we can come back over to our skin design and save our color options. And go over to the skin editor and restore our skin CSS back to defaults.

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