Searching for the easiest method to update WordPress to the latest version? If you don’t have access to automatic WordPress updates then updating WordPress manually is the only option you have left.
There are several reasons you may not be able to update WordPress to the latest version automatically or you may want to try out the latest Beta version which doesn’t offer automatic updates at this time.
WARNING: The WordPress update process will affect all files and folders included in the main WordPress installation. This includes all the core files used to run WordPress, the Akismet plugin and the WordPress default theme . If you have made any modifications to those files, your changes will be lost.
Check New WordPress Requirements before updating
To run the latest WordPress version your host needs both:
PHP version 5.2.4 or greater
MySQL version 5.0 or greater
The requirements have changed as of WordPress 3.2.
The minimum requirements for WordPress 3.1 are PHP 4.3 and MySQL 4.1.2.
Recommended for better security – suPHP: This is not a requirement however we do recommend you use a host which offers suPHP for increased security.
Backup Your Database & Files
Always a good idea to backup your content before begin the manual update in case you want to revert to the old version. You may change your mind after you install the Beta version for a particular reason and want your site back to the way it was before.
If you’re updating WordPress before your plugin authors have tested their plugins with the latest version of WordPress then you could run into trouble. Installing the Beta version of WordPress would mean most, if not all plugin authors haven’t had a chance to test against the latest WordPress update yet.
O.k. Time to start updating WordPress manually using a 3 step process.
Manual WordPress Update
- Download the latest version of WordPress here http://wordpress.org/download/
- Unzip the files
- Delete your existing old wp-includes and wp-admin directories on your server (Using FTP or File Manager).
- Upload the new wp-includes and wp-admin folders (directories) to your server.(using FTP or Shell Access SSH)
- Open the wp-content folder and upload the individual files from the new folder to your existing wp-content folder (Using FTP, File Manager or Shell SSH), overwriting existing files. Do NOT delete your existing wp-content folder. Do NOT delete any files or folders in your existing wp-content directory (except for the one being overwritten by new files).
- Upload all remaining new individual files from the root directory (folder) of the new version to your existing wordpress root directory.
Caution: If you have customized your themes without renaming them, make sure not to overwrite those files, otherwise you will lose your changes.
Update WordPress by logging in to your dashboard and follow the update instructions. You will probably need to upgrade your database simply by following the process and clicking upgrade.
Final Step: You may need to:
- Clear your cookies
- Delete or refresh your cache if your using a caching plugin like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache
- Re activate your plugins if you deactivated them before upgrading WordPress (recommended)
Your update has been successful and you can now play around with the latest version of WordPress.
Agustin Uribe says
This point #5 is confusing:
Open the wp-content folder and upload the individual files from the new folder to your existing wp-content folder (Using FTP, File Manager or Shell SSH), overwriting existing files. Do NOT delete your existing wp-content folder. Do NOT delete any files or folders in your existing wp-content directory (except for the one being overwritten by new files).
What “individual files” are being referred to? I can only find one individual file called index.php is that the one?
and also #6:
Upload all remaining new individual files from the root directory (folder) of the new version to your existing wordpress root directory.
What are these files???
I am trying to update my web site but it wont via the one button click any more. Help!
Brad Dalton says
There can be other files in the folder which plugins put there which is why i stressed not to delete that folder.
The remaining files are the new WordPress files.
I have created a video about how to do this also.
Seems like you’re using cheap hosting.