How to Upgrade WordPress
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There is sometimes a need to upgrade WordPress, such as better stability, better security and other issues such as plugin compatibility. This process is usually very simple but can be a difficult task to accomplish without completely wiping your site and starting from scratch. By following some specific instructions, you can successfully install the newest version of WordPress with the least amount of downtime so your readers can get back to what they love doing best, reading what you post!
WordPress Upgrade Preparation
You will need to be patient and follow these instructions carefully to prevent loss of data and keep your current personalized settings up. You may wish to first start off by making a back up of your WordPress site with an FTP client so that you can pull off all of your valuable information in case the setup goes wrong.
You will need to deactivate plugins on your site so they do not interfere with the upgrading process as well as being incompatible with the new release of WordPress. Note: Once the upgrade is complete, you will want to check each plugin one by one (activating each one after checking the last) to make sure they function properly with the upgrade, otherwise you will be having to troubleshoot much more than you should be needing to if you didn’t follow this advise.
You will need to have the latest WordPress files available to upload or download them directly on to your server to continue. They will then replace all of the items in the root folder of your WordPress install location (preserve the contents of wp-config.php as you will need them). Note: If you have customized themes, you will want to keep your wp-content folder untouched, so do not overwrite this folder.
WordPress Upgrade Process
From this point, the upgrade is relatively simple. You need to navigate your browser to your wp-admin page and login. You will then be prompted on one of two things, to update databases (if they are incompatible with the newest version of WordPress) or to configure your upgrade. Just follow the directions and you will be up and running in no time. If prompted to update your databases, you will be given instructions to do so and once you complete them you can continue with the upgrade!
WordPress Upgrade Plugin
There is also a special plugin available that can be used to upgrade your WordPress Blog automatically when new versions are released. This makes things much easier, but you may lose some customized settings for your Blog.