Updating the Core WordPress Version
Updating your website to the most recent versions of the WordPress core, plugins, and theme is very simple with WordPress. Just a few button clicks, right? Anyone who has used WordPress for some time is aware that pressing “update” without doing any serious planning can be a recipe for disaster.
You should complete the following tasks PRIOR to updating your WordPress website.
Make a Backup
If you only do one thing from this list, please make a backup of your website. I like to do this with the Duplicator plugin. Alternatively, a One-click backup is available via your cPanel that will back up your entire cPanel and Database or you can zip up public_html in the file manager.
Update PHP Version
PHP is the scripting language that powers WordPress as well as all of its themes and plugins. Using an outdated version may result in conflicts and a buggy experience.
Because they are backward compatible, most plugins, themes, and WordPress itself will run with a minimum of PHP 5.6. However, you cannot rely on software to be backward compatible.
The best approach is to use the PHP version that the software is designed to work with. You can then rule out a random bug caused by using an old version of PHP.
Upgrading to the most recent PHP version will speed up your site.
Keep a Change Log
Its important to keep a log of every change you make when you update a website. Its best to keep track of the old and new versions of everything you upgrade. To make things easier, you should copy and paste the plugins section of the WordPress Updates page into Evernote. This provides me with both the old and new versions of each plugin that needs to be updated.
Disable or deactivate your website’s caching mechanism (if enabled). This prevents caching from interfering with the update process. Remember to enable caching after you’ve finished updating.
Plugin/theme updates are frequently released in tandem with major WordPress releases. Check that the latest versions of each of your installed plugins/themes are compatible with the WordPress version you intend to upgrade to. Remove (or replace) any plugins/themes that do not have compatible upgraded versions with the main WordPress version.
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