WordPress its today the most popular CMS ever. So in the market you will found infinite WordPress Themes and Plugins from free to premium. There are different marketplaces that offer WordPress themes like Themeforest or WordPress.org etc .. In this forest of themes and plugins and with all this community works everyday pushing updates we have to updates our themes and plugins.
Why we need to update our WordPress items
The first reason that we have to update our WordPress themes and plugin its the Security. Everyday you can see new exploits published and some of them are very dangerous. Some exploit makes your WordPress installation is so easy to hack that any script kiddie can do.
Stay update with the latest exploit published for WordPress :
Another reason are the bugs, developers makes errors while coding and some of this errors comes up only after themes or plugins are launched to the public.
Compatibility its another issue, when WordPress core make launch the versions maybe some functions changes and others will be deprecated. In this case you will see errors an maybe functional problems.
People fears WordPress Updates
Users doesn’t like updates, the cause is the data loss or the customization that can be restored to default item configuration. I recommend users to use Child Themes or to make customizations in new files and include this new files to the old one.
If you don’t like to work with Child Themes instead you can use file inclusion. An example if you want to add a new css line don’t add it directly to style.css, create new file mystyle.css and add this line in the top of style.css :
Also the same thing can work with php
This method isn’t very good because if the author updated for example style.css file you have to include again mystyle.css file into style.css file.
Keep in mind that the best way its to use Child Themes.
Another way its to use Custom Css Box areas. The popular themes comes with this feature included. So any custom css code you have made can be stored in the database and everything can be there after any type of update. Themes like Specular and Tower have this feature included.
Check WordPress Item Version
How can we see if WordPress Theme or Plugins have new version launched. The best way to check the item version its to check Appearance > Themes > Theme Details and see the version number. Plugins version can be checked into the Plugins->Installed Plugins. For Envato items to check updates you can install Envato WordPress Toolkit.
Backup Your WordPress Installation
Before start updates we recommend our users to backup their WordPress installations. There are different plugins to backup your WordPress :
Codeless Themes offers backup feature included in the theme. So you can go to WordPress Dashboard > Specular / Tower > Import & Export > Export > Save Backup.
So you can have a copy of your theme into backup folder and restore this backup anytime.
There are other ways to backup WordPress Installations for example by doing it manually:
Start Update WordPress Theme and Plugins
After the steps before lets start update our theme and plugins. To update an theme first download the latest version of it. Most of the themes offer ChangeLog after updates. Let see :
Now you can see the files that are changed (style.css, bootstrap-responsive.css etc…) to make the update you have only to replace this files. Its so easy and safe to replace only the files and the folders written in the Changelog.
The files will be replaced into wp-content/themes/tower.
To update plugins included in themes like Visual Composer and Revolution Slider you have to follow this steps:
- Login WordPress Dashboard -> Plugins -> Visual Composer (Check the the plugin)
- Go to Bulk Actions -> Select Deactivate and Click Apply
- After you have to delete the entire plugin. Go and check again Visual Composer -> Bulk Actions -> Select Delete -> Click Apply
Now please replace “plugins” folder or only the plugin folder for example js_composer.zip. Keep in mind when you update plugins in Codeless Themes you have also to replace “includes/core/codeless_required_plugins.php” files so everything can be installed ok after version will be changed.
Now install and active the new updated plugin:
- WordPress Dashboard you will see a notification that Recommend you to install Visual Composer in the top. Sometimes you have to find the plugins into Appearance > Install Plugins
- Install Plugin
- Activate It
The same thing can be done with other plugins included in theme.
Update Included Plugins By Yourself
Many users can’t wait Theme Authors to update the theme an also the plugins included with. Many times users ask for license number to update Wp Bakery Visual Composer or Revolution Slider automatically but Envato Authors can’t give this license. Rules don’t allow this, users have to buy an another license if they want to update this plugins in anytime.