How To Update WordPress (Manually & Automatically) Safely

How To Update WordPress (Manually & Automatically) Safely

WordPress update is a crucial step for every website owner. You will generally see a notification in your WordPress admin area whenever an update is available. And can immediately update to the next version by simply clicking a button.

However, in case you are not able to update your WordPress to the latest version through WP admin area, then you have to go for manual WordPress update.

There are a couple of ways through which you can update or upgrade to the latest WordPress version safely. They are:

  • Update through WordPress dashboard notification
  • Update WordPress manually via FTP
  • Enable automatic WordPress updates

Now let’s explore them one by one and learn all the ways to make sure that you are always able to update your WordPress version. It is very important, especially to secure your website from cyber attacks.

update wordpress manually automatically

Steps To Update WordPress through WP-Admin Area

Step #1: First of all, login to your website admin area using link. If you are using any security plugin and make your wp-login URL hidden then choose that one.

Step #2: After successful login, you will find the dashboard option on the left side menu. Simply put the cursor over there and click on updates.

Step #3: If there is any new WordPress version available then you can see a notification like below.

update wordpress manually

Step #4: Simply click on the Update Now button and wait for completion. By the time you will find your website may go into maintenance mode for few seconds if you try to access the website.

This is the simplest way to update your website and mostly we follow the same. But in the case due to some reason, your WordPress update is failed, then you have to go for the manual update option. So, let’s check how to update WordPress manually.

Update WordPress Manually Via FTP or Hosting cPanel

The best way for the manual update is through FTP access. But you can also upload the files through cPanel login. You can follow the step by step guide below.

Step #1: First of all download the latest version of WordPress from this link.

Step #2: Now extract the files and remove the WP-CONTENT folder from that.

Step #3: Next, access your website folder through FTP login or through cPanel. Make sure not to touch the WP-CONTENT folder and WP-CONFIG file. You can delete thewp-includes &wp-admin directories on your web host.

Step #4: Now simply replace the files with the ones you have downloaded. In case you are doing through cPanel, you have to create a new zip file and then upload the same in your folder and then extract there. After that, you need to replace them one by one. This is not a good way to do, as the risk is high compared to FTP way.

Step #5: Finally, you have to access your website and update the database to complete the update process.


This process is not at all recommended for any beginner or who is not confident enough to handle web hosting file area. In case you delete something important, your entire website will be down. And it may take huge effort to bring it back.

Please take a back-up of your complete website files, before starting this process.

You can take help from experts out there or else try to understand the process carefully first and then only go for this in case you have any issue with the first option. For more details, please visit the official WP site.

The third one is the automatic update option. So, let’s check how to update WordPress automatically.

How To Update WordPress Automatically

Personally, I am using the Bluehost cPanel auto-update feature and without any worry updated to next version of WordPress whenever it is available. Here is the screenshot taken from Bluehost hosting cPanel area.

But, if you have done any kind of customization in your WordPress theme or plugins or anything, this is not recommended. It is better to update WordPress manually.

update wordpress automatically

Note: If you are a newbie and don’t want to take such risks, then this is the recommended way to update your WordPress version. You can go for a premium theme, where you don’t have to do any changes in core files and still get the best and fast-loading WordPress blog.

By Changing the Config file 

Besides that, if you are good at editing WordPress files, then you can even do that by writing simple PHP code in your wp-config.php file.

[code]define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, true );[/code]

This will enable all the core updates. However, some people may not want nightly builds and development updates but only the important security updates with some minor and major changes. If you want to disable those updates, you can add the below piece of code to your functions.php file.

[code]add_filter( ‘allow_dev_auto_core_updates’, ‘__return_false’ );[/code]

By Using a Plugin

You can also automate the WordPress updates by using a plugin. Easy Updates Manager plugin is a free plugin, which allows you to do that easily. Just install the plugin and set up the same for all upcoming WP updates automatically.

Managed WordPress Hosting

In case you are using a managed WordPress hosting, then all your WordPress issues including updating WordPress version is managed by the hosting provider. They will keep the core of your installation secure and up-to-date. Few of them even update your themes and plugins too.

How to Update WordPress – Manually or Automatically?

I have mentioned all the popular ways to update WordPress. You can go for any of these whichever you are comfortable with. It also depends upon what theme you are using for your WordPress blog and if you have done any customization to that.

So how do you update WordPress version? Do you use any other way to update WordPress safely? Please share in the comments below.

How To Update WordPress (Manually & Automatically) Safely
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