WordPress gets a major update about twice a year. If you’re responsible for doing the upgrade here’s a pre-update checklist for WordPress to help you identify any bugs that will get in the way of a flawless update.

The main point of the checklist is to reduce risk of failure by helping you identifying potential issues and roadblocks and give you confidence in a fast update process.

A second point to remember is the cost of not running the update - staying on an older version of WordPress can expose you to security issues which are fixed in the new update and also make it harder at a later time to run an update.

Pre-Update Checklist - Points to consider before starting the WordPress Update

  1. Database upgrade fails - Install a plugin, backup your SQL Database before starting the update.

  2. White Screen of Death (WSOD) - do you know what to do if there is a failure during the update?

  3. Time of Day - when is it best for your visitors and your colleagues to run the update? The update may only take a few minutes but if something goes wrong, make sure you’ve set aside at least an hour.

  4. Theme conflict - check if your theme has an update before you upgrade. Theme and plugin conflicts are

  5. WordPress Maintenance Page - do you have this ready to turn on before starting the update?

  6. What’s changing - have you read the release note and other blogs to get an idea of what is changing?

  7. Understand Why you need to keep updating WordPress - Security, Bugs and other issues are good enough reasons to keep WordPress up to date.

  8. FTP / SSH / SQL & Server Account details - do you know how to access the server hosting your site? what about PHPMyAdmin?

  9. Can you run the update on a local or development version of your website - improve your confidence and run the update on a local or dev version.