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.

Tags: checklist, faults, plan, plugins, Security, Updates, upgrades

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Damien Saunders
An experienced management consultant and business leader interested in digital transformation, product centred design and scaled agile. If I'm not writing about living with UCTD (an autoimmune disease), I'm probably listening to music, reading a book or learning more about wine.
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