How to Properly Update WordPress, Themes & Plugins (Improve On Website Security)


Updating your WordPress “Core”,  Themes and Plugins to its latest versions is one easy way to improve on your WordPress site security and performance.

Updating help avoids any vulnerability found in previous versions, providing protection to your website. It prevents hackers to insert malicious code on your site.

WordPress is the most popular CMS right now and it is a target for hackers. That is why whenever there is an update for your website, it is best practice to update them as soon as possible.

Backing Up Your WordPress Website

Updating your WordPress “Core”,  Themes and Plugins are easy and intuitive to do. But with every update you perform, there is a very small chance that something could “Break” and affect your website.

To prepare yourself for the probability that something could “break”, it is important you make a backup of your website.

Having backups of your website is a good idea just in case something goes wrong, you can revert. That is why I recommend you use UpdraftPlus to regularly backup your website.

You can also learn: How to backup your website from Cpanel Softaculous

How to Update WordPress, Themes & Plugins

How to Properly Update WordPress, Themes & Plugins


Once you have some backups ready, you can now begin updating your website.

From your WordPress dashboard, WordPress automatically notify you when there is an update for your website and the numbers.  See the screenshot below.

wordpress update

When you have updates for your website, you can view them from the circular-two-arrows icon ( update icon ) at the top of your website or from the Dashboard > Updates on the left side of your screen.

When you click on any of these links; circular-two-arrows icon or Updates, you will get to the Updates page.

You can also get to the update page when you see a WordPress core notice on your WordPress admin.

worpdress core update notice

The Update Page

From the update page, you can see all the updates WordPress can offer you such as the WordPress Core, Plugins & Themes.

1) To Update WordPress Core, all you have to do is click the blue “Update Now” Button.

update WordPress Core

2) To Update Plugins, select all plugins by checking the “Select ALL”. Once selected, click the “Update Plugins” button.

update plugins

Note: If you have so many plugins that need updating, you can update them in batch to reduce the chance of something going wrong.

For paid plugins, you may not be able to update them without a license.

3) To Update Themes, select all themes by checking the “Select ALL”. Once selected, click the “Update Themes” button.

update themes

Note: Updating a theme could lose any customization you have made to a theme file.  Please consider creating a child theme first with your customization before updating.

For paid themes, you may not be able to update them without a license.

Updating Plugins From the Installed Plugins Page

Another way to update your plugins is from the plugins > install plugins page.

wordpress plugins

From the installed plugins page, you will see all plugins in your website, the one’s actives, the ones inactive, the ones with an available update & drop-ins.

Note: Drop-ins are advanced plugins in the wp-content directory that replace WordPress functionality when present.

If you have many plugins that require an update, use the update available section to group them and perform a bulk update.

To perform a bulk update, check the plugins, and select update from the drop down and click on “Apply”.

You can also update a single plugin by clicking the “update now” where they say there is a new version available under a plugin name.


update plugins 2


Updating Themes From the Themes Page

You can update your WordPress themes from the Appearance > themes section.


The themes page shows the number of installed themes & the current active one.

If there is an update for a theme, you will see a new version available notice on the theme. To update, click the “update now” link.

update wordpress theme


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