WordPress For Non-Techies: Free WordPress Tutorials – WPCompendium.org

How To Update WordPress Themes

If you are new to WordPress, make sure you read our introduction to WordPress themes. It explains what WP themes are and how using a theme can be cost-effective and time-saving for small business owners.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to easily upgrade a WP theme to the latest version inside the admin area.

Upgrading Your WordPress Theme – Best Practices

Before updating your WordPress themes, we recommend going through the handy checklist below to ensure that your upgrades go smoothly.

1. Back Up Your Site

Backing up your files and data before making any changes to your site is vital. If something goes wrong, you can always restore your website to its former settings.

If you don’t want to perform manual backups, there are a number of WordPress plugins you can use. Learn about a WordPress backup plugin that can fully automate your backup process here:

2. Check The Theme Update Notes

Changes made to the WordPress software can affect the functionality of certain themes. Depending on the theme you are using, there may be some release notes accompanying an update which provides an overview of new features, improvements, security fixes or any other information pertaining to the new theme version.

If the theme changes seem irrelevant or unimportant, you can skip the update. Otherwise, you should update.

3. Test The Theme

If you can, it’s a good idea to check the theme before installing it on your site.

Typically, web service providers will set up a test site where they can test the latest version of an installed theme, track bugs and check to see if the new theme version doesn’t conflict with any existing plugins or settings before applying and activating it on a live site.

If you manage your own website, you can install a test WordPress site on a subdomain or a separate domain name using the same plugins and configuration settings and test new theme versions on your test site before applying it to your live website.

4. Search Online

Before updating your theme, it’s a good idea to do a quick search online and see if other theme users have reported any issues with the new theme version.

You can enter the theme name and version into Google, and search the theme developer’s support forum (many developers offer this for paid WordPress themes, and even for some free plugins).

5. Is Your Theme Customized? Use A Child Theme

If you have made extensive customizations to your existing WordPress theme files, upgrading your theme may result in your custom modifications being overwritten. To prevent losing your theme modifications, therefore, we recommend you learn how to create “child themes”.

A WordPress child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality of another theme, called the parent theme, and allows you to modify, or add to, the functionality of the parent theme. When you update the “parent theme”, your customizations are preserved through the “child theme.”

If you plan to customize your theme files, then we recommend becoming familiar with using child themes, especially if you use a theme that gets regularly updated. You can learn more about child themes by searching online, or just visit the WordPress Codex child theme page here:

As you will see below, the actual process of updating a WordPress theme is not complicated at all … a few simple clicks and you’re done! The bit of the update process that takes the most time and effort to complete is the precautionary work involved prior to upgrading.

Some people don’t upgrade their themes regularly, while others upgrade without going through all of the steps listed in the section above. As mentioned earlier, the above are recommended “best practice” methods for ensuring problem-free upgrades. Ultimately, as a website owner, it is your responsibility to protect your online assets.

How To Update Themes In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial

Upgrading your themes in the WP dashboard is easy.

Log into your WordPress administration area …

Depending on the theme(s) you have installed on your site, you may receive occasional notifications in your WordPress Dashboard that new theme versions are available and require updating …

Updating a WordPress theme in your dashboard is quite simple and easy. You can update your themes from the “Themes” area, or the “Updates” section.

Updating WordPress Themes Using The “Themes” Page

To see which themes need updating, go to your Themes page.

Choose Appearance > Themes in your WP dashboard menu …

This brings you to the “Themes” page …

WordPress Themes that need updating display an “Update Available” message over the theme’s thumbnail image …

Locate the theme you want to update and click on the “Update Available” notice.

When the theme details window opens up, click on update now

WordPress will automatically update the theme in seconds …

Your theme is now up-to-date …

Repeat the above process to update all of your outdated themes, or use the method described below to update multiple themes at once.

Updating Your Site Themes From The “Updates” Page

Update your themes via the “Updates” section as follows:

To view all themes in your site that need updating, click on Dashboard > Updates

This opens up the Updates screen. Scroll down to the Themes section …

Check the box next to all the themes you want to update and click on Update Themes to complete the bulk update process …

WordPress will automatically update all of your selected themes …

Congratulations! Now you know how to update your theme from your admin dashboard.

***

"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Use FTP

This video course shows you how to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to transfer and upload files between your hard drive and your server using a free FTP program called Filezilla.

More info: How To Use FTP

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Set Up WordPress On Localhost

Learn how to install, set up, and locally host a fully functioning WordPress site on your computer.

More info: How To Set Up WordPress On Localhost

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Install, Set Up & Use WordPress Multisite

Learn how to quickly and securely set up an online community of websites or blogs using the powerful WordPress Multisite feature.

More info: WordPress Multisite

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Use CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) allows you to control how web pages and page elements display on your screen. This video course shows you how to use CSS.

More info: How To Use CSS

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Build An e-Commerce Store With WordPress

Learn how to set up an e-commerce store on your WordPress site using e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.

More info: Build An e-Commerce Store With WordPress

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Design, Develop & Sell WordPress Themes

Learn how to design, develop, and sell your own WordPress Themes.

More info: How To Design, Develop & Sell WordPress Themes

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Using Layers WP

Learn how to use Layers WP, a powerful, flexible and user-friendly WordPress theme that lets you build professional and stunning websites easily using point-and-click.

More info: Using Layers WP

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Using S2 Member

Learn how to set up and configure a WordPress membership site using the S2 Member free WordPress membership plugin.

More info: Using S2 Member

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Add A WordPress Site To Facebook

Learn how to add your WordPress site to Facebook. Learn how to obtain and set up a free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate for your WordPress site, how to change your site protocol from "http" to "https" (secure site) and how to set up a Facebook app and import your entire WordPress site into Facebook.

More info: How To Add A WordPress Site To Facebook

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Set Up A Forum On WordPress

Learn how to set up a forum for your visitors, prospects, customers, members, or affiliates using WordPress.

More info: How To Set Up A Forum On WordPress