It makes perfect sense to update your WordPress website on a regular basis. The most recent upgrades include new functionality as well as security improvements. It can maintain the smooth operation of your website.

Plus, it’s all quite simple. WordPress installs all available updates to your site automatically with just one click. The Install Now button makes life easier for website owners who are busy.

But is updating your website’s theme, plugins, and essential features all at once truly safe? What if your website is broken by the update? What happens if you need to retrieve any deleted files and take your website back to a previous version? Given that hundreds of websites crashed as a result of the most recent WordPress 5.5 upgrade, these questions are even more important.

Major changes have crashed websites before, and this time is not the first. Numerous occasions, theme and plugin changes caused websites to break.

You should carefully weigh the dangers involved, even if one-click updates and automated update functionality offer considerable benefits.

Why it may not be safe to update your website right away

WordPress alerts you right away if there are any new updates. Some could only be solutions for problems relating to regular maintenance. The other, more important ones, however, do occasionally get rolled out and must be put right away. For instance, security-related upgrades may be essential to preventing criminals from accessing your data.

Finding software bugs can take time

It is impossible to totally rule out the possibility of malicious malware, even if you exclusively purchase themes and plug-ins from reliable providers. It’s possible that issues won’t arise while or right away after an update is implemented.

Defective code may remain undetected for weeks at a time, and if issues arise, identifying the precise change that initiated them might take several hours. When an issue has to be fixed, engineers usually take a week to deploy new software updates. Your clients could find it difficult to visit your company website in the interim, and you might even lose some of them to other businesses.

Lack of testing

There are a lot of concerns on review platforms such as GitHub regarding developers not testing their themes and plug-ins thoroughly enough before releasing updates. The fact remains, nevertheless, that no development process is flawless all the time. If you use WordPress, you might have back-end issues or have your website remain in maintenance mode for an extended period of time. This might happen if several plugins are updating automatically at the same time. The occasional underperformance of recently created features is another prevalent issue. You run the danger of updating your website all at once because of this.

Compatibility issues

The likelihood of something going wrong increases with the update’s breadth. Errors frequently occur throughout the iterative process of developing software. However, you can run into major issues if a recent upgrade includes code that doesn’t work with the way your website is now set up. When it comes to core upgrades or new version releases of installed plugins and themes, a methodical approach is preferable.

No scope for proper user testing

In the IT sector, pilot testing, or small-scale testing, is normal procedure. In the case of a problem, it significantly lowers the likelihood of widespread interruption.

Unfortunately, testing the new version across a sizable sample is challenging because WordPress is utilized on millions of websites. All websites using WordPress get the update simultaneously. Because every website is unique and has its own themes, plugins, and custom code, the dangers are increased.

How to update WordPress without breaking your site

After analyzing the problem, let’s think about risk management.

Create a back-up before doing anything else

Even with years of expertise under the developer’s belt, code conflicts are rather prevalent. If a normal update causes your site to become unresponsive or to slow down significantly, you might be in for a rude awakening. It is advised to take the safer path and make a backup of your current website before you click the update button, even if you may expect a patch soon enough. It can assist you in avoiding a serious situation and reducing needless tension.

Actually, practically all developers advise us to create backups before to updating any plugins or themes. It can’t hurt to take more backups, right? Furthermore, taking additional backups wouldn’t hurt, right?

Test updates on a Staging site

Establish a staging area and use it to test updates. You can be certain that nothing has changed on your live website in this way.

With only a few clicks using the free WP Staging plugin, you can quickly and easily establish a staging site.

  • Click on the ‘Create new staging site’ button
  • Give a name to this staging site
  • The default options work for most sites. If you changed your default WordPress login URL, then you will need to follow the displayed instructions.
  • Click on ‘Start cloning’ and your staging site will be cloned to a sub folder on your live site.

You can test updates here before deploying them on the live site. Once you are done with testing, simply delete the staging site.

Rollback to the old plugin version

This plugin is useful if you find any flaws or if an update has caused your site to alter dramatically and you would like to go back to the previous version. With just a few clicks, you can use WP Rollback to quickly switch between any plugin or theme available on, regardless of its version.

  • Install the WP RollBack plugin and activate it.
  • Now go to the plugins tab on the Admin panel. This will bring up a list of the versions installed till date along with options to edit, delete or rollback.
  • Click Rollback against the plugin you want to restore to a previous version. This is a basic fix that works like a charm.

Schedule updates at the right time

It would be best if you waited until your website’s traffic starts to decline before making any updates. By doing this, you can prevent negatively affecting your customers’ experience and quickly resolve any issues!

Stay Connected

You will be informed as quickly as possible if a recently issued update has a serious defect. You can receive notifications about problematic updates from some Facebook groups.

It doesn’t hurt to wait a few days to post an update if it is not urgent and you are unsure whether to do so right now on your website. If there is a suggested solution to a recognized problem, you ought to implement it right away. You can easily maintain your WordPress website by monitoring for issues and taking preventative measures.

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