WordPress 4.4 arrived today – A brand new version named “Clifford”.
Watch the video to see the new things included
There are some beautiful new features, one of them being the blog post embed – I’ve used it above to embed the WordPress 4.4 announcement post.
Is it time to update to WordPress 4.4?
Unlike minor releases that update automatically in your dashboard, this version needs you to actually click the button to update (and do a little preparatory work before you update).
When you log in to your website, you should see this WordPress 4.4 notification at the top of your dashboard area:
Before you dive in and click that update button, you need to make sure your site is ready to be updated.
Getting your site ready for update
There is a massive team of developers that put together each WordPress release (this release of WordPress 4.4 had 469 people work on it). Each developer has their own particular coding habits. Thankfully, there is a long and thorough test cycle to make sure everything works exactly how it should.
However, every site has a different combination of themes and plugins – some that may not necessarily have been coded using WordPress standards. As such, there is always the potential that upgrading may cause an adverse interaction with your existing setup.
That’s why it’s essential that you run a full backup of your site before you update anything.
(P.S. if you don’t already have Backup Buddy installed on your site, you can save 40% if you purchase before the 31st of December 2015).
7 steps to updating your website to WordPress 4.4
- Install Backup Buddy, add your licence details and setup your backup schedules
- Run a full backup and have it send to your remote destination
- Update your version of WordPress & check that everything looks ok on the front end of your site after the update
- Watch the video to see what’s new in this version of WordPress
- Run another full backup (just to be on the safe side – you can never have too many backups)
- Update any plugins that have update notifications & recheck your site to make sure everything is still working correctly
- You can now delete the two backups you made above if you want. Make a new backup before making any more changes to your site (we did say you can never have too many backups)
This is the process I’ve followed for updating all my WordPress sites since we first purchased Backup Buddy in 2012 and in over 3.5 years, I’ve only ever had 1 issue with updating that required restoring the backup and running the update process again.
What about a staging server?
If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry – your host may not have that functionality.
If your hosting account does have the option of a staging server, then you would go through the above process on your staging site, to ensure everything works ok, then push the updated site live and you’re good to go.
What if something happens to my website from running the update
If something were to happen, if you felt sufficiently confident, you could restore your previous backup and try again.
It is a straightforward process, but personally, for something like this, I’d recommend hiring us to do that for you.
I’m too scared to touch my site, can you do it for me?
We have a couple of options available to you:
- You can purchase a one-off Tech Rescue and we will create a backup, install all updates so your site is ready to go for you, or
- You can choose one of our monthly Website Care plans – we have 3 different plans depending on what you need, and we’ll take care of your site on an ongoing basis.
I’d like to learn how to do it myself
Warren will be running a webinar this Friday 11th December 7am (AEDT), showing you step by step how to update your website to the latest version of WordPress.
Got any other questions?
Just pop them in the comment section below and we’ll help you as best we can 🙂