WordPress is an extremely popular website and blogging platform. Because it’s popular, it attracts the attention of scads of hackers and viruses, all seeking to learn its vulnerabilities in order to exploit them, mostly to send spam email.
Thankfully, there’s a small army of folks working to keep the security holes plugged. All one needs to do to take advantage is upgrade WordPress and any installed plugins to the latest version from time to time. Twice a year is sufficient.
Newer versions of WordPress have the ability to upgrade the site and also any plugins from right within the admin area. Just click a button and away it goes. However, sometimes this runs into problems.
Some of the earlier versions of the automatic upgrader would overwrite your theme folder, so you’d lose essentially your whole site. The latest versions don’t have this problem. But to be safe, it’s always a good idea to use FTP software to download your entire /wp-content folder before performing the upgrade.
Also, some hosts don’t play nice with the automatic upgrades. In these cases, a manual upgrade is called for. A manual upgrade is performed by getting the latest version of WordPress from WordPress.org, unzipping the file, and uploading all but the wp-content folder to the host using FTP software.
Depending on your theme, your theme may be upgradeable as well. In all cases, it’s a good idea to back up your blog before upgrading anything, especially if you’re unsure of what you’re doing.
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"I can never thank you enough for saving my website from the brink of disaster."
Pam W., Owner
PJR Enterprises, Arizona