One of the things most website owners fear most is something going wrong when they update the plugins installed, the active theme, or most feared of all… hit that to update button for that new version of WordPress itself.

Have you ever hovered over that button and whispered a prayer first? I know I have. Every. Single. Time.

While it’s impossible to eliminate all the risk involved, you can reduce a lot of it by following the same sequence of steps I use when updating my own and clients sites.

Having a complete backup before starting is key before triggering any updates. You already know that, right? However, you may not know about a couple other simple, yet important, fail-safe actions I take to make it easier to check for problems and rollback if any are found.

In today’s Quick Tech Tip you’ll see me update this very website, RockingYourPath.com, in real time.

Read more: Quick Tech Tip: Updating WordPress? Follow These Steps to Reduce the Chances of Breaking Your Site

Click the arrow on top left below to play video


Read a downloadable transcript here.

The basic steps I follow in this order are:

  • Check I have a current full backup. Create one if necessary.
  • Update plugins.
  • Check status of site in a new browser tab
    • If everything’s okay, update theme(s).
    • If any errors, review the plugins update page that I have left open in a browser tab looking for any errors or possible culprits. Screenshot the list so I can troubleshoot each one by one if necessary. Troubleshooting would depend on the type of error or display issues involved. 
  • After updating theme(s), check status of site again in a new browser tab.
  • If all seems well, update to the newest WordPress version.

Want some help creating, maintaining, and updating your website?

Visit the Rocking Your Path Community on Facebook. We have several experienced members who offer a variety of affordable services. Members are free to ask for recommendations or post their situation for insight and helpful suggestions.


Have you ever had a major Whoops! happen when updating your website? What happened and what did you do to solve it? Was it a quick fix… or did you have to call in for help?

While I don’t allow you to promote yourself in the comments on this site, I’m very generous allowing members of the Rocking Your Path Community to post about their products and services, including a link to their own site. Come join us here. It’s free.

Please share your experiences in the Comment section.

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