Update your WordPress theme. Don’t do what I did not do. I have four websites that I now need to update the themes on each one of them because I did not ensure that my theme was updated. Why is this critical?
When we first started out with our www.borlokvirtualassistants.com website, we installed a theme from ThemeZee. This year I thought I would get ready for the new year by switching my website from http:// to https://. This is not an easy task, but you can’t even begin to think about switching until you have ensured that you update the most basic things on your WordPress site.
You know you need to do regular updates when WordPress notifies you, as well as update your plugins. Don’t neglect, however, to update your theme. If you don’t, you could find yourself in the same boat that I am now in. My themes have not been updated by the designer in over two years! What does that mean? It means they have been retired, and I need to find a new theme for each one of our sites.
Why Update Your WordPress Theme?
You must consider the security aspect for why you should update your WordPress Theme.
If I didn’t have a good security plugin like CleanTalk, I invited malicious malware to infiltrate my sites. I’ve got to admit; I’ve been lucky. I could have lost access to one or more of our websites. Don’t let this happen to you!
Theme updates are developed to protect You! I can guarantee that you will find it much easier to practice an ounce of prevention than having to remove viruses or fix your website after it’s crashed.
In addition to security, updating your theme improves your website’s reliability. Each time an update is done, you will notice that they give you a notification on the bug fixes that have been made. This keeps your website running smoothly and is just one of the WordPress maintenance items that we need to do. So, make sure you update your WordPress theme…and do it chronologically. Don’t skip updates and then decide to just update to the latest update. You’re just courting trouble and you may run into issues with compatibility with the latest version.
Introduction of new (and better) functionalities
It’s not unusual for theme developers to improve on their themes by introducing new features and capabilities that will make your life easier.
And, you won’t be forced into changing your theme unless you want to like we need to now.
How to Update Your WordPress Theme
The first thing you want to do before you update your WordPress theme is stop, take a deep breath and do not be hasty. There are some steps you need to follow to make sure you don’t run into issues.
Steps to Update Your WordPress Theme
If you have more than one website, I highly recommend that you start updating the website that has the least time, effort and content on it.
If you are using WordPress themes through the WordPress.org platform, you will be automatically notified through your Dashboard if there are updates that need to be made. Much to my chagrin, I made sure I updated WordPress to the latest version and updated my plugins – but I did not pay attention to the themes.
Since I was using ZeeFocus as my theme which is a third-party theme, I did not think to make sure I was using the latest update (and of course, since the theme is now retired, there aren’t any updates). For this one reason, if you are a beginner, I would not recommend using a third-party theme. You are far better off using the themes on WordPress.org.
According to www.wpbeginner.com, they mention,
Are you looking to install a WordPress theme? As a beginner, you probably have heard about tons of available free and paid WordPress themes. As you’re starting out, you may want to try out a few themes on your site until you find the right one that meet your needs.
Do your research
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Please – do not just blindly follow any instructions I have included in this article. Do your own research. Even if you are not going to do it yourself and are going to hire a virtual assistant to do it for you.
Back up your website
I do all my backups through my hosting company. This is probably the best way to do it.
Your WordPress database has every post, every comment and every link that you have stored on your WordPress site. If your site becomes corrupted or gets erased, you could lose everything…yes, everything. I learned early on to back up at least on a monthly basis.
Use a child theme
Back when we first started with our websites, we changed code direct to our parent theme. Stop and think about this! Instead, create a child theme for your WordPress site. This will depend on what theme you want to use.
If you are curious as to the reasons why using a WordPress Child theme are good, you can check out the link below. I have really found it to be helpful in understanding child themes.
By now, you should realize how important it is to update your WordPress Theme. I do want to stress that these instructions only apply to your self-hosted WordPress website (and not WordPress.com). In this article we have looked into the what, why, how and, of course, steps to the process to update your WordPress theme. Do I need to explain more? Get out there and make sure your WordPress site is updated – in full!
Pam Lokker is a master writer and a virtual assistant professional who enjoys writing. While we are not currently taking on new clients, Borlok Virtual Assistants, LLC has been the place to get global expert VA services with quality and on-time delivery for many years.