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How to Upgrade WordPress

How to Upgrade WordPress

Finally wrote down my notes on how to do a WordPress upgrade so I don’t have to ask Bart every single time: "what files should I make sure not to overwrite? "

" what do I have to make sure to back up?"

For the Official WordPress Instructions go to:


Select backup plugin from wp-admin inside the dashboard

Run the backup

don’t click anything while running this backup!

Back up the whole wordpress directory

drag the entire wordpress directory over to your machine

Download new version of WP

Follow download links and expand WP on your computer


Bart explained that these files and folders shouldn’t be updated or the themes, plugins and even some content will disappear:


delete EVERYTHING (that belongs to wordpress) apart from the three items mentioned before

NOTE: you may need to select "show hidden files" in order to see the .htaccess files, make sure you don’t write over that one!

Copy WordPress over to the server

On the left (my disk) I made sure that there was no .htaccess, wp-config.php or wp-content before dragging over. That’s a good way to do it – because if anything asks to overwrite I know I’ve made a mistake.

note: this snapshot was made while file transfer had already started, you can see some files have already moved.

Upgrade your installation

Visit your main WordPress admin page at /wp-admin. You may be asked to login again. If a database upgrade is necessary at this point, WordPress will detect it and give you a link to a URL like Follow that link and follow the instructions. This will update your database to be compatible with the latest code. If you fail to do this step, your blog might look funny.

Upgrade complete!

WordPress is now successfully updated. Check the site to be sure.

Plugins might want to be updated too

After my upgrade to 2.6, I found that my Plugins icon in the dashboard had a numbered (6) bubble which implied I needed to do something. Clicking on it revealed that 6 plugins had updates. I went through each one and clicked upgrade automatically.

Proof that plugins are updating

Each plugin for which I clicked upgrade automatically gave me this window, writing each line one at a time. Took just seconds to complete each one. One of mine ( didn’t upgrade successfully, but I didn’t really use it anyway so iIdeactivated.