Despite being completely free to use, WordPress is under continual development by its parent company Automattic. This means that in order to keep your WordPress website up-to-date, you should always follow the update procedures. Updates tend to either provide general improvements or essential security patches, so it is worth investing the time applying the new updates.
Check for WordPress Updates
To check to see whether any WordPress updates are available, log into your WordPress admin panel.
Straight away, down the left hand side menu we can see that a menu item has appeared that is informing us that there's five updates available. At the top of the dashboard, there is also a prompt that there's a new version of WordPress available.
Clicking the prompt will explain more information about the update.
Installing WordPress Updates
WordPress makes it very easy for us to update by offering an 'Update Now' clickable button. Select that to proceed with the update.
WordPress will now automatically start downloading the new version, installing the files and performing any database structure updates. This should take nothing more than a few minutes and then confirm once it has completed.
With the successful confirmation shown, WordPress provides a showcase of information about the new updates and how easier life will now be.
Other WordPress Updates
From earlier, we saw that WordPress was letting us know that we had five possible available updates. One of those was for WordPress itself, so if we select the 'Updates' menu item again, we can see what else needs updating.
In our example we can see that we have some outstanding 'Plugins' and 'Theme' updates. Lets start by updating those plugins.
In the plugins section, tick the 'Select All' option.
Now click the 'Update Plugins' button.
After a moment, the plugin should be updated with confirmation shown.
Select the 'Return to WordPress Updates page' to head back for the other update(s).
Now in the themes section, repeat exactly the same process. Tick the 'Select All' option.
Now again click the 'Update Plugins' button.
Again after a moment, the themes should be updated with confirmation shown.
Looking back into the 'Updates' menu item, you should find that there's now no outstanding updates required.
Following this article you should now be comfortable about updating WordPress itself and any plugins or themes that your website has installed.