Coming soon (at the time of writing the article has not yet come out) is a major new update, which will bring great changes to the core of the WordPress. In particular, this concerns the new editor – Gutenberg. If you think that you can just click on the update button in your admin panel, then, unfortunately, you are mistaken. Maybe you are lucky, but most likely you will break your site and if you do not have a backup, it will be a problem for you. What to do in order not to break your website?
1. Create a Backup
Of course, first of all, you need to make sure that you have a backup, with which you can in case of what restore your site without any problems. This seems to be an obvious thing for power users, but there are a lot of people who do not care about the backup of their sites. They hope that everything will work well and will not break down, but no one is immune. I advise doing regular backups, even if you are not going to update something. But in our case, it’s absolutely necessary. Also, do not forget that you need to copy not only the files but also the database.
2. Copy the site to a test domain or local domain
If your site is visited by people, it is advisable to first update on a test or local server, and then make changes on a live site. If you start experimenting on the main site and the update does not go according to plan, then you will create inconvenience for your visitors. If your site is new and there are no visitors on it, then you can work without a test environment.
3. Try to update your test site
Now that you have a backup and a test environment, you can try installing the update via the wp-admin panel. If everything went well, you can repeat this on a live site. If something does not work, go to the next step.
4. Find and disable incompatible plugins or themes
If after the update the site issues errors or turns off, then you need to find out the source of this problem. If you can go to the admin panel of the site, then try to change the theme and turn off the plugins one by one. Experimentally find that plugin or theme, after changing or disabling which your problem disappears.
For example, if any plugin is incompatible, then just disable it for a while until the developers fix this problem. To speed up the process, you can see at the developer forum whether they have already been informed by someone about this problem, if not, then create a topic by yourself.
Perhaps you will get an error, then you have to go to the file manager and disable plugins and themes manually. I usually add the name of the plugin folder or the theme symbol “_”. This allows them to be deactivated. The procedure is similar to the one described above, but instead of disabling plugins, you rename the folders.
If you decide to update your site, then maybe you will be interested in reading about 50 tips to speed up your website: https://businessupwebsite.com/how-to-load-wordpress-site-faster/
Now you know how to update WordPress to version 5.0 correctly. If you are confused or do not want to do this, then just restore the last backup and wait a little while, until all the plugins adapt to the new version of the WordPress core.
If you have anything to add, please write about it in the comments.