It is becoming extremely important to install all available WordPress related updates as soon as they become available.
The reason is they often improve the security of your site. Updates frequently become available to plugins, themes, and of course the WordPress framework itself. You will be notified of available updates when you log in to your admin area.
If there are updates are available for WordPress itself, you will receive a message near the top of your WordPress admin page. Updates to themes and plugins are signified by a number displayed in an orange circle next to the tabs in the left hand sidebar.
WordPress has become sophisticated enough to install some updates all by itself.
From WordPress 3.7 on , you don’t have to lift a finger to apply minor and security updates. Most sites are now able to automatically apply these updates in the background. You’ll still need to click “Update Now” for major feature releases.
In most cases the procedure to install any of these updates is as simple as clicking an “Update Now” button. These one click updates are usually fast, and simple to install.
WordPress developers always recommend that you back up your site before installing updates. I will echo this sentiment, but I will also mention that I do have clients who have installed updates without backing up their site, and they have suffered very few issues. Please don’t get me wrong. I would never say it’s OK not to back up your system, but I have seen far more issues that were due to outdated software, than a lack of a backup.
Every once in a while the one click back up does not work. When this happens, you will often see a screen that asks you for the FTP information for the site.
Even if you know what FTP is, and can provide the FTP credentials the screen is asking for, the update will not work. This message is an indication that there is a problem at the hosing server with the ownership and permissions associated with your WordPress files. It simply means that your WordPress install is not authorized to modify itself. If this happens, you will need to contact your hosting company and let them know that your WordPress site will not auto update . Tell them the web handyman suggests you check your file ownership and permissions according to the following criteria.
Here’s the file ownership and permissions criteria necessary on your hosting server for One-click updates to work on your WordPress Site.
(a) file ownership: all of your WordPress files must be owned by the user under which your web server executes. In other words, the owner of your WordPress files must match the user under which your web server executes. The web server user (named “apache”, “web”, “www”, “nobody”, or some such) is not necessarily the owner of your WordPress files. Typically, WordPress files are owned by the ftp user which uploaded the original files. If there is no match between the owner of your WordPress files and the user under which your web server executes, you will receive a dialog box asking for “connection information”, and you will find that no matter what you enter in that dialog box, you won’t be able to update using the “Update Now” button.
(b) file permissions: all of your WordPress files must be either owner writable by, or group writable by, the user under which your Apache server executes.
The skillful customer service department at your hosting provider should be able to quickly adjust whatever is not configured according to this information. You should then be able to enjoy one click updates in the future. Of course if you have better things to do with your time than manage the administration of your WordPress install, feel free to call us at (949) 813 3861. We would be happy to take this chore off your hands so you can spend the time doing something for which you get paid handsomely.
This information is provided by WordPress support. More information about updating your WordPress Site Can be found here.
WordPress Tip: Update your WordPress software