WordPress Updates
WordPress

What do you do if you can’t automatically update WordPress?

We’ve been finding recently that some WordPress auto-updates are failing for us. By auto-update we mean when you log in to your WordPress admin and click the ‘Update Now’ button. WordPress has made this so easy over the last few years that we’ve come to rely on it.

But if that happens, all is not lost. Do you remember such a thing as a manual update? We’ve reminded ourselves of this and applied it to a number of sites over the past few weeks with great success.

Here’s a run down of the steps you need to take.

1. Back Up

As with all updates it’s absolutely essential to back up your website first. By this we mean download the files that make up your website and also the database. Please don’t go any further until you’ve done this.

2. Get the Latest WordPress

Go to http://wordpress.org/download/ and download the latest WordPress onto your computer. It will download as a zip file, so will need unpacking.

We like to run a virus scan of anything we download from the internet, even when it’s a trusted source like the WordPress site. So, before unpacking the zip we would right click on it and run a scan on just that folder – it only takes a few seconds.

Now you can unpack it using your preferred zip extractor tool.

3. Prepare the Website

The next thing to do is deactivate all the plugins running on your website. You do this by going to Plugins in your WordPress admin. You can either click ‘Deactivate’ for each plugin one at a time, or you can select the checkbox for each and choose Bulk Actions > Deactivate.

4. Replace the Files

Now comes the slightly scary bit as you are going to be deleting files from your server.

  1. Connect to your website using FTP.
  2. Delete the wp-includes and wp-admin directories.
  3. Upload the new wp-includes and wp-admin directories from the new copy of WordPress that you have just unpacked.
  4. Don’t delete wp-content. Instead open up the folder and overwrite any files using the wp-content in the new WordPress.
  5. Upload all the loose files from the root directory, overwriting what is already there.
  6. Compare the new wp-config-sample.php with your own wp-config.php files by opening them in your preferred text editor and see if there are any new settings introduced by the update. If there are move them across individually and upload the edited wp-config.

5. Finish the Update

Go to your WordPress admin. You may be asked to log in again, but don’t worry if you’re not – this varies depending on the update. You may also be asked to upgrade the databsae, in which case follow the instructions.

6. Reactivate Your Plugins

Now you can go back the Plugins page and reactivate all your plugins – again you can do this one-by-one or as a bulk action.

7. Test Thoroughly

Test both the front and back ends of your website and make sure everything is still working as it should.

8. Back Up

We also recommend that you take a back up of the updated site once you’re finished.

 

Are you having trouble updating your WordPress site? Carrying out the steps above does require some technical know-how. If you need a hand please contact us and we can get you sorted in no time.

Pixie Payroll Services
Case Studies, WordPress

Transforming the Pixie Payroll Website

Meeting Pixie Payroll Services

Pixie Payroll Services is a local Payroll Bureau based near Helston, Cornwall, run by Kellie Burslem. I met Kellie a few weeks ago at a networking event and arranged to get together with her to talk about her website.

Kellie had an existing website but had been receiving feedback which suggested that it needed improving in a couple of areas:

  1. Design – the existing design was too informal and wasn’t giving the professional impression that she needed.
  2. Structure – the existing site was one page, which was limiting the scope for providing information about her services and optimizing the site for search engines.

I agreed with Kellie that we would tidy up the layout of the site to give a more professional feel, whilst keeping Kellie’s personality, and that I would split the content into separate pages.

The Transformation

We started by selecting a new WordPress Theme for the website. The Forefront theme by WooCommerce was the ideal starting point as it has a very professional feel and arranges the home page content in a way that is perfect for a business offering services.

We installed Forefront and created a child theme for it. When working with WordPress themes a child theme allows you to make customizations to the layout and styling without touching the original theme. By working in this way we could a colour scheme to complement Pixie Payroll’s branding and bring in design elements to give the site personality.

As far as the structure goes, rather than one page with all the content, we’ve broken it down into Home, About Me, Services (further broken down by service) and Contact Me, and also introduced a Blog so that Kellie can add useful articles and her news to the site.

The Result

Pixie Payroll ServicesWe are thrilled with the resulting site. The website has a very pleasing look and is much easier to navigate and find out about the services that Pixie Payroll offers. And Kellie has been getting some great feedback on the site. It’s also worth mentioning that the site has a responsive mobile-friendly layout so works well whether you’re on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone.

Have a look for yourself: www.pixiepayroll.co.uk

What Now?

It’s been lovely working with Kellie and we will be continuing to help her develop the Pixie Payroll website further in the coming months. As part of the work on her site we have moved her to our web hosting and domain name management service so that we can offer full support for her site, and we will be keeping the website backed up and WordPress fully updated so that it will continue to run smoothly over time.

What Kellie says about working with us

“I had a website before I met Emily at a networking event but it wasn’t really working for me. I made an appointment to see Emily and I am so glad I did, she is so friendly, professional and nothing is ever too much trouble. Emily has transformed my website – it now looks fresh and easy to use. I would highly recommend Webfooted Designs, the team now look after my website and all the maintenance.”