As a responsible self-hosted WordPress site manager, we recommend to backup and upgrade your GoDaddy hosted WordPress database quarterly at the very least, to assure your WordPress site is safe and secure from web hackers. According to Wikipedia, WordPress is used by more than 23.3% of the top 10 million websites as of January 2015. That’s 60 Million websites.
WordPress database updates and new versions of themes and plugins are designed to fix bugs and issues. These almost consistent updates help to patch vulnerable holes in a piece of code. Not all vulnerabilities can be detected by analytical tools, so you must check your plugins, themes and WordPress build on a consistent basis. When was the last time your plugins were updated by the developers themselves? Keep in mind that all available plugins aren’t always upgraded and may be abandoned by their writers. Because of this, upgrading your site can be a process if it hasn’t been done in a while, and one or more may not function properly or at all if it doesn’t meet the newest security standards.
So let’s get to this project! First, you’re going to want to backup your site on GoDaddy prior to upgrading anything on the CMS (Content Management System that is WordPress). This is to CYA in the event that an update fails and shuts ‘er down.
Backing up your site on GoDaddy
- Log into GD and click to My Account
- Click Manage next to Web Hosting
- Manage your cPanel (just another click)
- In your cPanel, go to the Backup Wizard (under Files)
- Do a full Backup (2 clicks) and have GoDaddy send you an email when it’s finished
Upgrade your plugins & themes
First of all.. wait until you get that backup email 🙂 Here’s some music while you wait.
- Log into your site as an admin. Most times it’s http://yoursite.com/wp-login. If you’ve forgotten your password or user name, there’s a password reset that should be associated with your email. Try that.
- Once you’re at your dashboard, navigate to your Plugins on the left side of your screen. There should be a red circle with a number next to this menu item.
- Upgrade each plugin one at a time. This is your final warning: don’t just update them all at once. If something bad does happen, you’ll be able to pinpoint the plugin you’ll have to delete on your hosting account to move forward. IF this happens, get on the phone with GoDaddy directly (480) 505-8877, and ask technical support to walk you through deleting the plugin that failed. Take notes.
- Once your plugins are all updated, it’s time to navigate to Appearance/Themes
- Upgrade each theme that needs updating one at a time. Always keep 2 themes. I keep 2015 as a backup. The reason I tend to keep 2 is that if an issue happens with the active theme, I can move the site to the inactive theme while troubleshooting a rescue of the original site.
Upgrade your WordPress database on GoDaddy
The reason why I do this part through GoDaddy, and I don’t just press the upgrade button in wp-admin, is because IF by any chance the site goes down, you can call GoDaddy. It could be an issue upgrading on their end so you’ll have to get back on the phone to find out before you proceed if there’s an issue here. Otherwise, if you upgrade and need their help without their system, they’ll charge you $150 to get your old site back then you’ll have to go through this process again. Hard pass.
- Log back into GoDaddy and get back to the cPanel from the first section
- Under Web Applications, click WordPress
- On this screen, DO NOT click +install this application.. at the top, click My Applications (#)
- Here you’ll see your site info. Click the red down arrow
- From the Installatron, click the Destination Version dropdown and choose the latest (4.4.1)
- Scroll to the bottom and click Yes to the backup. You should have a second backup of the site since you just upgraded the plugins & themes.
- Click Update and wait.
Don’t edit anything in the back end until you get an email from GoDaddy saying your WordPress database is updated. Then you should be good to go! It doesn’t hurt to take backups whenever you’re planning on doing a lot of updating on the site as well. Keep this bookmarked for that purpose 😉
Have a great 2016!