How to manually upgrade WordPress

The following tutorial explains how to quickly manually upgrade WordPress to a newer version. The process is fairly straightforward and simple and shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes. However, I have frequently caught people including myself become lazy, skipping important steps of the process.

I feel it's important to perform a manual WordPress upgrade and not auto upgrade using utilities like fantastico. While fantastico is an awesome tool for installing web applications, it has it's flaws when performing upgrades. It's better to avoid the potential headache.

To manually upgrade WordPress

  1. Perform a complete backup of both your database and directory structure (in case something goes wrong).
  2. Login to your WordPress administration panel and deactivate all active plugins.
  3. Download the latest STABLE version of WordPress and extract it to a folder on your computer.
  4. Upload the extracted files to your WordPress server directory with the exception of the following:
    • wp-content folder and it's content
    • wp-includes/languages if you are using a custom language file
  5. To perform the upgrade, navigate to https://yoursitename/wp-admin/upgrade.php and follow the on screen steps.
  6. Login to the administration panel and reactivate your plugins one by one to ensure that they still work with the new version of WordPress.

Enjoy the new WordPress release!