From time to time you may want to update your WordPress installation to the latest version. You might want to do this because you’ve seen a message at the top of your Dashboard telling you that a new release is available, because you’ve been made aware of some useful new functionality, or because a security fix has been released.
Whatever the reason for updating, before getting started it is best to check the current minimum requirements page first to make sure that your web host has the required versions of PHP and MySQL. (If you are not sure, then your hosting provider should be able to tell you.)
Take a Backup
The next thing to do is to take a backup of your database. All your posts and Pages are held in the database, so you will need to have a copy of it in case, for whatever reason, you change your mind after upgrading and need to go back. If you are not sure how to backup your database, then complete instructions can be found in the WordPress Backups section of the Codex.
The final preperation step is to disable plugins. Now, you don’t have to do this, but every now and again a plugin hasn’t been updated to work with the latest version of WordPress, and causes a problem after the upgrade. So, it’s best to try and avoid that, yes? You can easily disable your plugins by heading to the Manage Plugins page in the Dashboard, changing the “Bulk Actions” pull down menu to “Deactivate” and clicking “Apply”.
Ready to Update
Now that you’ve checked that you’re ready to update, you’ve turned off your plugins and you’ve got your backup, it’s time to get started.