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WordPress Updates: How To Install an Update Safely

Remind me again tomorrow. And again. And yet again, the day after that.

When you’re busy running your own freelance business, you rarely want to take the time to update your computer’s operating system. But when it comes to a WordPress update, you’ll want to think twice about hitting snooze.

WordPress updates keep sites running smoothly and protected from security threats. This post explains the types of updates and methods for updating a WordPress website.

What is a WordPress Update?

A WordPress update ensures that the systems running a website operate with the latest WordPress version. Just like you need to update your computer and phone’s operating systems, you should keep your WordPress system updated.

WordPress updates include:

  • System Updates
    These updates apply to the core WordPress software running a website.
  • Plugin Updates
    In addition to keeping your core system updated, you need to run updates on any active plugins.
  • Theme Updates
    Theme developers also release updates to ensure the WordPress themes remain compatible with newer versions of WordPress.

Why Is It Important to Update Your WordPress Site?

Keeping a WordPress site updated improves the site’s performance and security. Website speed determines a lot about the site’s success. Sites with slow loading times tend to rank lower in search results and experience decreased conversion rates. Outdated versions of WordPress and any plugins can slow down a site. Newer versions of WordPress also include updated features designed to improve your site’s performance.

Not updating WordPress also creates a security risk. WordPress ranks as the most popular content management system in the world. Unfortunately, the widespread use of the system makes it a frequent target for hackers. As WordPress developers learn security vulnerabilities, they provide security patches in the next version of WordPress. If you’re not updating your WordPress system, you’ll miss out on vital security improvements.

The same is true of plugins. Plugins represent some of the easiest ways for someone to attack your site. Keeping your system and plugins updated eliminates some of your security vulnerabilities.

What to Do Before a WordPress Update

Before updating a WordPress website, make a complete backup of your site. Back up all core system files, media files, themes, plugins, and databases. You can use a plugin designed for making backups or check with your hosting provider. Many hosting plans, especially managed WordPress hosting, include a backup service.

Auto Update WordPress vs. Manual Update WordPress

As a part of your preparation to update WordPress, you need to decide between automated and manual updates. For most site owners, an automatic update works best. Auto-updates happen in the background, so your site is always running on the latest version of WordPress without you having to remember to run updates.

But, automatic updates can create problems for some websites. Major releases of WordPress often include new features without backward compatibility. If your site runs on a theme or plugins that could break if you updated to the most recent major release of WordPress, you should disable automatic updates.

How to Auto Update WordPress

Most web hosts enable auto-updates by default. Check with your host to see the settings for your account. If your site isn’t at risk of breaking by upgrading, you can stick with automatic updates. As an added safety measure, consider an automated backup schedule so you can restore your site to a previous version if a WordPress update did break something on your site.

How to Manually Update WordPress

If you’ve disabled automatic updates, you’ll need to run a manual update. You can pick between a one-click update or a full manual update.

Steps to complete a one-click update:

  1. Login to your WordPress admin.

  2. Navigate to the Updates section under the Dashboard.

  3. If you’re not running the latest version of WordPress, you’ll see an option to “Update Now.” Click that button.

  4. WordPress will automatically fetch the latest version and put your site in maintenance mode during the installation process. You can track the progress on your screen.

Once complete, it will redirect you to a screen with information on the new features in the upgraded version.

Steps to complete a full manual update:

  1. Download the latest version of WordPress to your computer.
  2. Unzip the file.
  3. Login to your WordPress admin and deactivate any plugins.
  4. Use FTP or shell access to delete the wp-includes and wp-admin directories from your web host. Then, upload the new wp-includes and wp-admin directories to your web host.
  5. Navigate to your wp-content folder and upload the individual files from the wp-content folder of the update. You want to overwrite existing files, but do not delete any other files or folders.
  6. Upload all loose files from the root directory of the update to your host WordPress root directory, such as wp-login.php.
  7. Go to your WordPress admin page from a browser. You’ll probably have to log in again. If needed, it will guide you through updating your database.
  8. Activate your plugins.
  9. Clear your cache.

For more detailed step-by-step instructions on manually updating WordPress, check the WordPress documentation.

What If My Update Fails?

If your WordPress update fails, you can restore your site from a backup and try again. If you attempted an automatic update or a one-click update that failed, you could try a full manual update instead. To complete a manual update after a failed update, you’ll need to delete the file maintenance from your WordPress directory between steps 6 and 7.

What to Do After a WordPress Update

After finishing a WordPress update, check your site to ensure everything looks good and functions properly. Remember, you may need to update your theme and any plugins to be compatible with your new version of WordPress.

Simplify WordPress Updates with Hostdedi

Managed WordPress hosting from Hostdedi takes the hassle out of updating a WordPress site. All plans include automatic updates for core system files and plugins. Plugin updates also include Visual Inspector to detect any impacts of a plugin update on your site’s layout.

Try managed hosting today and stop worrying about WordPress updates.

Check out our fully managed WordPress hosting plans to get started today.

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Website Design Client Checklist: How To Set Realistic Expectations

It’s not easy to work on a web development project when clients do not understand the deliverables. For that reason, setting client expectations for website development is essential for the success of your projects.

The website design process is quite demanding. To stay on top of things, you need to have some mechanism for managing client expectations. It’ll help you create long-lasting professional relationships and avoid unexpected additional costs.

Getting started with freelancing website design projects

Source: 99designs

Read on to discover the value of setting clear expectations and the art of creating web development client questionnaires.

Why Do You Need To Set Client Expectations

Setting Realistic Expectations in Web Design

Web Design Questions for Clients

Creating a Website Design Client Checklist

Final Thoughts: How To Set Client Expectations for Website Development

Why Do You Need To Set Client Expectations?

When working as a freelance web developer, you will interact with clients who are not well-versed in web development.

Therefore, it is crucial to help clients understand what you can deliver before working on a project.

If you can set clear client expectations during the onboarding process, it’ll help you run the project smoothly. Moreover, letting clients know what to expect early on helps you:

Define the Scope of Work

When expectations are communicated before the project starts, it becomes easier to understand the client’s business and what they are looking for. In the beginning, you should spend some time familiarizing yourself with the client’s needs, mission, and values.

That will help you define the scope of work and manage the project efficiently. You’ll find it hard to say no to the client’s demands after you’ve agreed to work on the project.

Understanding project deliverables for website development

Source: Pexels

Manage Your Workload With Ease

For a freelancer, meeting deadlines can sometimes be challenging. Something as simple as having spontaneous project revisions can make things last longer than expected.

As a result, your other clients and projects may suffer, hurting you both emotionally and financially. Setting your expectations right away will help you with project management, thus improving your freelancing business.

Create Long-Term Relationships With Clients

One aspect of setting clear expectations is to convey them unambiguously. When your clients are aware of the deliverables and your timeline, it’ll increase your credibility. Good communication is key to building trust in professional relationships.

Setting Realistic Expectations in Web Design

It can be a little overwhelming to start with the process of setting expectations. The requirements and nature of each project may vary, thus impacting your approach. It is, however, helpful to have a structure that you can follow.

To set clear expectations, practice the following:

  • Set up meetings before starting the project. These meetings will help you understand the needs of the client and clarify project goals.
  • Define project deliverables and workflow. Provide specific information so that your client can understand the scope of the project.
  • Create a detailed project plan and share it with the client. Make sure that you address your limitations, resources, timeline, and budget carefully.
  • Clarify your concerns regarding the expectations during and immediately after the project is completed.

Website development project plan

Source: Asana

Useful Tips To Manage Client’s Expectations

When working with web development clients, some of the tips to keep in mind are as follows:

  • Be transparent in sharing your concerns and expectations so the clients do not push you to overdeliver.
  • Keep the communication channels open at all times.
  • Do not set strict deadlines for yourself. Give yourself some cushion for unexpected events.
  • Ensure regular check-ins to keep up with the milestones and project status.
  • Keep a record of your agreement with the client. Documentation can save you from a lot of trouble.

An excellent way to gather the information you need to implement the practices and tips listed above is by asking the following questions:

Web Design Questions for Clients

  • What is your mission and vision for the business?
  • What are your requirements for this website?
  • What do you want to achieve at the end of this web design project?
  • What are the personas for your target audience groups?
  • How strong is your current online presence?
  • What is your timeline for the website to be fully functional?
  • Do you have any design expectations and restrictions that I should be aware of?
  • Who will I be in contact with during the web development project?

The importance of website development client questionnaire

Source: SEOReseller

Try having a website development client questionnaire to consult every time you bid for a freelancing project. All you have to do is go through a series of web design questions for clients before you kick off a project.

Creating a Website Design Client Checklist

In addition, create a web design client checklist to stay on top of things. This list will save you time and ensure you don’t miss important things while discussing a project.

Here is an example of things you can tick off to ensure you’re on the right track:

  • Define the goals and objectives of the website development project.
  • Set clear deliverables for the web development project.
  • Make sure to have a point of contact before, during, and after the project.
  • Set an expected launch date for the website with revisions in mind.
  • Establish an agreed budget and mode of payment.
  • Create a contract to be signed by the client.

The list is not exhaustive, and you can add more things to it based on the nature of the freelancing project. You may also have to create some documents, such as an onboarding form, for clients. These documents can help you keep track of multiple projects with different clients.

Final Thoughts: How To Set Client Expectations for Website Development

According to HubSpot, the employment of web developers is going to increase by 8% in the next few years. That means there will be more projects to do and strict deadlines to adhere to in the future.

And that is just one of the reasons why setting client expectations for website development projects is extremely important.

With expectations set upfront, you can use minimum effort to manage your relationships with existing and new clients. Succeed in your freelancing web development business by managing client expectations.

If you want to carry out your projects more efficiently and boost client relationships, check out Hostdedi’ StoreBuilder. By helping you expedite processes, this tool will ensure your client’s expectations are met.

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