How to Safely Update WordPress, WooCommerce, Themes, and Extensions.

When it comes to WordPress errors, there are a million-and-a-half ways any given error can crop up.  Most quality vendors (WooThemes, of course) offer great support, but due to volume they’re often a little slow to get to your ticket, which causes frustration for you, your clients, your customers, and pretty much everyone involved.  Luckily, more than 90% of the time it seems to be a relatively simple fix in updating your code – therefore, I’ve put together a quick step-by-step list to upgrade WordPress, its Themes, and its Plugins.  Note that updating WooCommerce extensions are a slightly different process as shown here, and these should be done after updating your plugins (specifically WooCommerce.)

“Reset” Your Site

This step will not lose any data, but will instead bring your site to a simple standard best for upgrading.  That said, it’s always a good idea to create a full backup before any updating to prevent accidental loss of data.

  1. Go to Plugins > Installed Plugins. There, you would check the first box in the table (, and select “Deactivate” from the drop-down menu. Then, hit Apply. This will not lose any data – it just switches those plugins off for now.
  2. Go to Themes > Installed Themes and switch to the Twenty Twelve theme.

Update your Code

This step will upgrade your code to the current standard. This is a very important step, as any part of outdated code will cause issues with new plugins.

  1. Go to Dashboard > Updates.
  2. First, you will need to upgrade WordPress to 3.8.1. You do this by clicking the Update Now button:
  3. After that’s complete, head back to Dashboard > Updates.
  4. Now, you’ll update your Themes. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you’ll see the themes – click “Select All” and then “Update Themes”:
  5. After that’s complete, head back to Dashboard > Updates.
  6. Now, you’ll update your Plugins. Click “Select All” and then “Update Plugins”, the same as themes.
  7. Once that’s complete, you’re now running the newest, updated code.

Switch your site back on

Now, we need to switch the functionality of your site back on. For testing purposes we’ll skip the custom theme at the moment – instead:

  1. Go back to Plugins > Installed Plugins and re-enable WooCommerce only. If your issue is specific to a plugin or feature, enable that as well.
  2. Test if the issue still continues with these settings. If not, then re-enable the rest of your plugins to see which one causes an issue, if any.
  3. If you can enable all of the plugins without causing an issue, then success!


If this process doesn’t fix your site’s issue, then the best course of action is to contact the developer to see if they can weigh in.

Happy updating!

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