WordPress has been there in the media and content management industry for more than a decade. The sole purpose of WordPress was to enable its users, and I hope if you are here, then you too are using the same, to create Web Pages, where it can store the data that you want to use in the form of a Blog and for various other reasons.
Let me provide you with a brief history of WordPress. The first version of the WordPress website was released on May 27, 2003, by its founders ‘Matt Mullenweg’ and ‘Mike Little’. Since then, WordPress has updated itself several times, with the latest update released on December 6th, 2018 and its code-named as ‘Bebo’.
So what is there for you in this post to look up to? As you might have already gone through the title of this post, my job here is to explain the process or steps that you must take first, before updating to WordPress 5. If you do not follow the steps, then it might be quite a hassle for yourself and some features that we’re working for you in your previous versions of WordPress, might not necessarily work in the new versions.
But before I walk you through the steps that are needed to update from the old WordPress version to the latest WordPress 5.0, let me share the features of the new version, so that you would have an idea of what to expect from the new engine.
WordPress 5.0 Features:
WordPress 5.0 comes with plenty of features with an inbuilt Gutenberg editor and also comes loaded with Twenty Nineteen theme. The main advantage of Gutenberg editor is that it comes with a ‘Drag and Drop’ option which is purely user-friendly.
Also with the help of Gutenberg, you will be able to customize every single block of your Web Page, without you need to change sections of entire Web pages.
Gutenberg editor is the default editor of WordPress 5.0 and because of the same reason, you might find it difficult to get used to it. In that case, you can install the ‘Classic Text Editor’ and disable Gutenberg, until you become well versed with Gutenberg itself.
But before installing WordPress 5.0, there are certain things to be known in order to protect your hard work and all the important content of your website, from any kind of failures or unexpected crashes.
So let’s get started, shall we?
Step #1: Create a backup
This step is very important as if you do not take the backup of your Web Page, then after upgrading to the new version, it might corrupt your existing Web Page and hence all your hard work and efforts will be lost within an instant.
Therefore, if you have taken the backup of your Web Page, before upgrading WordPress, and if your live Web Page gets corrupted, then it can be restored with the ‘Restore’ button and with your back up data.
For backing up of data, you can download any of the top WordPress Backup Plugins and keep a backup up to date.
Step #2: Gutenberg or Classic Text Editor
You might feel that Classic Text Editor is more user-friendly as till now you were using the same. For some users, Gutenberg Editor is a great choice. In the end, it is up to you to decide what to use and with whom you are comfortable with. Whenever if you want to switch from Classic to Gutenberg, just enable the Gutenberg option.
Step #3: Update all your Plugins with their latest versions
The reason why it is important to update all your existing WordPress Plugins that are being used by the older version of WordPress is, it will make sure that each one of them is compatible with the latest version of WordPress, i.e. in your case 5.0.
Compatibility of plugins ensure smooth transitioning of older version to newer version and hence providing us bug free functionality of the software.
Therefore, after you have updated all the Plugins related to the newer version of WordPress, just check out that all plugins work properly or not.
Step #4: Update PHP
PHP acts like a processing engine whose responsibility is to form a connection between your plugins, themes, and WordPress, with the database. Most of the themes, plugins and older versions of WordPress will work without any issues with the minimum version of PHP 5.6, but it cannot guarantee you that it will still work with WordPress 5.0. Hence you should better read the changelogs of WordPress 5.0 and install or update the latest version of PHP, in order to avoid any kind of bugs.
Step #5: Validate Cache and Performance related Plugins
Step #6: Stage your website
The best way to make changes on a live website is to create a copy of the same and then test on the copied version of the website. Hence, in a similar way, while you upgrade WordPress, you also want to test whether every part of your web page is looking or functioning properly or not. Hence create a copy of your live website and then test all the new functionalities.
You can stage your website using a test server or by using a plugin, or on your local environment. You can use many plugins available to stage your website, according to your convenience.
Step #7: Let’s get ready for the new version
Everyone will be eager to use the latest updates like WordPress themes and other updates, but at the same time, everyone has the fear that the latest update will break the code. Hence kindly read the guide first and read it completely and then only read it. If any error is encountered, then try to find the solution in the guide and solve the same.
The WordPress 5.0 comes with awesome features, but also brings with it the chances to break the existing code that you might have developed and worked so hard on.
Hence kindly read the seven steps that I have mentioned above and implement and migrate to the new update flawlessly.
Hope you got an idea of how to implement or transition from old WordPress to new version. See you soon when a new update arrives.
Jitesh Patel, B.Tech is a passionate web developer and co founder of Cybertoss Pvt Ltd a core IT BPO and web development company. Jitesh is developing for last 7 years on different platforms like wordpress, zoopla, shopify, magento, opencart, drupal using technology of php, jsp, java script, jquery, codeigniter and pearl. Being a guest writer now he sometimes shares his experience on web development technology through his blogs.