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How To Update A WordPress Theme

Update A WordPress Theme, Is It Complicated?

I decided to post this article as I got a question from a user on a Facebook group dedicated to copywriting to which I am also registered.

At first sight, this question seemed to me rather strange. Indeed on WordPress, the update of the themes is quite easy.

It is often a simple click, as for extensions. However, he was talking about a premium theme purchased from a leading online marketplace. The story is a little complicated because this user also had an excellent idea to install a child theme related to its premium theme.

A Child Theme, What Is This?

On WordPress, themes are fully editable. You can edit source and CSS files as you like to get the perfect theme for your site.

By cons attention! If you update your theme with the latest version … Hop flew the changes! You can then start all over again.

The themes children bring the solution to this problem. This is a theme based on your main theme (the parent theme), with all its features. But, you can modify CSS files and other templates as you please without fear of updates this time.

If you want to know how to set up this kind of thing, I invite you to read this complete article on the subject to know everything about the child theme.

Let’s go back to our sheep and this question of how to update a WordPress theme.

Before you start

First, why update its WordPress theme while it gives you complete satisfaction?

Two things : For bug fixes and possible security holes

And especially to benefit from new features and plugins related to your theme.

The first step before updating your WordPress theme seems obvious, but everyone does not always do it. This is to create a backup of your site! To do this, I can only advise you the excellent UpdraftPlus extension that works perfectly.

In order not to disturb users visiting your site, I also encourage you to install a maintenance extension. There are several on the market; most are free in their basic version.

The main feature is to place a temporary homepage to warn your visitors about the maintenance of your site. Feel free to put links to your facebook page or email, so you do not miss important questions.

Once these two operations are completed, we can now proceed to the update itself.

The Procedure

When you buy a premium theme, some are designed to update directly when you register your license key. I am thinking here of Divi which at the moment is one of the best themes I have had the opportunity to use .procedures to update a WordPress theme

On others, it’s more complicated. You receive an email telling you that an update is available. Here is the simple procedure I use:

  • Enable maintenance mode
  • Activate a default theme provided with WordPress
  • Delete the parent theme (keep your child theme!)
  • Install the new theme
  • Re-activate the child theme
  • Check all pages to see if everything is OK
  • Top chrono, maximum 5 minutes, and it’s done!
  • Ouch, everything did not go well!

Sometimes, some pages are “broken” after this operation.

Do Not Panic!

From 1 you usually have a backup, and 2, most of the time, the problem comes from a plugin that requires an update too. Indeed, these premium themes are usually packaged with a series of extensions like a Visual builder or an image carousel.

These extensions do not automatically update with the theme update! If you notice problems, disable and replace these plugins with their newer versions.

The Problem Should Be Solved.


Updating a WordPress theme is not a complicated operation. If you respect the few points mentioned above, everything should be fine.

How To Update A WordPress Theme
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