I. How to update WordPress Themes
It is wise to be carefully before updating any WordPress themes which can prevent any loss of customization which you have already done. Check the following steps before attempting the theme update.
1. Check the Changelog
When you download and unpack the latest theme package, then open the README.txt file and read the Changelog which gives the details of new features added, improvements and bug fixes carried in the latest version of the theme. If you find the specified changes irrelevant or unimportant, you can skip the update.
2. Keep the Backup Ready
The best precautionary measure is to restore original data and design, if the newly downloaded theme doesn’t work.
You can make use of the various useful Plugins which can be useful in backing up and restoring WordPress blog.
The free and paid Plugins available are:
3. Check the Theme
It is very vital to check the theme in a test site on your local before going in for update. Check the latest version of the theme, find the bugs- if any and check all plugins and their functionalities before applying to your live site.
4. Refer Codex for details
The best option is to refer to the instruction on Codex which get a clear overview of theme while updating in WordPress. It offers useful tip about what should and should not be done. These instructions help you before and while updating the theme of your choice.
II. Update WordPress Theme
Two ways of updating WordPress theme are:
- Automatic update and
- Manual update
The latest versions of themes released are automatically updated and is made available in the WordPress admin screen. You can directly download the latest version and for the paid themes – to get license key to activate the automatic update.
To launch the latest theme, just navigate to Dashboard
Select – Appearance >> Themes,
Choose the current theme and simply click the button “Update Now” to upgrade the theme automatically.
But there is a chance of losing the previous customization made in the current theme which gets updated automatically without adding any changes. In such cases; it is advisable to go for manual update of the WordPress theme.
Navigate to Dashboard and
Select the options- Appearance >> Themes >> Add New >> Upload theme.
Upload the new version of the theme through Dashboard. After uploading the new version, both the versions of the theme will be displayed in the themes interface. Select the latest theme by referring to the latest version number and activate.
Note : if you update the theme with the similar name that already exists, then it will fail and will display an error message as given below:
It clearly indicates that you cannot upload two theme folders having identical names into the theme directory.
To resolve the error:
You can Login into the FTP to navigate the themes folder- we-content/themes/
Rename the old theme folder with a new name.
Select the uploaded theme and activate it using
Dashboard >> Appearance >> Themes options
III . Preserve the customization
If you have customized the earlier theme and you want similar customization effect on the newly uploaded scheme then you can make use of additional tools to get back the changes.
The various plugins and tools are available to detect and compare the difference between files and folders (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_file_comparison_tools).
Theme Activation using key settings (for premium users)
For the Premium users who want to make use of the paid WordPress Themes, will receive an activation key which confirms the purchase of the theme. The key allows you to get automatic upgrades for the purchased WordPress theme and also gets the support services.
To activate your purchased theme using the key:
- Go to Appearance >> Customized Key
- Paste the given key. (Find Where to find your activation key?)
- Save, activate and you’re done.
Theme is a part of customizing your blog with the help of ready made design which is available either freely or paid one. Customizing WordPress blog as per your likes and designs will surely make you feel content. The WordPress themes available in various categories offers simple customized options and exceptional look to the web blog.
If you are interested in creating your own Theme for distribution, or learning more about the architecture of Themes, please review the documentation regarding Theme Development. If you simply want to customize your current Theme for your own use, consider creating a Child Theme.
We will Cover about Child Theme in our Nest Blog Post.