How to update and integrate your WordPress with new version

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WordPress journey has come a long way. It is commendable that the team is prompt in updating the platform with better and more effective versions. A major reason why 25% of world’s total websites run on it!

WordPress released Security and maintenance update to their latest version Vaughan(4.7) on Jan 11th, 2017. This is their 203rd update to the platform since its release in May 2003.

WP version 4.7 has been phenomenal! It has been downloaded over 10 million times since its release on December 6th 2016 and is named in honour of the famous American Jazz artist Sarah Vaughan.

It is being called the next big thing for WordPress development platform specially with REST API integration that gives you power to feed data directly into other applications. Initial use cases for WP REST API shows immense potential.

 

Let’s go through some important features included in this latest update:

 

Live preview while you edit:

With Vaughan you can customise your website faster than ever. New visual edit shortcut shows which aspects of the website can be changed right where you customise with live preview. With this feature, delays due to page refreshes will be a thing of the past.

 

Video Headers:

If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video is worth a thousand pictures. Video is the present and future of Content Marketing. Watching a demonstration video increases viewers confidence in the product and services offered.

You can do a lot with a video in a short span of time. You can entertain, educate, connect emotionally and inspire your audience through videos.

The new version of WordPress has a new free business theme that suits small businesses as well as large corporations alike. They call it Twenty Seven. It allows you to upload video from your device to your WP website as a header.

 

Smoother Workflow:

Apart from to the ability of having live preview while editing, you can now add pages while building menus without leaving the customizer.

This enables you to build website structure without breaking the workflow. Your menu changes will not be abandoned even if you leave the customizer.

 

CSS in Customizer:

An additional CSS had been integrated with the customizer to provide users access to better theme customization. You can see changes simultaneously without saving and refreshing.

Currently people use plugins to do the same but having too many plugins reduces your site speed and also causes security threat to your website.

If you already have a custom CSS field in your theme, updating to the new version will cause no harm to the custom CSS in your existing template.

 

Thumbnail Preview for PDF’s:

With this latest update, WordPress development module now provides display thumbnails for PDF along with video and image thumbnails. It saves user time as you don’t have to open and refer the file before inserting it into your post or page.

 

Language options for Dashboard:

This latest version gives you the ability to customize language of your dashboard. To get this option in your user profile you need to add more languages to your website.

 

WordPress REST API:

WP REST API has been pegged as the most exciting project for the platform since custom post types were introduced.

 

What is REST API?

REST API is based on services oriented architecture. It stands for Representational State Transfer.  It enables programs to talk to each other in an effective and secure way. After you have set-up, it will enable you to get your website data in simple JSON (Javascript Object Notation) format. Say you run a Food blog on WordPress. If you have a lot of user generated content like comments and other submissions, you can use API calls to mine this data and display it on your site in interesting and meaningful ways.

WP REST API marks the final step in transformation of WordPress from a blogging solution into a full-featured application platform.

Moreover, it gives website owners and developers the ability to provide instant access of WordPress’ native functionality to developing languages like Ruby, Python and GO.

 

Things to do before you Upgrade:

 

1. Backup your Database:

Before you perform the upgrade it is important to backup your WordPress database. This ensures that you’ll have duplicate copies of all the files, images and content that can be restored if something goes wrong.

 

2. Save all modifications:

If you are making changes directly to your main theme files, generally following online tutorials, please make sure you have saved all changes before updating.

 

3. Upgrade Theme and Plugins before upgrading:

There is a rare but subtle possibility that the new update might affect the   functionality of existing plugins or theme. Updating wordpress with incompatible plugins and themes can leave you with a blank white screen. Best practice is to perform one update at a time and then test the site.

 

4. Re-evaluate your plugin choices:

As core upgrades come in every few months, features from popular plugins gets incorporated in newer versions. Running to many plugins can cause performance and security issues. This makes re-evaluating your plugin choices at regular updates important.

The latest available stable update of WordPress is 4.7.1, Security and Maintenance release. It is highly recommended that you update to this version as it has 8 major security issues fixed. In addition to that WordPress 4.7.1 has 62 bug fixes from 4.7.

A large number of websites run on this platform globally. A single security loophole can affect many websites. Being an Open source software bugs are detected and fixed quickly. Hence, keeping your WordPress site updated is important.

During the updation some some files are added, replaced or deleted. Even with best efforts there is a margin of error and care should be ensured. Always backup your WordPress installation before updating it.

 

The Popular Five Minutes Installation:

  • Download the WP package and unzip it.
  • Set-up a new database and user (using MySQL or Marina DB). Allot admin privileges.
  • Rename and edit wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php. (Refer – Editing wp-config.php)
  • Transfer all the unzipped WordPress Directory to the root directory of your web – server. Ensure that you do not copy wordpress directory with the files while transfering.
  • Uploading the WP files to your web-server:
    • Create a separate subdirectory on your website and upload all the files using FTP.
  • Copy and paste the URL used in the process above, in a web browser of your  choice.
  • Your script will run and the process will complete.

 

Single Click Updation:

This is the most preferred method. It will automatically download and replace all the required files hence reducing the chances of errors creeping in. You can find ‘Update’ link under Dashboard menu. WordPress will also notify you if there is an update pending before the two buttons. After clicking you will download the latest version of it in a Zip file. It will then deactivate your plugins, replace the right files and reactivate your plugins. Waiting a few seconds is all it takes!

The value that this platform provides to its users is immense and though the platform itself is free the economy surrounding it has grown fast. WordPress theme and plugin development, consulting, hosting, site maintenance, and blogging are just a few WordPress development services that have stemmed around the platform. Powered with these latest upgrades WordPress sure has a strong future full of possibilities!

 

Author Bio :

The author Sunny Patel is an Pro Digital Marketer, Having expertise in SEO, SMO and Lead Generation. He has around 3+ years of experience in this field. Love to share his experience and info to world as well as like to make new friends through various networks.

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