How To Update WordPress Theme Correctly

Whenever developer releases new security patches and feature, You get updates for the theme or plugin. So, it’s always a good idea to keep your WordPress theme and plugins updated. There are multiple ways to update WordPress theme and plugins. In this tutorial, I am going to share 3 easy ways to update WordPress theme.

Before you update, it’s always better to follow some basic steps.

  • Always check WordPress theme update notes which give you a brief information of the modified, deleted and new files that are added in the update.
  • Always backup the modified files and the database, in case something goes wrong with the server you could use the backup to revert to the previous state.
  • Do not keep older copies of the theme inside WordPress themes folder
  • Reset the cache including plugin cache and CDN cache after you update.
  • Update the theme required and recommended plugins as well.

Now if you using the premium theme from ThemeForest. You need to download the theme package from the ThemeForest’s dashboard.

  • Log into your [eafl id=3650 name=”ThemeForest” text=”ThemeForest”] account.
  • In your Downloads tab look for the theme.
  • Click the Download button next to it and choose to download the Installable WordPress Theme (the WordPress file)

After downloading the files, you must decide if you want to install the update via FTP, via WordPress or update automatically via Envato WordPress Toolkit. For directions on all methods, please continue reading below.

Update WordPress Theme Using FTP

  1. Place your site in maintenance mode, for this, you could use a plugin (ex. Ultimate Maintenance Mode, WP Maintenance Mode, … etc.)
  2. Go to “your site/wp-content/themes” folder location and backup your theme folder by renaming it, or you can choose to simply delete it. Your content will not be lost, but please note that if you have modifications on the theme code they will be lost. You have to reapply them after the update is over.
  3. Connect to your FTP account using FileZilla.
  4. Inside FileZilla navigate to the WordPress theme directory “your site/wp-content/themes”.
    Retrieve the file from your new ThemeForest download and extract the file to get the updated theme folder.
  5. Drag and drop the new updated theme folder into “your site/wp-content/themes” and overwrite the existing files.
  6. Let the upload complete.
  7. After completion of the upload, you can now disable maintenance mode and purge all the cache.

Update WordPress Theme via WordPress

  1. Deactivate the current theme simply by activating a different theme.
  2. Delete old theme that you wants to update.
  3. Now add a new theme, upload and click on the Install Now button.
  4.  Once you done with the upload, simply activate the updated theme.

 Update WordPress Theme Automatically

If you are using WordPress theme from the WordPress theme repository, you can easily update the theme with a single click.

  1. Login to WordPress dashboard.
  2. Go to Dashboard >> Updates. Now you can see the available update for the theme. Simply select it and click Update Theme button.

As the old Envato Toolkit has become deprecated, it was replaced with a new plugin called Envato Market.

For those who using the premium theme from the ThemeForest can automatically update their WordPress theme using an Envato Toolkit plugin Envato Market plugin.

Most of the time this plugin comes with the theme’s package. But if you don’t have this plugin you can simply download it from here

Once you complete with the download, upload and activate Envato Market plugin.

Now you have to input secret API key and save it.

Add a new item – Add your theme to the list of purchased items. You will need the personal token again and the Envato item ID number. You can find Envato item ID number on your purchased licence.

After you can see Theme tab under Envato Market, here you can see updates available for your theme. If you get update available notification you can Press the update theme button and wait for the update to finish.

So, these are three easy ways to update WordPress theme. You can use any of them as per your convenient. Drop comment below if you need further help.

Amit Malewar
Amit Malewar has been the tutorial writer since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of technology flow through in the expert coverage he provides. In addition to writing for InfoPhilic, Amit loves to read and try new things.


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