Version 4.9 of WordPress, named “Tipton”
… in honor of jazz musician and band leader Billy Tipton, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in 4.9 will smooth your design workflow and keep you safe from coding errors.
Featuring design drafts, scheduling, and locking, along with preview links, the Customizer workflow improves collaboration for content creators. What’s more, code syntax highlighting and error checking will make for a clean and smooth site building experience. Finally, if all that wasn’t pretty great, we’ve got an awesome new Gallery widget and improvements to theme browsing and switching..
Customizer Workflow Improved
- Draft and Schedule Site Design Customizations
- Collaborate with Design Preview Links
- Design Locking Guards Your Changes
- A Prompt to Protect Your Work
- Syntax Highlighting and Error Checking
- Sandbox for Safety: Warnings to avoid the White Screen of Death
- Warning: When you edit themes and plugins directly
More Widget Updates
- New Gallery Widget
- Press a Button, Add Media
Site Building Improvements
- More Reliable Theme Switching: Widgets and Menus are more persistent
- Better Menu Instructions = Less Confusion
Download WordPress 4.9 or venture over to Dashboard → Updates and simply click “Update Now.”
WordPress Updating Tips
When updating WordPress themes or plugins following the simple steps below can save you some headaches. With full revision updates (for example: 3.x to 4.0):
Doing a quick double-check with theme and plugin developers *before* updating to see if they have any concerns or comments about your theme and the new version is wise. If you are using quality a theme and plugins the developer(s) will be on top of this.
To help you safely and easily update to the most recent version of WordPress.
Before you update we need to do a little housekeeping:
- Save your WordPress XML file to your hard drive. You do this by clicking on the Tools icon in the left sidebar and then Export. On the next screen click on Download Export File. You might want to create a new Folder on your hard drive where you keep all your Website files. Name it WP Backup so you know to save all backup files for WP there (and you’ll know where to find them if you need them). It is a good idea to back up this file once a month anyway regardless if an update is needed.
- Backup your WordPress database. There is a nifty plugin that makes this process a no-brainer, WP-DBManager. This plugin is also a must have for repairing and optimizing your database (which you should be doing minimally monthly to keep things running smoothly). On some WordPress Managed hosts you can create a “back-up point” in your hosting dashboard which backs up your site at that moment in time.
- FTP into your Web hosting server and download a copy of your database backup so you have a copy off your server. That backup won’t do you any good if the server crashes or has issues. Even better, store the backup file in the cloud or on an external drive in case you have computer problems.
- Cover all the bases and download your theme/framework/child theme folders to your local hard drive. This is just good practice if you have customized any theme files.
- Then, to be safe, deactivate all plugins before upgrading.
It is a good idea to review my article:
WordPress How To: Do the Mother of All Backups
Once you get the above tasks accomplished, follow the links in the nag bar (it’s called a nag because that yellow bar will be up there “nagging” you until you take care of the important issue noted) and update your site to the latest version of WordPress.
Don’t forget to reactivate and update your plugins. You’ll see with each WordPress update that plugin developers also update their plugins which you can also do with one click. You’ll see the now familiar yellow nag bar under the plugin name in the plugins area with a link to “upgrade automatically.”
If you find after an update that something is not working as it was, go through the systematic process of deactivating your plugins one at a time until you find the culprit. If the developer has not updated his/her plugin to work with the lasted update, find another plugin whose developer is on top of these things!
Updating should not be ignored or put off. When you keep up with WordPress, have a Premium Theme and Plugin updates, you are not only keeping up with technology, but you make sure your site is secure and functioning error free.
At your service,