The number of possible combinations of Software, Plugins and Themes in any WordPress install is massive and yet WordPress generally just works. This is the reason that WordPress is so popular.
Occasionally however a WordPress software, Plugin or Theme update can go horribly wrong and when this happens it isn’t a reason to celebrate.
How do you know that an update has failed
Usually it is obvious when you view any Page or Post on your Website that something is wrong; perhaps you are seeing a blank screen or even data may be missing or the display just looks different or wrong. It can happen that everything seems fine after an update and only after a few days do you notice that something is wrong such as your contact form no longer working.
The sooner that a problem is discovered after any update the simpler it is to resolve any error.
What to do if a WordPress update fails
Best practice is to apply a single update and then test for errors and then perform another update and so on. Using this method it is usually easy to identify which update has caused problems. Testing after each update however isn’t always practical as if you have thirty or so plugins installed and a few Themes then the update process can take hours if using the update method previously described.
If you are willing to take the chance of applying multiple updates at a time then it is essential to have a reliable and current backup in place from which to restore your WordPress Website (and MySQL database) should the update process cause problems. If you have a backup in place then, should problems be encountered, it’s possible to restore your Website or Blog from backup and then apply updates one at a time until the problem-causing update is discovered.
What if a WordPress update fails and there is no Backup
If you’ve updated your Plugins and are experiencing problems but can’t restore from backup then the following may assist in reaching a resolution:
- Disable all Plugins (or temporarily move all Plugins from the ‘Plugins’ folder on your Web-server)
- Enable Plugins one at a time until a problem is discovered
- If no problem is discovered then disable all Themes and enable your chosen Theme again to see if this helps in identifying the problem.
Sometimes however even these steps won’t assist. In this case contact me for some WordPress support.