How to Upgrade WordPress Theme?


WordPress websites are popular worldwide. Users apply different WordPress-themes for their sites. Moreover, there are hundreds of WordPress-themes available. However, you may check some best ones from our previous post. After installing a theme, it requires upgrading. Hence, knowing about upgrading WordPress themes are necessary.


Upgrading WordPress Theme

Users chose WordPress-themes according to their need. After applying a theme, many users customize it. Additionally, developers release updated versions of those themes from time to time. You may ask why developers release new versions?

The answer is security, new trends and features. Experts always recommend updating WordPress themes whenever a new version is available. It is necessary to tighten-up the website’s security. Moreover, a theme’s new version enables new features.


Different methods are available to upgrade a WordPress theme. Before upgrading, users should take some precautions to avoid any loss. Therefore, let’s talk about those precautions.


1. Making Backup

The first thing is to make a backup of everything before upgrading WordPress theme. The upgrading process may go wrong. Additionally, one may not like the new interface or features. This backup will come in handy then.

Users can manually make backup files. Moreover, they can use free plugins to reduce hassle. Some free plugins are as follows:


2. Checking Change-log

Checking change-log is important. Users can get change-log in README.txt file. This change-log will give an overview of maximum changes and improvements. Hence, users can skip that update if those changes seem irrelevant to them.


3. Testing the Theme

Testing the new theme version is mandatory before upgrading it. It may not work with the user’s current plugins. Moreover, it may contain bugs. Thus, it is wise to test the new theme version before going live.


4. Reviewing Codex

Checking Codex instructions are also vital. Users can learn about when to update themes from here. Additionally, users get to know about do’s and don’ts from here. Moreover, Codex instructions get frequent updates.

Theme Upgrading Method

Users can upgrade their existing WordPress theme after taking proper precautions. But existing customization may get hampered. Therefore, users should apply safe methods. There are several methods to do so. Those are as follows.


1. How to Upgrade WordPress Theme Automatically

It is simple to update WordPress theme automatically. It is also user-friendly. Users need to follow few simple steps to upgrade existing theme automatically. Additionally, latest versions of WordPress allow users to update their WordPress themes automatically.

To upgrade WordPress theme automatically, first go to ‘Appearance’ from your WordPress dashboard. Then, click on ‘Themes’ button. Here, you will get an alert banner if any updates available for your theme. Just click on the ‘Update now’ button from that banner. It will initiate the automatic upgrading process.

There is another feature available in the latest WordPress Versions to upgrade themes automatically. This feature remains disabled by default. To enable this feature, users need to follow below steps.

Firstly, user need to open theme’s ‘functions.php’ file. Then, add the following snippet there:

{code type=”php}
add_filter( ‘auto_update_theme’, ‘__return_true’ );

This process will enable automatic background updates for themes and plugins. This feature will not work for premium themes. Premium themes get instructions from their developers for upgrading versions.



2. Replace Existing theme with New one

Sometimes It may require to upload a new version of the theme and replace it with the existing version to upgrade.
However, If you try it through “Appearance” form WordPress Dashboard and then “Themes” and “Add New” to upload the new version of the theme, This will show you an error message. Because In the theme Directory, You can’t keep two Different folders with the same name.

  • There is a couple of ways to overcome this issue
    Log into the Site using FTP or C-Panel. Delete the old theme and upload the new version of the theme file. To keep the process safe, do not forget to make a back up first.
  •  Sometimes you may not feel good deleting files from the directory. Don’t worry. You can still be doing it without deleting the old version. Simply Rename folder that contains the old files. It will allow you to upload the new folder successfully.
    Enter into the site using FTP or C-Panel and go to wp-content > themes > and find your old theme.
    -Rename it like “Theme-Old”.
    -Upload the folder that containing the new version of the theme.

Both Versions will appear in the Themes Interface, But you can still distinguish them by their folder name.


Above mentioned Steps are the key points that one need to know before upgrading a theme. WordPress theme update ensures many benefits. Here, updated features and security updates are the most valuable benefits a user can get. Feel free to raise your questions if you have confusion regarding any WordPress Service. Techoners will be very happy to help you!

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