Why You Need to Keep Your Theme Updated
We recommend that you keep your theme, plugins and generally any web-based application updated because:
- The update may contain fixes for possible security risks.
- The update may contain bug fixes that could affect your website.
- The update may contain improvements to the GUI (guided user interface) that make it easier to use the product.
- The update may contain new features that you might be interested in.
What You Need to Know Before an Update
Whilst we recommend updating our products, it's not always necessary. Whenever we release an update, we provide information about it so that you can decide for yourself whether you want to update or not. The first place to check out information about the update is the changelog. Additionally, we typically add a release note about each update cycle, which usually explains what we're doing and why. You can find the release notes here.
How to Backup Your Website
As a general rule of thumb, it is always a good idea to back up your website before performing any software updates. When backing up your site, it should both the database and the files of your website.
You have a few options for backing up your website:
- Manual backups: This involves you accessing and storing the latest website files and database yourself. You can learn more about that using the official WordPress documentation here.
- Hosting tools: Many hosting providers provide tools to backup your website and later restore it if needed. Contact your hosting service provider for more information about the possible tools that they provide.
- Third-party plugins: There are various third party plugins that can perform backups for you, either manually or automatically. It's not for us to make an endorsement of any one plugin, but some popular backup plugins include UpdraftPlus, WP-DB-Backup, Duplicator, BackUpWordPress and BlogVault.
Automatic vs Manual Updates
There are two ways to perform the update process:
- Automatic Update: as long as your theme or plugin is validated, you will have automatic updates available to you. This means that you can update your product with a click of a button and you do not need to download any installation file. Click here to learn more about product validation.
- Manual Update: if for some reason you want to update the product manually, you need to download the latest installable file of the product and then upload it yourself either via the WordPress dashboard, or via an FTP connection.
How to Perform Automatic Updates
To update your product automatically, go to the WordPress Updates page from the WordPress dashboard here:
If an update is available, you'll see it in the list under 'Themes' or 'Plugins'. Select the product that you want to update and click on the Update button:
Wait till the update process finishes and you will have a screen like the screenshot below which shows that the update was successful:
Important: If you're using the X theme, make sure that if an update is available for the Cornerstone plugin, you update that too in the same way.
Ok, so what if you're sure an update is available but you don't see it listed? Well, first of all try pressing the Check Again button to force a recheck of available updates:
You can check the latest version of our products by going to the following page in the WordPress dashboard:
- If using the X theme, go to X → Validation.
- If using the Pro theme, go to Pro → Validation.
- If using standalone the Cornerstone plugin, go to Cornerstone → Home.
Whichever product you're using, you will see the Automatic Update section:
Click on the Check Now link to make sure that you have the latest changes available for automatic update. If the Installed Version is the same as the Latest Version Available then you do not need to update anything.
If for some reason you still don't see the update available, it may be that the release is not yet available for automatic updates.
How to Perform a Manual Update
You can update our products manually using the WordPress Dashboard or an FTP connection to access your website files.
Using the WordPress Dashboard
To update the product manually via the WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance → Themes:
Then click on Add New at the top of the screen, and then Upload Theme. Then use the Choose Now button to add the theme zip file from your computer.
As you will already have an earlier version of the theme installed, you'll see a screen like this:
To complete the update, simply click on the Replace current with uploaded button.
To update the product manually using FTP, you need to navigate to the relevant product folder via FTP as follows:
Delete the entire folder for X, Pro or Cornerstone, depending on which one you are updating. Now unzip the downloaded file of the latest version of the product and upload the unzipped folder using FTP to the same location, to replace the previous version.
How to Get Theme Files
Downloading From ThemeForest
To download the installation zip file of X or Cornerstone, go to ThemeForest and click on your account name in the top right corner of the screen. Then click on Downloads:
After that, you will see the list of items that you have purchased. Find the appropriate item and then click the arrow icon on the Download button. Then from the dropdown menu, click on the Installable WordPress File Only, to download only the installation zip file:
Downloading From Themeco Dashboard
To download the installation zip file of our products via your Themeco Dashboard, locate the theme license from the left hand side, and then just click on the Download link. The installation zip file of the relevant product will be downloaded to your computer.
Now you know how to check for product updates, the things to consider when updating, and how to update our products using either automatic updates or by manually updating. To take things a step further, check out our article about the launch cycle which explains the process we use to release new features and bug fixes.
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