The new version of WordPress 4.0 is out, the code name is “Benny” and it’s ready for you to update but wait! Don’t update just yet.

SHOULD YOU UPDATE WORDPRESS NOW? You can do it safely if you follow the 5 steps below.

I usually like to wait a couple of weeks before I do the update unless there is a major security issue with the current version I’m running.

I have updated that blog so that I could test the new version but I’m going to hold off updating the WP Help Club site until they come up with patch releases (smaller releases that fix bugs introduced by the new version).

I know you’ve probably heard that you need to keep your site updated and it’s really tempting to just hit the Update button and be done with it. But the result could turn really bad and your site could break if you don’t follow these simple steps.

1) Create a test/site development site

This is a copy of your website that allows you to test updates, new plugins, new themes without worrying about breaking your live website.
If you don’t have a test site yet, now is a good time to build one 🙂 You can signup right here to get my free training on how to create a test site under 15 minutes using backupbuddy as your backup/restore system.

2) Update your plugins and theme on your test site

Login to your test site and update your plugins (one by one, and test your site to make sure it’s not broken).
Update your theme if needed.
Deactivate and delete any unused plugins and themes.

Everything looking good on the test site? let’s keep going!

3) Update WordPress to 4.0 on your test site

On your test site Click on “Update”. Once it’s done, make sure that all functionalities still work: sliders, social sharing and that nothing looks wonky.

If Everything looks good, it’s time to update your live site!

4) Apply the plugins updates and theme update to your live site

On your live site, go through the plugins and update them one by one.
Make sure you deactivate and delete all unused plugins.
Delete unused themes.

Everything still look good? Let’s get to the final step:

5) Update your live site to WordPress 4.0

You can now safely update your live site with the latest version of WordPress.

Once it’s done, make sure that everything works well and then do your happy dance 🙂

Here is what’s new in WordPress 4.0:

Now I want to hear from you: Do you have a test site? Are you going to run the update or wait? Leave us a comment 🙂