I'm working for a non-profitable company and their website is running on wordpress.

They haven't updated their website for a while and I believe they are running wordpress 3.4.7. They also have archived posts/ videos/ pages and photos since 2006.

I was wondering if there is a way to update the website to the latest version and also use a new theme without losing any information?



Well you can export all your existing content from Tools -> Export -> All Content save the xml file and import it into your new wordpress. Test it on your localhost first so you can make sure that all of your content is imported.


You shouldn't lose any information by updating your themes and plugins. Emphasis on shouldn't. As long as your themes and plugins are maintained and not doing anything strange, you should be okay, but it's possible to have some fallout that needs to be fixed. Here's my typical workflow:

  1. Back up the site's files and database. This is critical.
  2. Stage the current site locally. (Restore DB to local instance, copy site's files from the backup made, update wp-config.php to use the local DB) I typically will set up Apache with a virtual host to match whatever the domain of the live site is. Then I add an entry to my hosts file so that the domain points to my local server.
  3. Update WordPress. You should be fine with using the newest version; incremental updates are not necessary.
  4. Update plugins and themes
  5. If everything is good to go at this point, switch to your new theme and configure it to your liking.
  6. Comment out your hosts entry made previously so the live site is accessible via the domain name again.
  7. Replace the live site with a backup of the database and files from your locally updated stage.
  8. Make a new backup of the updated production site.

You can also install a backup creating software eg updraftplus and backup then install it locally, then update it and re-upload it to another directory, then change the install directory from wordpress moving codex of your current live install to something else, after putting it into maintenance mode if needed, then reupload the local updated install to the required website address..

edit: Dave Romsey beat me to the answer, but there is a slight change , in the latter part of the answer.

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