Ive got a wp theme I use on a website - the theme in question was purchased from a popular site ending in forest... So the code is not mine and I can’t speak as for its quality either way.

Every time a new version / update of WordPress comes out I update to it, but before I do I get a warning in my dashboard, saying that I should backup my site, as the update might corrupt the site.

I’ve always backed up the site, using the export setting and also exported my theme settings.

But what I was wondering is how necessary is this, as my host makes auto 24hr backups of the site both the files and mysql db. From those site backups would I be able to easily restore my site in the event of it becoming corrupted?

Also out of interest I know its a bit of a vague question but how common is it to see a WordPress update corrupting a site ?

  • Depends on how many plugins you're running. Responsible plugin authors will test their plugins against the latest version of WordPress before it comes out. The same is true with theme authors. I can't speak to your theme's author, but if they regularly release updates when new WordPress versions come out, you're probably ok as long as you stay current. That said, making backups is never a bad idea. You never know how responsive your host is going to be in retrieving backups for you. Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 1:11

1 Answer 1


WordPress updates don’t break a site in most cases. Each final version has been tested before the release, and the most important errors are found and fixed during that.

What could break?

  • If your setup is rather rare, IIS 6 for example, or custom URLs for some directories, then it might happen that this breaks, because the testers missed that.

  • Your theme or some plugins might be very old oder not written properly. If they rely on an outdated version of jQuery and WordPress comes with a new version, not all scripts might work anymore.

  • Some changes are really hard to see. When Matt added the filter Wordpress → WordPress, some authors got in real danger: Capital letters inside of words are not allowed in some countries, they are reserved for religious terms or names. The punishment includes torture and imprisonment. This was never mentioned in the release notes …

I recommend to run a local mirror of your site on your computer with all the plugins and the theme you use on the main site. Run the update locally first; if nothing breaks you should be safe. Database breaks are really, really rare.

But still: backups are cheap. Make one regularly.

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