When WordPress is due for an update, it can be tempting to ignore it and continue to use the site as-is. Whether you’re nervous about navigating the newer version or you just don’t feel like going through the process, it’s important not to ignore WordPress updates — they serve to improve functionality and create a better user experience. Of course, updates can be complicated. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you on how to update WordPress safely.

Why Should I Update WordPress?

Before we examine how to safely update your WordPress site, let’s review why updates are important. By using the latest version of WordPress, you’ll enjoy the following advantages:

  • Increased protection: Outdated WordPress plug-ins, WordPress themes or WordPress core increases the likelihood of getting hacked.
  • Improved performance: Updating WordPress boosts speed and functionality. It also fixes bugs that might be interfering with the WordPress site performance.
  • New tools: If you’re not using the latest WordPress version, you won’t have access to the newest features and tools.
    Installing updates is the best way to ensure you’re using the highest-quality version of the site. Now that you understand the benefits, here’s how you can safely update WordPress.

How to Update WordPress Safely?

If this is your first time updating WordPress, it might seem a bit difficult. However, over time, this process should get easier — you’ll soon become expert at executing these updates. Here’s everything you need to know.

Secure Your Files

Before you update WordPress, take the time to complete a thorough backup. This way, if anything goes wrong during the update process, you can still access your files. A backup should include core WordPress files and parts of your WP content folder, such as the following::

  • Themes and plug-ins
  • Uploaded media and images
  • Data

In addition to performing a backup, it’s advisable to turn off caching before moving forward with the update. Put simply, a cache is a high-speed layer of data storage. While it’s helpful during your regular WordPress operations, this function can interfere with the update. You can easily turn it off through your plug-in menu.

Find the Automatic Update

When a new update is available, you’ll see a notification at the top of your screen. You can quickly begin the update by clicking here. However, some users might not see the notification. This could be because you minimized it or because the site is hiding it. If this is the case, don’t worry — you can still access the update by going to the WP admin dashboard.

Once you’ve opened your dashboard, you’ll see an “updates” menu. There should be an option to “update now” — just click this to start the process. During the update, you won’t be able to use WordPress for a few hours or so.

Conduct a Manual Update If Necessary

Usually, the automatic update is all you need to get the process started. However, in some cases, it may not work. While this can be frustrating, you can still take advantage of updates by carrying out the process manually. This requires the following steps:

  • Get a free File Transfer Protocol (FTP) software package
  • Download the most recent version of WordPress as a zip file
  • Upload your zip file to your FTP
  • After the upload is complete, you can find the update in your WP admin panel. Although this process is more complex than conducting an automatic update, you’ll be able to enjoy all the perks of the new WordPress version once it’s done.

Update WordPress Themes

Updating the “themes” section of your WordPress website is a slightly different process. You can find the update in your “Appearance” menu — of course, before you click on it, make sure everything is backed up.

If you have any customized themes, or child themes, you’ll want to save them before the update. Most WordPress users base their themes on an original version, or parent theme. Start by noting all the differences between your theme and the parent theme. This should include the following:

  • Style
  • Functions
  • Files

Copy all these changes to a blank child theme, then go ahead and update the parent theme. Once it’s updated, you can copy the changes again and move them back to the parent theme. You can also turn caching back on at this time.

Make Sure Everything Is Working

Once the update is done, you’ll have a fully functional, high-quality version of WordPress on your hands. However, you should run a quick check just to make sure everything is working. There are two ways to do this:

  • Run a manual check
  • Use a visual regression tool

You can conduct a manual check by navigating through the site and testing features out on your own. Of course, this process is time-consuming, and there’s no guarantee you won’t miss something. Thus, it’s recommended to use an online visual regression tool that can check for you. Using online services can save time and effort while reducing the risk of making a mistake. For the best results, you should always rely on a high-quality resource like WP SitePlan.

artKenya’s Managed Web Hosting: Your Resource for Safe Updates – and so much more!

If you’re looking for WordPress management assistance, our team at artKenya is here to help. In addition to performing secure, regular updates, Managed Web Hosting includes the following services:

  • Daily data backups
  • Monitor uptime in real time
  • Consistent security scans
  • Page speed optimization
  • Monthly reports
  • Database optimization
  • Web hosting
  • Domain renewal
  • Content updates

We’re happy to customize our services to meet your needs. Enjoy safe updates by contacting us today!

The footer is a valuable space on your WordPress website. Utilized correctly, it can help visitors find what they need and stay on your website longer. The WordPress footer shouldn’t include anything and everything. It should be designed well and serve its purpose. In this article, we’ll look at 4 footer elements to include in your website’s footer.

1. Footer Elements: Contact Information

First, we’ll look at contact information. This type of information makes it easy for customers to talk to you and find your physical location. It’s often included in detail on a contact page but having some of the information in the footer is helpful. Shorter versions of this information are great for footer elements.

Basic contact information includes the email address, phone number, and address. For a store, you can add opening hours and other information. These are often added with individual text modules. Other modules add elements that make them stand out such as titles and dividers or styled borders.

Contact Form

Add a contact form so your visitors can reach you easily. Add the specific fields you want, but it’s best to keep it simple for the footer.

Social Media Follow

Social media follow buttons are ideal for almost any footer. Add your active social networks.


Maps are great for providing directions to your physical location or the location of events. They’re easy to add with a Map module or plugin. They can be full-width or just take a up small column. Alternately, you can add Google Maps HTML.

2. Footer Elements: Calls-To-Action

Next are CTAs. Calls to action are powerful footer elements. Adding a call-to-action to the footer gives you one more chance to push something important to your business goals. This can be an email subscription, membership, link to your shop page, a reminder to ask for information, etc.

Email or Newsletter Subscription

Adding an email or newsletter subscription is as simple as adding an Email Optin module or other form element.

Purchase Call to Action

Create a link to your online store to remind visitors where they can shop. The shopping CTA should be larger than most other links and stand out. They can be full-width or fit within one of the columns.

Project CTA

A project CTA can nudge the visitor into requesting a quote or contact you for more information. They work best when they’re larger than other elements around them, but still keep them simple and clean.

3. Footer Elements: Links

Next, let’s talk about links. Links are some of the most popular elements we see in a WordPress footer. They work great as footer elements and they’re easy to add. They can link to pages, posts, comments, products, events, services, and lots more. There are several ways to create them.

Links to Pages

Links to pages can include specific products, legal information, about your company and team, your contact page, etc. It’s also good for links to pages that you don’t want to place in your primary menu. These links are usually created manually.

Posts and Products

Display a list of your latest posts and comments. You can also display WooCommerce products based on category, featured, hand-picked, or popularity. Add the proper widget to the WordPress widget area and then add them to your footer. Some themes offer a Sidebar module for that purpose.

Navigation Menus

Navigation menus look great when the links are stacked. You can add a stacked navigation menu widget to a footer area in your Widgets screen and then use a Sidebar module in your footer. Displays the navigation menu in a vertical stack.

Services and More

The footer is an excellent place to add links to your services, projects, portfolio, resume, case studies, events, etc. They work the same as regular links or you can highlight them with images or icons. Use only a few links rather than linking to all your projects and services.

4. Footer Elements: Company Information

Finally, we;ll look at Company information. This is one of the most important of the footer elements. Often, this type of information doesn’t fit well anywhere else on the page. This also works as a summary of the information. This includes copyright, company mission statement, information about the company, photos of people or products, etc. Be sure to keep it simple.

Copyright Notice

The copyright notice usually appears at the very bottom of the footer. You can enter the year manually or dynamically.

Mission Statement

Mission statements can be powerful messages about your company. They’re especially important for companies, such as charities and churches, that help others and accept donations that need to build strong relationships with donors. Mission statements are easy to add with Text modules.


Adding branding, such as a logo, reminds visitors of who you are. Add a logo using an Image module.


Photos can be a great way to make yourself relatable to your audience. Add an Image module along with Text modules for your name or contact information. You can also add photos of your products or an example of your work. One or two small photos are all you need in the footer.


A testimonial can help build credibility. Add one with a Testimonial module/plugin. You can add more with a Slider module/plugin and set it to display one at a time. Keep them short.

Ending Thoughts on Footer Elements

That’s our look at 4 footer elements that can’t be missing from your website and how to add them. The details of the elements are up to you, but every footer needs:

  • Contact information
  • A CTA
  • Important links
  • Company information

These examples show one method of how to create these elements, but they can be created using other footer placements. There is a lot of flexibility on what these are and how you create them. Be sure not to clutter the footer area. Use borders and different background colors to separate the elements and footer sections. Building these 4 important footer elements will make your footer more valuable and useful to your visitors.



1. WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world

WordPress runs 27% of the entire internet. Approximately 17,402,952 websites on the entire web use WordPress. Even many popular universities are using WordPress. People often make the mistake of classifying WordPress as a simple blogging system. In the pas that may have been true, however WordPress has evolved over  the years into a full extendable content management system (CMS). You can still use WordPress to create a simple personal blog, but now it allows you to create totally functional business and ecommerce websites.

2. WordPress has tons of support & resources available.

WordPress has a huge community. You can find WordPress support on forums, WordPress video tutorials, and abundance of handbooks on the internet about WordPress.

3. WordPress is designed with secure code and maintained aggressively.

Since WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, it is often targeted by hackers. WordPress is designed with secure code and addresses any security vulnerabilities rapidly. This is why it is extremely important to keep your WordPress software, themes and plugins updated at all times in order to keep your website safe and secure.

4. WordPress is extremely customizable and flexible.

WordPress has significantly more plug-ins, themes and options available than any other CMS (Content Management System. Because of it’s popularity, more 3rd party developers create new WordPress plugins to help make your website extremely extendable. Your options for growth are nearly limitless!

5. WordPress is easy to learn

WordPress is used by millions of people everywhere. It is easy to learn and many of our clients are able to make simple edits to their pages and posts. If you choose not to learn about WordPress, check out our Managed Web Hosting services so you don’t have to worry about maintaining and updating your website.  Our artKenya web designers will make all the changes for you!