How To Upgrade Your Blog and CMS Software

If you own a blog or CMS website, it is likely that you are using open source software such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. And if you are on a shared web host, such as HostGator or GoDaddy, you’ll have an easy 5 minute utility which enables you to install and upgrade these programs.

Unfortunately, these web hosts might not offer the most recent versions of this software. In fact, it might take up to 3 months for it to be made available. Clearly, this can be quite frustrating if your website needs the features or bug fixes available in the newer versions.

Other Upgrade Options

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait on your web host to update their offerings. Instead, you have two options:

1. Hire A Professional

If you are a complete novice and have no interest in learning the basics, you might want to hire a professional. This will ensure a hassle-free upgrade process. It is also a relatively simple process, so — depending on who you hire and what kind of software you are using — you should be able to pay less than $200.

2. Do It Yourself

The upgrade process is very simple; no matter what software you are using, you always follow five basic steps.

  1. Download New Files from Software Website.
  2. Unzip or Decompress the Files on Your Computer.
  3. Edit The Configuration File. (For some content management systems, this is not required.)
  4. Upload Files To Your Website. To do this, you will need to know how to use FTP. If you have any difficulties accessing your website using this protocol, contact your web host.
  5. Use The Simple Step-By-Step Upgrade Utility.

It is also a good idea to backup your database and all of your files before upgrading. Additionally, you will have to verify that your web hosting plan is compatible with the new release. (You will need to verify both the versions of your databases and language support.)

Obtaining Upgrade Instructions And New Files

To find the specific upgrade instructions for your website software, simply go to the software’s home page. If you do not know the home page, just search for it in a search engine.

For your convenience, we’ve listed some home pages for popular CMS’s below:

To get the upgrade instructions and files, simply use the links on the home page. If there is not an upgrade link, use the download link.

And you will find that most of these packages feature a very simple upgrade process that takes under 15 minutes. (Note: For some of the packages — namely PHPBB — the length of the upgrade process depends on the size of the website and may take several hours.)

Additionally, some of these packages offer an automatic install option. WordPress, for example, enables this functionality via an update plugin.


So, good luck on your upgrade. And feel free to post any questions below.

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