Easily update WordPress with cPanel 11 and phpMyAdmin
A simplified method for updating your WordPress website using the latest tools in cPanel 11.
WordPress is a popular blogging platform written in PHP. Whilst WordPress 2.7+ introduced push-button automatic updates, occasions arise when one needs to manually update WordPress.
With the release of cPanel 11 and updates to phpMyAdmin, the WordPress Codex documentation has become rather outdated. Furthermore, the instructions for the two most important steps in a WordPress upgrade are detailed separately on WordPress.org:
- Backing-up your database
- Updating WordPress
Having repeatedly found this process tedious and realising that the official instructions and visuals are no longer current, I thought I’d provide a useful update and bring these two processes into a single protocol.
Part 1: Backing-up the MySQL database
It is my view (and generally good practice) that blog managers should make a complete back-up of their database prior to any upgrade.
Log into your cPanel and go to phpMyAdmin, which is listed in the “Databases” section:
In phpMyAdmin, click on the “databases” tab at the top of the page:
A complete list of mySQL databases hosted within your account will be listed. Click on the one that matches your blog. This will likely be in the form username_blog.
Click on the “Export” tab at the top of the page:
An export screen will be displayed. Under “Export Method”, choose “Custom – display all possible options”.
The following options will appear:
Scroll down to “Object creation options” and tick “Add DROP TABLE / VIEW / PROCEDURE / FUNCTION statement”:
The rest of phpMyAdmin’s default options should be fine.
At the bottom of the page, press “Go”. A pop-up dialogue box will ask you to save a .sql file. Save this to your hard-drive for backing-up purposes.
Part 2: Updating WordPress
Download the latest version of WordPress from their website, which is available in .zip and .tar.gz formats. (I usually download the zip file, myself). Extract the file to enable access to the contents.
Log into WordPress and disable all plug-ins via the Dashboard.
Once complete, proceed with the WordPress upgrade:
- Delete the old wp-includes and wp-admin directories on your web server (through your FTP or shell access).
- Using FTP or your shell access, upload the new wp-includes and wp-admin directories to your web server, overwriting any remaining old files.
- Carefully upload the individual files from the new wp-content folder to your existing wp-content folder. Do not delete your existing wp-content folder or any files or folders in your existing wp-content directory except those being replaced by the new version (typically Askimet, Hello Dolly and the TwentyTen and TwentyEleven themes).
- Upload all new loose files from the root directory of the new version to your existing wordpress root directory.
Visit your main WordPress admin page at /wp-admin. You may be asked to login again.
If a database upgrade is necessary at this point, WordPress will detect it and give you a link to a URL like http://www.mywebsite.com/wordpress/wp-admin/upgrade.php.
Follow that link and follow the instructions. This will update your mySQL database to ensure it is compatible with the latest code. You should do this as soon as possible.
Proceed to the Dashboard and re-activate your disabled plug-ins.