Need to update your WordPress theme but don’t know how? Not sure if you need to upgrade free or paid themes differently?
WordPress makes it easy for you to upgrade your free and paid WordPress themes so you can keep your website up-to-date.
It is important for you to keep your WordPress site up to date. WordPress security and compatibility can be serious issues without an up-to-date theme. It also doesn’t hurt to have the latest features of your theme available for your website.
In this article, we will discuss the two ways you can update your WordPress theme.
Before you even start upgrading your theme, it is highly recommended that you backup your WordPress site first.
Before explaining how to upgrade your WordPress theme, let’s discuss an amazing offer for WordPress site owners.
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Envato Elements is a service that provides an unlimited download subscription, which means you are free to download as many elements as you like from millions of digital resources. This includes premium WordPress themes and plugins, icons, stock photography, royalty-free audio, and stock video.
The subscription is covered by a simple commercial license which gives you the rights to use the article in a wide variety of projects, including those of a commercial nature.
The license is future-proof, which means that even if you unsubscribe and can no longer download items from Envato Elements, all existing registered uses are still covered.
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How to upgrade a free or paid WordPress theme
Once you have your WordPress website backed up, you are ready to update your theme.
You can upgrade a free and paid WordPress theme alike. There are two ways to update your theme and both can be done from within your WordPress dashboard.
If you’ve added custom code to your WordPress site, you’ll need to go an extra step to make sure you don’t lose your customizations.
Now let’s look at both methods of updating themes and how you can update your theme if you have added customizations.
Updating a theme without custom code
If you haven’t added custom code to your theme, updating it is easy.
The first way to update your theme is to go to WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Themes. From there, click on Update now option on the active theme.
The second way to update your theme from your WordPress dashboard is to go to Dashboard > Updates. Scroll down the page until you see the Themes section.
If your theme is up to date, you will see the text, Your themes are all up to date.
If an update is available for active or inactive themes, they will be listed here. If you want to update the theme, click on the Update themes button next to the theme you want to update.
That’s all! Your theme is now updated.
Updating a theme with custom code
When you add custom code to your WordPress theme, you will lose any changes you made if you use the above method to update your theme.
The best way to update a WordPress theme with custom code is to create a child theme and add your custom code there.
A child theme is a subtheme that looks and functions like the parent theme. When you make changes to the child theme, the changes will not be copied to the parent theme. This allows you to update the main theme without losing customization.
To learn how to create a child theme, check out the tutorial below:
Once you’ve created a child theme and added your customizations, you can update your WordPress site from Appearance > Themes or Dashboard > Updates on the WordPress dashboard.
Updating a theme from ThemeForest
ThemeForest has tons of high quality WordPress themes that you can download at an affordable price.
If you have already purchased a theme from ThemeForest, you will need to follow a different procedure than the one described above to update your theme. Some ThemeForest themes will allow you to automatically update your theme, but most will not.
To update your ThemeForest theme, you need to download the Envato Market plugin and set it up. To do this, head over to the Envato Market WordPress plugin page. After that, download the latest version of the plugin.
From there, go to your WordPress dashboard and click Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin. Navigate to the plugin you just downloaded and upload it.
A new WP Dashboard link called WP will now appear Envato Market. Click this link and a settings page will appear.
Now we need to create a personal token so that Envato can communicate with your WordPress site. Click the by clicking this link text in step one of the Turn on the Envato API connection section.
If you’re logged into your Envato account, you’ll be directed to the Token Creation page. If you are not logged in, you will be prompted to do so.
To create a token, enter a name of your choice in the file Token Name section. Next, check the box that you have read and agree to the terms and click the green button to create your token.
A success screen will then appear with your token code. Copy your code and paste it into a notepad or somewhere on your computer. Envato doesn’t store tokens, so it’s important that you have a copy of this code. Check the box to confirm you’ve copied the code, then click the white button.
Then go back to WordPress Dashboard > Envato Market. Paste your token into the file Token field on the Envato Market page and click Save your changes button.
You may see an error message after clicking the Save Changes button. If that happens, just add your token back to the token field and it will work.
The Envato Market page will update and contain a Themes form. Your themes will be present in this tab. From this screen, you can update your theme.
Updating a theme from Envato Elements
Envato Elements is another great marketplace for downloading the best WordPress themes on the market.
Theme authors on Envato Elements release updates to their themes to ensure they work as described and are protected from major security issues, and sometimes provide discretionary version updates as well.
If you purchased a theme from Envato Elements, you’ll need to check the changelog on the item page.
The changelog available on the item page will indicate any updates made by the author and the date they were released.
To access these updates, please download your item again to get the most up-to-date version.
Level up your WordPress site
WordPress is a complete CMS platform with many features. To learn how to get the most out of your WordPress website, check out some of the articles below:
Update your WordPress theme today!
Updating your WordPress theme is easy. You can update your theme from the themes section or updates section of your WordPress dashboard.
If you have made any customizations to your WordPress site, you will need to use a child theme when upgrading your WordPress site.
Looking for even more resources for your WordPress website?
Don’t miss out on a great opportunity for WordPress site owners. Envato Elements has a low monthly subscription that gives you access to not only WordPress plugins and themes, but tons of other creative assets as well.