I have over 10 years experience in performing updates on WordPress & WooCommerce based sites in a controlled environment that would not break your site, lose your data or cause you any downtime. Worst you don't want any downtime or a broken site if its a source of income. Rather Hire Me to perform your Website Updates for you, while you sit back and relax.
I make an original backup of the site before any work is performed to have a 'last resort' on hand if anything goes wrong.
I set up a staging environment on your or my server and clone your website to have an exact replica of your site.
Code Inspection & Child Theme.
I will perform a code inspection if your website contains customizations. These customizations need to be transferred back after a website is updated. I will also set up a child theme if you already do not have one setup. A Child Theme's function is to store all customizations done to the site. So in the event, the parent theme(original theme) is updated, customizations will not be lost as they will live inside the child theme or a 3rd party custom plugin.
Customizations found are documented for future updates.
If you perform updates on a Theme or Plugin that contains customizations in the core files IT WILL BE overwritten and lost for good.
Inspecting and updating code customizations done to your site. This work is also documented.
The initial update process begins. WordPress, the theme(s) and all the plugins are updated. After each component is updated, functionality is tested to see if something did not break somewhere or if the new plugin did not introduce new problems, bugs.
If a problem is found or a bug. The whole update process needs to be restarted to narrow down on the problem if it can't be resolved by a debugger; logging any errors in a file.
If the updates were successful and all functionality is working as it should(Staging), preparations can be made to apply the whole process on the live site OR migrating the new updated version to your live server. This is all done after hours when your site has the least traffic.
Here is a couple of examples to consider on why you should rather hire an expert to update your website for you.
Debugging Updates if some has gone wrong.
- Do you know how to backup and correctly restore a WordPress site?
- Do you know how to enable the WordPress debugger?
- Do you know how to debug PHP code, especially WordPress errors?
- Can you make CSS adjustments if required?
- Do you know how to update WooCommerce Template files?
Updating of WordPress Plugins
Most problems with updating plugins come with plugins that are not supported anymore. So the code is not up to date with the latest WordPress version and this will cause your site to break down because the old plugin is looking for functionality that does not exist anymore or has been renamed. Sometimes new bugs are introduced in an update and can cause the current plugin or another plugin or even the theme to fail.
Updating of WordPress Themes
Themes also require regular updating, but updates can introduce changes to a theme that might be incompatible with a plugin like WooCommerce. New theme functionality in the way it displays content on a page. For example, this would mean your old CSS changes will not be valid anymore and would require re-adjusting. All it takes is for the developer to remove or rename a <class-tag>. With CSS if you change one little element, everything else around it also changes.
Updating a Custom Coded WordPress or WooCommer site.
In the event that your theme or a plugin or even WordPress is updated it would mean that the customizations done to your site is not valid anymore. Customization also requires maintenance to be in line with the latest updates.
Scenario: I updated my WooCommerce site and now it is broken. Customers are unable to make payments.
White Screen of death? WooCommerce refuse to process payments after an update.
Let's take the WooCommerce Stripe Plugin as an example. Stripe is a payment processor. The WooCommerce Stripe payment plugin allows your store to take payments from customers for goods or services and process the payments on the stripe servers.
A WooCommerce extension plugin like Stripe for example 'borrows' functionality from WooCommerce plugin to function and in return WooCommerce borrows functionality from WordPress to operate. Not one of these plugins can operate on its own. In Coding, we refer to this object inheritance, to EXTENT on an object - adding functionality to an object. In this case, the Stripe plugins add payment functionality to WooCommerce.
It only cost one little small code error in any of these platforms to bring the whole building down.
Say, for example, Stripe fails to process payments after an update, but everything works 100% on your site. Where is the problem? Is it the Stripe plugin? You might think so, but it could be neither the Stripe plugin or WooCommerce(it depends on to function) or even WordPress. It could even be another plugin that has code not properly defined or implemented that could interfere with the code of the Stripe plugin.
This is why updates need to be properly tested. It is to look for faults you would not normally find after an update. Faults that could only be detected by a someone that has experience with these platforms and experience performing updates.