Update a WordPress theme

It is a good practice to backup your site, including files and database, before updating anything in your WordPress site. Although, a theme update should go smoothly and without any critical issues, it’s good to be able to revert from your backup if something gets messy along the way.

Also, if you have made changes in the theme’s files and you have not used a child theme, your changes will be lost! Here is an official documentation on creating a child theme. Note, we provide a blank child theme for all of our premium themes. You can freely download it from the theme page on our site.

Automatic theme update

This solution will only work for valid license keys and free themes. If your license key has expired then you will get a notification that the theme has available updates but you won’t be able to install them.

This method is the easiest way to get the latest version of the theme:

  1. In your Dashboard, navigate to Appearance → Themes.
  2. Once the Themes page is opened, make sure the theme you want to update is currently active on your site.
  3. There are several ways to perform an update. You find a notice bar with a changelog and update links at the top of the Themes page. If the bar is missing then you can update the theme in the theme’s thumbnail container by clicking on the Update Now link.

Manual theme update

This method requires some basic knowledge of transferring files using FTP/SFTP which will allow you to override the old files of the theme.

  1. Download the .zip file of the theme from Themes Harbor.
  2. Unzip a file that you’ve just downloaded. You should get a folder called the same as the theme. This folder will include all the theme files.
  3. Access your server via FTP or SFTP. If you do not know how to do it, please check your webhost documentation page, or contact them to get the instructions.
  4. Navigate to wp-content/themes/ and find your current theme folder.
  5. Delete this folder and then upload a new theme folder that you’ve got in the Step #2.
  6. Wait for the uploading to start and complete. Note, this process might take a few minutes.
  7. Once the upload is completed, you should see your theme folder inside wp-content/themes/ on your server.

Clear your site and browser cache

It’s possible that your site might look broken after any updates (core, plugin or theme). Clear your browser cache to ensure you can see all changes. If you are using a caching plugin then login to your WordPress Dashboard and delete any cached files in the plugin.