Update WordPress theme

Banner for article about WordPress theme update

WordPress theme update helps to keep a website safe and bug free, to have new features, better compatibility, and a smooth website experience.

There are two ways to update a WordPress theme: automatic and manual.

Before update

Remember, a new theme update will replace the old files of the theme, meaning if you’ve made changes to any theme files then you’ll lose the changes when updating the theme.

Thus, for heavy theme changes, use a child theme since it allows to upgrade the theme without losing the changes made to the parent theme files.

Also, before updating any WordPress theme, we highly recommend to back up a current website to prevent any loss of settings and/or customizations that you’ve made.

Automatic updates

It’s possible to update a WordPress theme within a dashboard. This is the easiest way to update a theme since it does not require any technical skills.

Note, not every WordPress theme provides such functionality. However, professional WordPress themes by Themes Harbor come with a support for automatic updates.

Get latest update

You can check for latest theme update without a need of leaving your WordPress dashboard:

  1. Navigate to Appearance → Themes.
  2. Any themes that have updates available will display an alert banner. From the banner area, click on the Update now link to complete the upgrade. To view a changelog, click on the Check out what’s new link.
Preview of Themes page in WordPress with active update bar.

Note, when using a premium theme from Themes Harbor, the theme must be activated with a valid theme license key to receive updates.

Otherwise, the Update now link will not be present in the update notice.

Manual updates

It’s possible to update a WordPress theme manually but you need to monitor the latest theme updates yourself.

When a new theme update is available at Themes Harbor:

  1. Manually download the theme files from the Themes Harbor dashboard. Note, download requires an active license key.
  2. Manually upload the theme to a website.

Remember, WordPress does not allow to upload just a regular theme folder. The theme has to be in .zip format.

All premium and free themes from Themes Harbor are delivered as .zip files by default.

However, when using a Mac and Safari as a primary browser, you might need to change preferences in Safari in order to stop unzipping the file automatically after downloading it to your computer.

Alternatively, you can use a different browser (Chrome, Firefox or Edge) to download the theme files.

Upload theme

WordPress allows to upload the theme files using default dashboard tools. In WordPress installation 5.5 or up:

  1. Navigate to Appearance → Themes.
  2. Open Add New page by clicking on the Add New button at the top of the Themes page.
  3. Click the Upload Theme button at the top.
  4. Drop the .zip file of the theme.
  5. Click the Install Now button.
  6. Finish the update process by following the instructions provided by WordPress.

Make sure to keep a WordPress theme up to date in order to ensure a website always works as it should.