How to Update Your WordPress Theme

Improving brand awareness is vital in today’s market.

With so many companies trying to get to the top of the tree, having a well-designed, user-friendly WordPress site is essential.

Which means a good WordPress theme is a must…

The right theme determines how your business portrays itself online. It communicates your company’s credibility and dictates the look of your site and the way you want to show your content.

Many individuals don’t know how to update their WordPress theme. And if you’re a WordPress theme beginner, this might seem more complicated than it actually is.

Fortunately, the steps are fairly easy, once you know how.

In this article, we’ll show you different methods to update a parent theme on your WordPress site without losing customization.

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What Does It Mean to Update Your WordPress Theme?

The WordPress theme is a pre-made layout designed for a WordPress site.

To customize your website and represent your company in the best possible way, you should select a theme carefully.

Whether you get a free or a premium theme, keeping it up-to-date is crucial for increasing performance benefits.

That said, when you update a parent theme, a child theme inherits all newly available functionalities but doesn’t lose the existing template.

Why Update Your WordPress Theme?

You might hesitate to do any WordPress update for fear of losing customization.

However, a theme update is essential for the proper functioning of any website. When you update your WordPress theme, you boost the performance of your website. Moreover, it helps increase security. In a nutshell, a theme update is a solution to get a fresh child theme that doesn’t have bugs from a previous WordPress theme.

How to Update Your WordPress Theme: A Step-by-Step Walkthrough

A solution that’ll keep your website up-to-date, optimized, and secure is to perform a theme update on your WordPress theme when possible. Although it might seem complicated if you aren’t a WordPress expert, it’s actually easily done.

In the following section, you’ll learn how to update your WordPress theme using different methods. But before you do so, you should always do a backup to be on the safe side. That way, if anything should happen, you can always restore the functions from your website. Without further ado, let’s dive right in.

 Method #1:

The first method will most likely be available if you’re using premium themes. You should go to your WordPress dashboard and find ‘Theme options,’ which you must click. After that, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Scroll down ‘General Settings’ to find ‘Theme update.’
  2. Once you click on it, you’ll see a new window where you must enter your Themeforest username and API Key. Note: You get Themeforest API Key once you download theme.
  3. When you finish doing this, you’ll have to tap on ‘Save changes’ in the upper right corner of the screen. From the menu bar, under ‘Plugins’ you’ll see some new plugin functions ready for an update. Just click on ‘update now,’ and that’s it. You’ve successfully updated your WordPress theme.
FocusBlog plugin

Method #2:

The second method is efficient if you don’t have an available ‘theme update’ on the side menu.

theme update

(Image Source)

  1. The first thing you should do is download a child theme to your disc.
  2. Now, you must navigate to ‘Appearance’ on your WordPress dashboard and tap on it. You’ll see your child and your parent theme.
  3. Next, you want to click on the parent theme details. Select ‘Delete’ to remove the outdated version. This is possible because you’ve already downloaded an update for your WordPress theme.
  4. Once you do that, you won’t be able to see the child theme as well, but don’t worry. You’ll follow the same steps as if you were adding a new theme.
  5. Click on ‘Add new’ and then ‘Upload theme.’
  6. After that, you’ll have to choose a zip file from your disc. Go to the right location and select the file you need. Finally, tap on ‘Install now,’ and that’s it!

You might have to wait for a few moments for a new child theme to activate. To make sure everything is working properly, return to ‘Appearance’ to see the theme. You’ll be able to view a newer version compared to the previous one.

Method #3:

This method requires the use of an FTP client, such as FileZilla.

  1. Make sure you connect to the FTP server by logging in. You should be able to see what your WordPress looks like under ‘Remote site.’ The key here is to remove the parent theme.
  2. But before you do, extract the zip file from the directory.
  3. When you finish the previous steps, manually move the file from the local disc to the theme in FileZilla.
  4. The upload will now take place, and you’ll have the latest version in WordPress.
update your theme using FileZilla

How to Update Your WordPress Theme FAQs

When should I run updates?

Don’t run updates on your WordPress theme when you merely assume there’s less visitor frequency. The best thing would be to use a tool such as Google Analytics to see when your site doesn’t have many visits. Then, plan the update accordingly.

How to test a new WordPress theme?

To test a new WordPress theme, make sure it’s compatible with your current version of WordPress. You can also install a plugin to help you see how responsive it is. By doing so, your website visitors will still be able to see your old theme, while you’re checking how the new one works.

Does changing the WordPress theme affect SEO?

An updated theme may affect SEO both positively or negatively.

However, if you choose a new theme carefully, the changes will be positive. It’s very unlikely that your ranking would be adversely affected.

How does updating my WordPress theme affect my website?

When you update your WordPress theme, you’ll boost your website’s security and performance. Moreover, the bugs that existed in the previous version should be gone.

Will updating WordPress affect my website?

Ignoring WordPress updates can lead to hackers attacking your website. That said, you should update WordPress for security and to keep your website running. Although you may worry about losing meaningful content, not updating it may prove to be even worse.


Updating your WordPress theme is essential to keep your website up and running. It promotes security, fixes bugs, and boosts performance. There are three different ways to do it, and we’ve outlined all of them in this article. Once you go through each one, you’ll see how simple the steps are. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and update your WordPress theme now!

About the Author

Kevin Kessler
Kevin J. Kessler is a published author of five fantasy novels, a professional wrestler, and a puppeteer (not all at the same time). Kevin is a content writer at Codeless.