WordPress Tutorial: The Proper Way to Upgrade to WordPress 3.3.2

Cartoon Man's Computer Smoking!

Where's Jupiter Jim when you need him?

Can’t I just hit the “Update Now” Button?

This WordPress Tutorial shows you the proper way to update to WordPress 3.3.2

Here are the basic steps for updating to WordPress 3.3.2 —

  1. Backup the database and files to WordPress site.
  2. De-activate your WordPress theme.
  3. De-activate all your active plugins.
  4. Update to WordPress 3.3.2
  5. Re-Activate your WordPress Theme.
  6. Update your plugins.
  7. Re-Activate your plugins.
  8. Done.   Breath a sigh of relief!

How did you learn to Update WordPress?

I got a lot of information for this post and video from my good friend and WordPress Expert Kimberly Castleberry and I strongly suggest you also read her article on updating WordPress here.

FREE WordPress Backup Plugin, Please?

For FREE backing up of your WordPress database and files, I would recommend the “online backup” plugin.

If you would like to learn more about some other options for backing up your WordPress site, you can check out this article on premium WordPress plugins at WPBeginner.com.

For more information on the latest WordPress update please check out the WordPress.org website.

Meet the Author

72 comments… add one
  • Eihdra Apr 27, 2012, 12:49 am

    Wow! I just backup and update! Didn’t know I also need to deactivate those things!

    • jupiterjim Apr 27, 2012, 1:18 am

      It’s really the safest thing to do is to de-activate plugins especially and also themes, too. Write to the theme developer and make sure the theme is ready for the upgrade to the latest version of WordPress.

      Thanks for being the first to comment on this post for me!!!!

      Take Care,

      Jupiter Jim

      • Eihdra May 1, 2012, 7:35 am

        Finally backed up all 20 blogs using your “technique”.. so far no problems.. Thanks again!

  • Kostas Apr 27, 2012, 2:16 am

    Hi Jim,
    I haven’t updated my WordPress yet, I am always waiting 1-2 weeks before I make the update and search to find if others have any problem…
    Did you notice any problem with any plugin on your blog after the update?

    • jupiterjim Apr 27, 2012, 2:30 am


      I noticed no problems with any of the plugins. I say, back it up and go for it! It’s been a week now.

  • Nica Mandigma Apr 27, 2012, 2:44 am

    Ooops! I dont back up but I do have WP Backup to Dropbox so that takes care of it. I should keep in mind to deactivate plug ins and themes. Thanks for that tip, Jim!

  • Pete Goumas Apr 27, 2012, 7:48 am

    Hi Jim,
    Thankyou for sharing the basic steps for updating to WordPress 3.3.2 and now it make it easy for me to update it. I liked your recommendation of “online backup” plugin and it is really good to use for free backing up of WordPress database.

  • bolivar Apr 27, 2012, 10:24 am

    thanks for this recommendation of the “online backup” youve given great basic steps for updating to WordPress 3.3.2 too cheers mate

  • Jesse Apr 27, 2012, 12:39 pm

    Hey Jim!
    Thanks for the recommending Kim’s website! Her Rolodex page alone is worth it’s weight in Gold! And thanks for post the proper procedure for updating WordPress. I was just pressing the “update” button like most Admin’s. Didn’t realize it was so important to deactivate the templates and all the plug-in’s first. Thanks again, buddy!
    You’re a Gem!

  • Steven Papas Apr 27, 2012, 1:25 pm

    I love the picture. That is exactly the way I feel when I do thing that could mess with a source of income for me.

  • Tristram Lodge Apr 27, 2012, 2:54 pm

    It feels like only yesterday I did the last update and I had a couple of problems then. I will take your advice and deactivate the pluggins and theme and update. Thanks for sharing.

    Tristram Lodge

  • Lucy Apr 27, 2012, 5:52 pm

    straight forward advice sure takes the pressure off, thankyou – glad I found ya!!

  • Kat Apr 28, 2012, 12:16 am

    I learned to hard way. I updated to the latest WP a couple of versions ago and it ran a conflict with my theme. Since then I delayed updating but it got me into a lot more trouble when hackers used it to infect my site with malware.

    Now I do as you say, back up, deactivate and voila! Problem free WP Update! Thanks for sharing this!

  • Elizabeth Apr 28, 2012, 1:08 am

    Hi Jupiter,
    This time round I want to get it right and without hassle so this article will definitely be of great help! My last update was a total disastor! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  • marquita herald Apr 28, 2012, 10:05 am

    Hum, well I always back-up but have never deactivated the plugins. I do however make sure the plugins I have are up to date. Really great advice and I’ve made note of the steps for the next WP update. Thanks!

  • Lanikee Apr 28, 2012, 8:43 pm

    Aloha Jupiter Jim, very informative post and video. Gosh another update with Wp and you summed it up for most of us. You’re the man, staying on top of it and sharing with us. Mahalo, Lani 🙂

  • Syeda Mehwish Apr 29, 2012, 7:14 am

    Hi Jim,
    It’s a great way to teach your readers by making videos. I always prefer to watch video and it make so easy for me to understand the topic.After watching this video we could easily upgrade to wordpress 3.3.2. Thankyou so much!

  • Amrik Apr 29, 2012, 8:03 am

    really nice! I followed your steps and I updated my blog so easily!

  • Devesh Apr 29, 2012, 8:51 am

    Hi Jupiter,

    Great stuff and thanks for taking time to share the basic stuffs. This is very helpful for beginner WordPress users or those who’re just getting started with WordPress.

    Keep up the good work, Jim.


  • Beatrice Apr 30, 2012, 1:23 pm

    Everyone should be wary when upgrading because you might lose your precious files and destroy your wordpress forever. It’s always good to have a back up. How many times have you failed to save your existing files before upgrading?


  • Holly Apr 30, 2012, 3:48 pm

    You make it sound pretty simple.. but I always get so worried when I update.. In fact I usually have some one do it for me.. Bit of a phobia… I will watch and read again.. see if I can get the courage up to do the update!! Thanks Jim!!

  • ROn Apr 30, 2012, 6:55 pm

    I seriously just back-up and update! Didn’t knowyou had to do all of these things!

  • Kai Sensei Apr 30, 2012, 11:32 pm

    Thanks for the info.. Looks like this is the place where I should go if I ever I switch to wordpress. 🙂

  • Cathy Dullea May 1, 2012, 2:21 am

    I have burnt my finger once! I am not an expert but yes I do own few site made on WP. I had updated it once, something went very wrong and i lost a good amount of money in getting restored. Since then I have stopped using the update button!

  • chrisair May 1, 2012, 5:30 am

    I will bookmark this Jim, though I still use to blog in bloggers only, but I know there will be the time that will trasfer to WP

  • Photoescape May 1, 2012, 9:40 am

    great post! 🙂 this can really help! 🙂

  • Lizzie May 1, 2012, 10:05 am

    The update was really helpful. My friend’s blog was hacked and updating to the latest version really helped!

  • Ian l brownmantrips.com May 1, 2012, 10:14 am

    wow! thanks! big help specially for a wp illiterate like me… hehehehe

  • Becca May 2, 2012, 12:57 am

    Thanks for the good tips provided here! I am not good on wordpress, Hi there, these are some great tips, which will help me improve my knowledgein wordpress.

  • Violy May 2, 2012, 4:35 am

    I will save this for possible future use, I’m presently using blogger for my site.

  • iPhone 4 cases May 2, 2012, 7:39 am

    Hey jupiterjim!
    Great Free Tips You share.
    Am using Word press and it helps me alot. And i also save all this procedure. Thanks again

  • Jane May 2, 2012, 7:44 am

    Good to know! I didn’t really even think about doing all that! I would never remember to deactivate those things on my own!

  • MaxiVelasco May 2, 2012, 10:20 am

    I have a Wordpress account but haven’t really used it at all. I have nothing against Wordpress. It’s just that for the meantime, I think it’s not for me. But I’ll definitely give it a shot one day and when that time comes, I will be running to this blog of yours for help 🙂

    You have an awesome day, yeah?

  • GreenDei/Daryll May 2, 2012, 10:22 am

    am longing to learn more stuff from wordpress, think I’ll be visiting your page more often! 🙂

  • Melodie Kantner May 2, 2012, 11:52 am

    I always back up before updating but I have never deactivated plugins.

    I love your image. It made me laugh out loud. I have used some similar images from Iclipart. I love the funny ones.

  • Bery C.P. May 2, 2012, 9:04 pm

    Good to know! I didn’t really even think about doing all that! I would never remember to deactivate those things on my own! This is a great blog with excellent posts and links.
    Thanks for sharing

  • julythomas May 2, 2012, 10:44 pm

    I think blogging is must for every small business, so that you can write interesting post and by promoting it on social media you can easily attract your targeted audience. Many small businesses are using this technique quite successfully.

  • lilyg May 2, 2012, 10:45 pm

    I think blogging is must for every small business, so that you can write interesting post and by promoting it on social media you can easily attract your targeted audience. Many small businesses are using this technique quite successfully.

  • Linda Your Twin Sis! May 3, 2012, 1:17 pm

    Excellent as always!

  • Willa May 4, 2012, 4:47 am

    wow! your tutorial is so easy to follow,though I always update WP but I don’t do back ups, now I know i have to. Thanks!

  • Rent To Own May 4, 2012, 12:08 pm

    I am also planning to upgrade my wordpress site but I am afraid that some of my plugin will not work and my site will get crash. Good thing that I went here and remember the backup thing.

    But one thing that worries me, are all the plugins compatible with this plugins and also I am using Genisis themes and if it also compatible?

  • curi lema May 4, 2012, 2:55 pm

    thankyou, you`ve given me the needed kick up the back side to do some backups and updates, found your videos very helpful and easy to follow the info…appreciate it!

  • tinafreysd May 4, 2012, 8:08 pm

    WordPress, a leading blog server application, doesn’t support direct imports of Adobe Photoshop’s native PSD file format..

  • julythomas May 4, 2012, 8:11 pm

    Thanks for being the first to comment on this post for me!!!!

  • nakula May 6, 2012, 2:36 am

    Great, I like your way to explain it, You always have new something, thank for sharing..:)

  • Dhyan May 6, 2012, 8:46 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial you have shared here and I am sure a lot of people would be very excited with this.. Thanks!

  • Dr. Erica Goodstone May 7, 2012, 7:05 pm


    Thanks for explaining that we should deactivate our current plugins and the theme. This whole process worries me but I know I have to do it soon.

    Dr. Erica

  • Calire May 8, 2012, 3:01 am

    This whole process worries me but I know I have to do it soon. Thanks for the wonderful explanation. Please keep it up.

  • Michael May 8, 2012, 11:47 am

    I agonize over doing this every time there is a wp update. And I usually delay and delay because I am afraid that I will break something and I won’t know how to fix it.

    After reading this excellent article, I can see that having a plan to backup everything and then update, instead of just pushing the update button, makes a lot of sense to me. Thank you Jim for sharing this with us, I feel a lot less stress now. 😉

  • Sadie-michaela Harris May 8, 2012, 4:01 pm

    LOVE the photo you’ve chose to illustrate this post Jim! It really captures the essence and oh my have I been there, done that, picked up the t-shirt and looked like that guy in your picture!

    I really can’t emphasise enough the importance of backing up before upgrading … you just never know … takes so little time when compared to the possible consequences of not doing so!

    A good reminder for all, Bien fait Monsieur! 🙂

  • William Earl Amis Jr III May 9, 2012, 4:47 am


    This was priceless information and I do agree to backup all prior files. I used my on system and downloaded to save everything.

    I just exported all files to my computer and then imported it back once updated. Yet, that was the last time. I did not loose anything doing it my way.

    This procedure seems allot of action before you even can change to upgrade your site. It was much easier with just to steps. I host my own site and created my own theme not WordPress and that is why I was able to complete my upgrade without any problems in two steps. Export then upgrade then import and done.

    It was simple based on me creating my own theme. I would not ever not backup my site information. I do this everyday before I shut down for the evening. It just makes sense.

    Jim, your a great coach and I love your insight on all the topics here. Much to remember and put to use right away. Thanks for caring to share good quality information.

  • Chucky May 9, 2012, 10:31 am

    Nice blog. I think blogging is must for every small business, so that you can write interesting post and by promoting it on social media you can easily attract your targeted audience.

  • jennifer May 10, 2012, 2:58 am

    Great tutorial, this will bring a huge help to a blogger like me for knowing what’s the best to do in doing such things…

  • PHP Developers May 10, 2012, 5:31 am

    nice description about wordpress thanks for sharing it

  • Mat Slair May 10, 2012, 10:20 am

    I have always found the process to be far more complicated, I had hit the just update button once and had to spend $300 on getting the original version and my site back!

  • Clarence May 11, 2012, 1:19 pm

    Great post! I never thought that there’d be a proper way to update your wordpress plugin. This tutorial has really helped me in a lot of ways. Why do you recommend “online backup” plugin? Anyway, thanks a lot for sharing this information!

  • viec lam hai phong May 11, 2012, 9:26 pm

    Oh, it’s been quite a long time since the last time I’ve updated my WordPress page. It would be nice. Thanks for your information.

  • gab May 12, 2012, 10:34 am

    thanks for the brill help here, guess ive got some backups and updates to get on with , found you videos very helpful and easy to follow….cheers

  • Gary Young China Sourcing May 12, 2012, 11:33 pm

    Great post. Seems like updated WordPress is a good idea and not too hard. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jeffrey May 13, 2012, 12:30 am

    WordPress 3.3.2 is a security release and everyone should upgrade. Looks like the SWF uploader is being replaced…good, since it didn’t work that well anyway. No added features, but for security sake you do need to upgrade. Remember…don’t just push the upgrade button…do it right to avoid Murphy’s Law.

  • Sara May 13, 2012, 10:22 am

    hey thanks a lot for sharing this helpful blog …

  • Penny May 14, 2012, 1:06 am

    Your blog is quite helpful .. thanks for sharing ..

  • Nancy May 14, 2012, 10:46 am

    This is a really good concept to have been dealing with… great work.

  • Holly May 14, 2012, 2:54 pm

    Hey Jim!! I went through your info and followed what you said.. I used 2 computers so that I could watch and do at the same time.. It worked!!

  • Brian Lagoni May 15, 2012, 7:21 am

    Thanks for sharing! Great post & very easy to follow video tutorial.



  • David Merrill May 15, 2012, 10:59 pm

    This is a pretty scary process for the non-tech crowd, Jim.

    Thanks for the thorough walk-through and references to guide us through the rough and often unfamiliar waters.

  • Willena Flewelling May 16, 2012, 4:30 am

    Wow… thanks for the reminder! I haven’t upgraded mine yet! Great post, Jim, and easy to follow. Now to come back when it isn’t 3:30am, and actually follow your steps!

    Willena Flewelling

  • riathomas May 20, 2012, 4:09 am

    Thanks for sharing such a valuable information. It’s really amazing.
    nice sharing it is Thanks for again sharing

  • jenli May 23, 2012, 2:37 am

    I have seen this “update now” button for few months now but I am very hesitant to hit it because I may break my website..But thanks for sharing these tips. This is very useful since I am planning to upgrade to the newest version..

  • Rick Lelchuk May 31, 2012, 3:53 pm


    Thanks for that update. Been hesitant to do the deed without some fore-knowledge of how to do it. Appreciate you helpfulness.


  • Sherie Jun 29, 2012, 2:16 am

    Jim, thank you for the most excellent video on upgrading Wordpress…I watched it twice, took a deep breath and did it. You explain things so clearly. I am very grateful for the time you take to put these videos out. They are very valuable to so many of us!! Thank you!

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