WordPress Video Tutorial: Properly Update to WordPress 3.4.1

Happy Computer User Updated to WordPress 3.4.1

Yeah!    I updated to WordPress 3.4.1 all by myself !!!

Where’s the “Update Now” Button?

This WordPress Tutorial shows you the proper way to update to WordPress 3.4.1, but there are a few steps you want to complete before you hit the “Update Now” button.

Steps to Update to WordPress 3.4.1

  1. Backup the database and files to WordPress site.
  2. De-activate your WordPress theme.
  3. De-activate all your active plugins.
  4. Update all your inactive (de-activated) plugins.
  5. Update to WordPress 3.4.1
  6. Re-Activate your WordPress Theme.
  7. Re-Activate your plugins.
  8. Done.   Breath a sigh of relief!

A Great Resource for Updating to WordPress 3.x.x

There is even more IMPORTANT information on updating to WordPress 3.4.1 at this blog post written by 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

27 comments… add one
  • Donna Merrill Aug 14, 2012, 5:25 pm

    Hey Jim, thanks for the tutorial. This surely comes in handy for me! I have to check out the “Online backup program” before I make a change.

    Thanks again,

    • jupiterjim Aug 15, 2012, 10:38 am


      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!!! Yes, simply pick your favorite, dependable WordPress site backup, use it, then do your thing! If you’ve got the money I recommend Backup Buddy WordPress plugin!

  • joe arrigo Aug 15, 2012, 9:09 am

    Your tutorial on creating the Google XML sitemap is excellent. It walked through the step by step procedure beautifully and I was successful in creating it. Thanks a lot.

    Joe Arrigo

    • jupiterjim Aug 15, 2012, 10:36 am


      Thanks so much for your comments! I appreciate the positive feedback!!!

  • Ryzal Aug 15, 2012, 9:51 am


    I have the thesis theme installed and have a complete design and layout done with thesis for my site. If I deactivate the thesis theme. and then after updating WP, will I loose the layout and design that i had?
    Please advice.


    Ryzal Thijssen

    • jupiterjim Aug 15, 2012, 10:35 am


      Great question!

      1. First of all, I say again, before you do anything to your website (what is the URL of your site by the way?), you MUST backup your files and your database!

      2. I need to know what version of Thesis Theme you are using. For instance, if you are using the latest version of the Thesis Theme 1.8.5, then you will be fine by following my video. De-activate Thesis 1.8.5, then update WP to 3.4.1, then re-activate Thesis 1.8.5.

      3. If you have to upgrade to that latest version of the Thesis Theme, then there is a video on the proper way to upgrade to the latest version of the Thesis Theme on the http://diythemes.com/ . In that video, it explains that you must FIRST save your “custom.css” and “custom_functions.php” files BEFORE you upgrade to the latest version of The Thesis Theme.

  • Nick Aug 18, 2012, 8:47 pm

    Hey Jim, wowooooo! You sure know your stuff…

    Thanks so much for all you are sharing to benefit people like me (very behind in tech stuff and probably a lot other things haha )

    I did not venture to update … to scared that I will lood=se everything… so I will keep it as it is for now… Perhaps after watching your tutorial a few times, I may grasp what is essential and venture in it…

    If this tutirial was not enough.. you also added 5 more that are related to wordpress… what a great guy you are…

    Thanks again and look forward to learn from you as best as I know how…

  • Jim Aug 20, 2012, 6:28 pm

    This is great sharing with you all!!! The is here and there.

  • Michael Aug 22, 2012, 11:37 am

    Thank you Jim. I am always concerned about doing the updates, and I never really learned how to do them the right way. And as a result I used to have sites that would go two and three updates without me doing anything with them to update the wp install.

    These are simple, easy to follow directions, and that I sincerely appreciate. I hate it when i am reading the directions to do something and I have to keep looking up the words because I don’t know what they mean. 🙂

  • Sarah Arrow Aug 24, 2012, 3:39 am

    Another great tutorial Jin=m, will be sharing (as always)

  • Raena Lynn Aug 24, 2012, 12:30 pm

    Hi Jim,

    Every time we turn around there seems to be updates! Backing up is the most important thing to do before updating and I’m glad you strongly recommended to do it! I’ve heard bloggers losing all of their work because they were unaware they need their blog backed up whether updating or for general back up purposes.

    The first time I updated my WP blog, I clicked the update button without doing anything else. Thankfully it worked, but I found out that it is very important to go through the procedure you demonstrated to make sure everything is safe and secure.

    I enjoy your videos!

    Raena Lynn

  • Suzanne Aug 24, 2012, 3:18 pm

    Hi Jim, thank goodness there are people in the world like you to explain complicated concepts like this. My head hurts just thinking about updating my blog and I get the feeling if I don’t update the “right way” I’ll be in a world of hurt. Thank you, Suzanne

  • GoWebBaby Aug 29, 2012, 12:22 am

    Thanks a lot for this video tutorial. I like to watch video tutorial.

  • farouk Aug 31, 2012, 2:57 am

    hey Jim
    how are you : )
    i used to use drupal and now i am using wordpress
    i am still a word press newbie , thank you for the tips 🙂

  • Bhavesh Sep 3, 2012, 9:20 pm

    its really a awesome WordPress Video Tutorial, I am not regular visitor your blog but after reading this post i visit you blog daily..!!!
    thanks for sharing ….!!!!

  • Kimberly Castleberry Sep 8, 2012, 2:39 pm

    Keeping WordPress up to date is one of the many important steps in properly maintaining a blog. An out of date site is literally a sitting duck for hackers. Once an update is released, hackers are able to look at the code and sort out what was vulnerable in the older versions and attack sites that have not upgraded. This is why I strictly recommend the one-week-rule. Just long enough to let the WP dev team get the bugs out of a patch and yet quickly enough to skirt around majority of the hackers. Thanks for keeping everyone safe!

  • Lynn Jones Sep 9, 2012, 9:51 am

    Jim, I am so grateful for you and other people who share their expertise about WP blog issues and technical stuff such as this. I started the process a while back and need to complete the second half. It’s on my list of important things to do.
    Thanks for educating us on these important issues!

  • GoWebBaby Sep 10, 2012, 8:07 am

    Now WordPress 3.4.2 available so we should have to update.

    • jupiterjim Sep 12, 2012, 3:01 am

      It’s good to wait one week after the WP update before you update your own site to make sure all the bugs have been worked out!

  • jupiterjim Sep 11, 2012, 9:49 pm


    I love it when my tutorials work! Thanks for the feedback!!!! Sign up for my blog to get more video tutorials in your email inbox!

  • Dr. Erica Goodstone Sep 17, 2012, 1:07 am


    I do not use Thesis Theme but I do regularly upgrade Wordpress. One time I deactivated all the plugins; the next time I didn’t. Both times everything was okay. I do have the blog backed up just in case.

    Thanks for explaining this.


    Dr. Erica

  • Sadie-Michaela Harris Sep 18, 2012, 4:29 pm

    Ooh la la Jim,
    You know I have never deactivated my plugins before upgrading my version on WordPress. I do everything else of course but I never knew that is something that should be done and we host a heap of WordPress sites too +100! Thanks for the heads up 🙂

  • Nile Sep 23, 2012, 12:18 am

    WordPress makes it so easy to update. These days I find there are very few web hosts that I have to update via FTP or other means. Just think… at one time… WordPress did not have the 1 click auto-grade feature… scary, huh?

  • Nick Catricala Oct 31, 2012, 8:02 pm

    Jum, I had to come back and re-read and make notes again.. I start to update and before strting I got stuck already.. did not know what you mean about “1.Backup the database and files to WordPress site.”
    I am always scared to do this since I screw it up so many times..

    Perhaps need to chat with you over the phone so you can share with me what and how to back it up… But I love to thank you once more for this clear and simple way to update (if I just could have the courage to go ahed 🙂

    Thanks so much, will get in touch soon.

    • jupiterjim Nov 20, 2012, 11:47 pm


      email me anytime to set up an appointment and I’ll show you how to do it for free!

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