If you are using a WordPress theme, we always recommend you to keep it up to date by installing all the updates available for it. It will make sure your website is secure with all the security patchups and loaded with new features added by the author.
It is just one click away, but most of the users afraid to do it and always ignore it. This becomes a problem when finally they want to update their theme to the latest versions. More often the user lost all its customization on the theme along with the data.
So here I have provided all the steps you should take care of before updating your theme.
Backup your theme files:
Backing up your theme files regularly is highly recommended by the WordPress gurus. Not many realize that how important it is to Regularly Backing up the Files. It is not only useful in updating your website. There are times when your website is hacked and all the data is gone. In such cases, the only way to get back on track is to have a backup.
You can install a plugin to backup your data, like VaultPress, WordPress Backup to Dropbox, UpdraftPlus, Duplicator, BackupBuddy.
Use a Child Theme:
It’s always a good idea to use a child theme to update or customize your WordPress theme. Using a child theme make sure that all your modifications are saved. It can also speed up your development time if you are customization your theme. It is a great way of learning for any beginner programmer.
A child theme mainly consists of two files style.css and function.php files. It contains all the functionality and features of the parent theme. If you want to add any customization you can add it to a child theme, without making any changes to the original files of your theme. This allows users to make changes and update parent theme without having a fear of losing all the customization.
Save the changes if you are not using a Child Theme:
If you are not using a child theme, make sure you are saving all the changes you have made to your main files. Later when you want to update your theme it helps to keep track of changes you have made to your theme. It becomes hard to identify the changes you have made to your files.
If you know what code you need to add to update your theme, all you need to do is to copy and paste these codes into the respective files.
If you are not using a child theme and forgot to save the changes you have made to your core files and now having trouble finding them you can use the comparison tools like WinMerge and Meld.