It is a good practice to create a backup version of your website before updating the theme, in the event something unexpected occurs during the update process.
The simplest way to update a theme or a plugin is via the Envato Market plugin which provides a reliable way of updating a theme in most cases.
However, this method is known to cause issues by overwriting some crucial files on occasion, or simply not uploading a part of the update package; in this case, the users would, of course, get a message or a notice informing them of the issue after the theme update.
You can learn more about this plugin here.
This is the reason we always recommend updating the theme via the FTP (File Transfer Protocol). This procedure requires a bit more time, but the process is simple and straightforward. Moreover, by following the rules laid out in this article you should be able to perform the update relatively quickly, and more importantly, your saved options and your content will be safe.
Updating via FTP
Obtain the latest theme version from the ThemeForest website
First, you should log into your ThemeForest account and navigate to your Downloads page. Find our theme and click on the Download button next to it. Choose the Installable WordPress file only.
➤ Extract the downloaded zip file
After you’ve downloaded the theme installation file, which is in zip format, you should unpack (unzip) the file by using a program like 7-Zip, WinZip, WinRar or similar.
The theme name differs for each theme. We used theme called FindMe in our example.|
➤ Get an FTP client
In order to access the files on your server, you need to have an FTP Client. There are plenty of choices when it comes to this, however, we recommend using the FileZile as it has proven itself simple and reliable, even when used by beginners.
➤ Access the server files
Log into your server via FTP. Navigate to wp-content\themes and drop the theme folder in there.
When asked if you want to replace the existing files, choose Yes.
➤ Generate a new dynamic.css file through Theme Options
Log into your WordPress admin panel. Navigate to Theme Options and click on Save in order to generate a new dynamic CSS file.
This rounds up the theme update process.
➤ Updating Plugins
After you have updated your theme, you should check if there are any available updates for plugins which come with the theme, like the WPBakery Page Builder, Slider Revolution (or Layer Slider with some themes), the Theme Core Plugin, etc.
You can check the available updates for these plugins by navigating to Appearance > Install Plugins.
Plugins can also be updated manually by locating a desired plugin on the Plugins page and deactivating it, then deleting it and installing the latest available version found in the theme zip file which you got from the ThemeForest website.
The plugin installation files which come packed with the theme can be found at:
*This path is not identical for every theme
Also bear in mind that by updating the plugin using this method, which involves deleting the plugin and installing the new version after the fact, you will not lose any of your plugin settings as they will be saved in the database.
➤ Bundled plugins
Our themes also come packed with certain plugins, however some of those are 3rd party bundled plugins; this includes the WPBakery Page Builder, Slider Revolution (Layer Slider with some themes).
You can learn more about this here.
*It’s important to note that bundled plugins cannot be updated automatically; you’re required to wait until the next theme update in order to get a new version of those plugins.
In most cases, a plugin will work as intended and without causing any issues although there might be a new version of it available.