Updating Your Theme and Plugins

This article was last updated on the December 9, 2016.

Best Practices

Before updating, please read through this article. If you’re having an issue after updating, we would advise double-checking the points below. It is recommended to be on a version of PHP that is considered supported. Versions 5.4 and older are end-of-life. See this thread for more information.

With a large customer base, anytime we update a product, there are tens of thousands of people updated from many different versions. While we work hard to minimize bugs and issues, there are many outside of our control because of how extensively WordPress themes and plugins can be customized.

Generally when global issues are identified, we’ll add a green message in our community area with next steps. As always, our commitment is to quickly address outlying issues, making the process as smooth as humanly possible.

Before Updating

  • Read all the release notes for the update, found in the changelog. Be sure to read the notes for every release since the last time you updated.
  • Backup your site.
  • Consider using a development environment. This is a great place to test updates with your customizations to see how your site is affected.
  • Consider deactivating caching plugins temporarily to avoid the caching of old markup.

After Updating

  • Clear any caching plugin you may have active.
  • Consider an additional backup after successful updates.

Before reporting an issue

  • Make note of any other plugins that you may have updated alongside Themeco products.
  • Try testing for a plugin conflict. You can do this by disabling all other plugins, and checking if the problem persists. Reactivating plugins one at a time until the problem returns will help identify a conflict.
  • If you ever experience a white screen, checking for PHP errors will often lead to the source of the problem. You can do this by enabling WP_DEBUG on your site during the troubleshooting process.
  • In any support request, please include detailed information of what is not working as expected.

Automatic Updates (Recommended)

Setting up Automatic updates can be done in a few clicks by validating your site. To get started, head over to the Product Validation article. Here’s how Automatic Updates works:

  • Once enabled, you will receive automatic notification in your dashboard when an update is available.
  • Automatic updates are provided this way for X, Cornerstone, and all X Extensions.
  • They are automatic in the sense that the process of replacing the files is handled for you, but it is not “unattended”, meaning you will be able to run them at your convenience.
  • To run an update, visit Dashboard > Updates in your WordPress dashboard.
  • Automatic updates checks every 12 hours for new versions that may be available. You can manually check by clicking Check Again on either the X or Cornerstone home page.

Manual Updates

We highly recommend using Automatic Updates (above), please use this method whenever possible. Manual updates are still possible. This requires that you obtain the latest zip file for the product you are updating. To find these zip files:

Obtaining X

  • Use the Download button on your dashboard page
  • From Downloads in your ThemeForest account, click Download next to X and choose: All Files & Documentation. Unzip, and you will find x.zip inside.
  • From Downloads in your ThemeForest account, click Download next to X and choose: Installable Theme Files. This will have a different filename, but the file downloaded is the equivalent of x.zip

Obtaining Cornerstone (included with X)

  • Obtain x.zip (see instructions for X above). Unzip, and you will find cornerstone.zip under x/framework/plugins.

Obtaining Cornerstone (purchased standalone)

  • Use the Download button on your dashboard page
  • From Downloads in your CodeCanyon account, click Download next to Cornerstone and choose: All Files & Documentation. Unzip, and you will find cornerstone.zip inside.
  • From Downloads in your CodeCanyon account, click Download next to Cornerstone and choose: Installable Plugin Files. This will have a different filename, but the file downloaded is the equivalent of cornerstone.zip

Obtaining X Extensions

  • From Downloads in your ThemeForest account, click Download next to X and choose: All Files & Documentation download from ThemeForest. Unzip, and you will find an extensions folder containing zips for all our Extensions.

With the installable zip file(s) in hand, you can proceed to update.

Manual X Update Via FTP

  • Unzip x.zip on your computer.
  • Rename the x folder to x-updating.
  • Connect to your server via FTP and navigate to your /wp-content/themes/ directory.
  • Drag and drop the x-updating folder into your themes directory.
  • Upon completion, rename the previous x folder to x-previous.
  • Rename x-updating to x. Your site will now be at the latest version.
  • Delete the x-previous folder.
  • Visit the WordPress dashboard at least once to ensure any migration logic can run (this happens behind the scenes).

The order of the above steps, especially renaming the folder in the correct order is important. This will ensure your site is running a clean copy of the latest version.

Manual X Update via the WordPress Dashboard

While not always advisable, you can manually update by deleting the theme, and reinstalling.

  • Visit Appearance > Themes in your WordPress dashboard.
  • Temporarily switch to one of the WordPress default themes.
  • Delete X. Your settings and content will be safe, since they are stored in the database, not the theme files.
  • Use Add New, then Upload Theme to reinstall X from the x.zip file.

Manual Plugin Update Via FTP

This uses Cornerstone as an example, but the process can be applied to any plugin.

  • Unzip cornerstone.zip on your computer.
  • Rename the cornerstone folder to cornerstone-updating.
  • Connect to your server via FTP and navigate to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  • Drag and drop the cornerstone-updating folder into your plugins directory.
  • Upon completion, rename the previous cornerstone folder to cornerstone-previous.
  • Rename cornerstone-updating to cornerstone. Your site will now be at the latest version.
  • Delete the cornerstone-previous folder.
  • Visit the WordPress dashboard at least once to ensure any migration logic can run (this happens behind the scenes).

The order of the above steps, especially renaming the folder in the correct order is important. This will ensure your site is running a clean copy of the latest version.

Manual Plugin Update via the WordPress Dashboard

While not always advisable, you can manually update by deleting the plugin, and reinstalling.

  • Visit Plugin in your WordPress dashboard.
  • Deactivate, and delete the plugin. Your settings and content will be safe, since they are stored in the database, not the plugin files.
  • Use Plugins > Add New, then Upload Plugin to reinstall the plugin using the zip file. Example: cornerstone.zip