Time To UPDATE The Theme? Great Idea!

So, you want the awesome new features, patches, and updated files?! Updating the theme is super easy. Just in case, we're providing some additional information surrounding the subject here as well as the basic steps.

= = = = Envato Method = = = =

Envato offers their own plugins that can handle this. Originally this was the go to for many: https://github.com/envato/envato-wordpress-toolkit - but this has since been deprecated in favor of this: https://github.com/envato/wp-envato-market

I still recommend backing up, but this method offers a way to update the theme in the WordPress dashboard via you purchase code. If you have issues with this method, file them here: https://github.com/envato/wp-envato-market/issues

= = = = Standard Method = = = =

You'll need to follow 4 simple steps:

Step 01 - Backing Up: 

First, and foremost, backing up will save you the stress of something going wrong. That way, worst case scenario, you have a backup that you can rely on. There are a couple ways to do this:

  • Manual method. I put together a video regarding the workflow of this a while back. Some things might have changed (for example, the reload XML button has depreciated), but the basics should be the same
    You should also be able to find some other videos on this out there.
  • Plugin method. There are lots of plugins out there that offer this. Some paid, and some free. The best feedback I've received from users over the years is Backup Buddy, Vault Press, and UpdraftPlus. These usually back up your whole database (options and all).
  • Hosting Services. From there, some servers/hosts provide this - like WP Engine.
  • WordPress Codex. http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Backups

Step 02 - Get the Latest Files:

Login to themeforest.net > account > downloads and download the latest copy of the theme-package - All files and documentation option. Extract the theme-package zip for later use.

You can find our full list of products here: http://themeforest.net/user/ThemeIsland/portfolio

Step 03 - Upload & Activate:

Here you have some options since WordPress doesn't have an built-in option for updating premium themes

Note: If you're into altering the theme files and used a child theme, you should be okay. For users who have made changes to the theme files (without a child theme), make sure to back these alterations up since you will loose any alterations made to the core theme files when you update and consider using a child theme to avoid this in the future. 

FTP Method:

I personally like this method since it gives you a lot of control. You can override the existing theme files or delete/re-upload without majorly affecting the actual database.

Simply navigate into the extract theme-package from earlier via your FTP connection > and find the unzipped theme files (This should be in WP-ThemeName\The Theme Files\theme-name folder).

Note: In some themes there is only the Installable_Zip or Theme Zip folder which contains a zipped copy of the theme files. If this is the case for your theme, first extract the theme-files from the theme.zip folder. Then hit upload > "override all."

Plugin Method: 

If you would like to backup the old version and upload the new version (overriding the old) in one step, you can use the Easy Theme And Plugin Updater in your Plugins > Add New directory. Some of our newer themes will be including this plugin/feature automatically. For more information on this plugin, checkout:


Note: This plugin method may not work in every situation/setup or with every hosting service, but we offer it as an option for the majority of users that is does work for.

Dual Version Method: 

If you would like to run this new copy in addition to the old one (ie. You want both in case you need to revert back for any reason) you can do this by re-naming the uploaded theme folder (ie. from "campus" to "campus_v.") and the theme name listed in style.css (ie. from "Campus" to "Campus Version .").

  • Process - Download the files > Navigate into The Theme Files folder > re-name the theme folder (ie. campus to campusv. > Then navigate into the theme folder > Open style.css > Re-name the "Theme Name" line (ie. Campus to Campusv. and the "Version" line (ie. Version: to Version: > Save.
  • If you are uploading via an FTP connection, just upload the new folder.
  • If you are uploading via the WP Zip Method > Highlight the new folder > Right Click (Options) > and Zip the folder (Send to Compressed Folder, Add to Archive > Zip, etc.). Then upload this new zip folder.
  • Troubleshooting - In some cases, you may need to delete the old version of your theme, then re-upload/re-activate the new one. Keep a backup of the original working theme version though!

Step 04:

Go through your Theme Options panel, and your Skeleton Page/Post Options and fill any new or old options out! Make sure you save each of these pages after filling out the options.


Installation Process - For more information, we put together a video walkthrough: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6biFP53ZASk&featur...

  • The new Theme Options page loads your options automatically, so you won't need to download the OptionTree Plugin or hit the reload xml button.
  • (Note: do not click the RESET OPTIONS button, it will delete any work that you have done in the theme options panel.)


If you are coming from a 3.1.0.x version: http://themeisland.ticksy.com/article/1734