In order to keep your Magento store secure and running efficiently, you will need to update it on a regular basis. However upgrading can be quite a tricky process, so it is important to make sure you do it correctly. If you do it wrong, it could cause a number of issues, so if in doubt; contact a professional Magento developer for help. For those who are brave enough to, here we will provide step-by-step instructions for How to Upgrade Magento.
Before starting a Magento upgrade
It is important that you check the Magento Release Notes for the latest stable version of Magento. This will inform you of any fixes and features that are require for your Magento store. Whilst you may be eager to install the new version as soon as it is has been released, you are actually better off waiting a few weeks to give the Magento community time to identify and fix any bugs.
It is also important to make sure that you perform multiple backups before you carry out any upgrades
This means if things do go wrong with your upgrade, your store and its backup files will remain untouched. You then need to clear and disable all Magento caches by going to your admin panel and clicking System > Cache Management and then disable the Magento Compiler.
The next step is to navigate to System > Magento Connect > Magento Connect Manager and switch to the Settings tab
It is important that your Preferred State option is set to Stable. Next switch to the Extensions tab and paste the extension key: community/Mage_All_Latest into the box and click the Install button.
You will then be able to open any page in the backend (your admin panel) to verify the upgrade
Afterwards you can delete the maintenance.flag file and re-index all of your indexes by going to System > Index Management. Finally re-enable all caches by going to System > Cache Management.
There are a number of ways you can upgrade Magento, though the most straightforward way is the way we have explained above, using the Magento Connect Manager. However it is important to remember that if you have made any customisations to your store (e.g. themes, extensions) then it is possible that the upgrade could fail.
For this reason, we recommend that you hire a professional Magento developer to perform all system upgrades. If you do not already have one, feel free to get in touch with the team here. We are highly experienced in carrying out Magento upgrades and will ensure everything goes to plan.