Today I received a notice in my WordPress Control Panel (cPanel) that I needed to update several of my themes.  I often test themes, so I may have 20 or more themes on a specific site to play with and manipulate for use with my clients as needed.

Blog Updates Due Today

Blog Updates Due Today!

So today when I received the notice to update every Elegant Theme I was using I attempted to update them from the WordPress cPanel like you would any other update.  Unfortunately this was not working and I was unable to update the themes via the cPanel.

How to update your Elegant Themes

Now I’m sure all seasoned WordPress users know how to correct this issue but for those of us who are new to WordPress this is what you need to do:

  1. Delete all previous versions of Elegant Themes from your computer
  2. Log into the Elegant Themes website and download the newest versions of all the themes you are using
  3. Remember to unzip the files you need to replace on your WordPress site
  4. Using an FTP program delete all unused WordPress Themes on all of your blogs (I use FileZilla)
  5. Leave the Theme you have active alone we will fix that in a second
  6. Back up your blog!!!!!!
  7. Using an FTP program, upload the newest version of the Elegant Theme you have active on each of your blogs
  8. Be sure to change your FTP settings to overwrite the old files.
  9. Now you are all done… check your website to ensure it is running properly

Why you should NOT ignore this update

It is important to delete all the old Elegant Themes on your website as well as on your computer for security reasons.  Often updates are done to improve the usability of a theme… this time though, there was also an issue with WordPress Websites being hacked via a timthumb.php file included in most of the Elegant Themes.  This file renders your website vulnerable even if it isn’t being used.  This means that even themes you are not using and are inactive, could still pose a threat to your WordPress site.

It may also help to read what Elegant Themes has to say about this timthump.php issue as well as their security update.  Elegant Themes were not the only Themes affected by this timthumb.php issue.  You should do a thorough search of all your websites for this timthumb.php file.  Most people have just renamed the file “thumbs.php”.  I decided it was best to just delete all inactive themes until I had time to update them all with the most recent updated file.

I hope this helps any of you wondering why you couldn’t update your theme.  I also hope this helps you understand why you can’t afford to ignore any of your Elegant Theme Updates.

Aries – Graphic Design & Internet Marketing / AriesGDIM
Tami Highbaugh-Abdullah
Creative Marketing Director
317.345.4182 /
@ariesgdim – Twitter
Google+ AriesGDIM

© 2011 – 2013, AriesGDIM / Tami Highbaugh-Abdullah. All rights reserved.

AriesGDIM / Tami Highbaugh-Abdullah
AriesGDIM / Tami Highbaugh-Abdullah
Hi I am Tami Highbaugh-Abdullah, IMMS. I am the owner of Aries - Graphic Design & Internet Marketing / AriesGDIM. I have owned and operated my company since 2002 creating small businesses with an opportunity to "Stand OUT" from their competitors with bold professional branding development via print, websites, logo design and online brand management. In August of 2010 I completed my Internet Marketing Masters of Science from Full Sail University. I currently offer Digital Marketing as an additional service from my company. My focus has been on Social Media Marketing via Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging. Other services I offer are Internet Brand Management, Keyword Optimization, Website Usability, & Web Analytics. These services further my company goal and mission which is to assist small to medium sized businesses the ability to "stand out" from their larger competitors and be noticed.
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  1. After getting that email and our Twitter discussion, great to see you share the information with your readers!

    • Anonymous says:

      A lot of us are still new to WordPress and need an in-depth explanation of how this all works. I am glad that I can use my blog as a source of help for those who are still teetering on the edge of trying to figure it all out.

      I also appreciate you explaining to me what was going on with TimThumbs and it’s vulnerability, otherwise I would have had no idea what was going on and may have just ignored that these updates were imperative.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this information! Definitely plan to update my sites soon!

  3. I am thankful for sharing these information. I was having these problem on my website theme however it is simple as I learn from you. Thanks 🙂

  4. […] me a headache behind my right eye.  Someone had decided to copy a blog I had written regarding the need to update WordPress Themes.  Not only did they copy the content of my entire blog post, they copied the pictures on the blog […]

  5. I just noticed an update alert and looked to find it asking me to update my theme. It works just like updating WordPress, however, when I tried to update the theme that way it didn’t work. Have you seen this in your installs? This is after I did the manual remove of old themes and add the new files.

  6. Matt says:

    Doing this you lose all custom changes you have made! Any tips on how to update without losing custom changes to template?

    • Sorry Matt… unfortunately you will lose your custom changes. It is best to copy any code you have changed and save it in a safe place for future reference. That way you can just copy and paste it back into your editor after you have updated your theme.

    • Rod says:

      Hi Matt,
      I have exactly the same concern. Did you get any solution to this? Cheers.

    • AriesGDIM says:

      Unfortunately I don’t have any remedies for that problem. I recently changed from using elegant themes to using themes/templetes from ThemeForest. Most of the templates will update automatically if you include the purchase code inside the Theme Control Panel. This eliminates the need to go back in and change again the customization edits you have made to the site because everything remains the same except their new updates and improvements. Sorry I couldn’t be of more assistance.

  7. Thanks so much for this! Was looking on Elegant Themes website support and everywhere else I could think of for this. Couldn’t find anything even close to being as helpful as this anywhere. Thanks again!

  8. IR Smartt says:

    Thanks for clarifying!

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