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Bad Gateway When Updating WordPress

UPDATE: Since WordPress update 3.8.1, it seems that the auto updater has undergone a major improvement. I haven’t encountered any issues with manual or auto upgrades for recent updates. I thought I’d keep this here because, after a Google search, there are still a few people having issues and some who are not updating regularly.

Important Note About WordPress Updates

Most WordPress updates are to do with security fixes so it is really important to keep your site updated. You should always update themes, WordPress core and plugins to try to plug any security holes that “bad” bots might be trying to find.

There is not much worse than waking up to a hacked site with some strange message alerting you to the fact that you’ve been hacked. Might be funny to some, but it’s certainly not for a site owner.

How I Found the Problem of WordPress Bad Gateway

A while back I updated one of many sites I have developed and encountered something I had never seen before. When I went to update my WordPress installation, I got an error message that said: “Bad Gateway Installation Failed”.

I immediately went to check that I hadn’t brought the site down. I always take a back up but it is a lot easier if I don’t have to use them (although I have in the past and have always been grateful for the backup!).

bad gateway when updating wordpress

I Googled “Bad Gateway when I tried to update WordPress” and saw a number of posts. One of them recommended just trying it again after making sure all plugins were updated. (I feel terrible that I can’t find the post and can’t give credit where it’s due).

The tip worked and since it took me a while to find that post, I thought I’d mention it here on my blog also to help all those who may not have found the original article.

It seems like it is something to do with the server going a bit haywire but why that is, I don’t actually know. But, the fix seems to work for many people – it’s so simple: just try the update again. You can do this manually by downloading the latest version from the WordPress repository.

Don’t panic. The best thing about WordPress is the amount of support out there for these sorts of issues.

If you still have issues after trying to install the update again:

    1. clear your browser’s cache
    1. delete your browser’s cookies
    1. restart your browser in safe mode
    1. try a different browser (if this doesn’t show the problem again then your original browser was the issue)
    1. restart your computer (lots of problems can be fixed by doing this)
    1. power cycle your modem (turn it off for 10 seconds and then back on)
  • Still have problems? At this stage you will need to contact your web developer, hosting provider and Internet Service Provider. If none of the above fixes the issue then it is likely that it has nothing to do with you and is a server error that others will be experiencing.

    It is most likely that:

    1. the update will work first time
    1. retrying the update if it fails at first will fix the initial problem
  • WordPress is very user friendly and the WordPress forums can be a great place to find out any further information about almost anything you need to know.

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