Upgrade FreeBSD ports with portsnap, pkg_version, and portupgrade
Upgrade FreeBSD ports and packages
Historically, upgrading the FreeBSD ports collection has been both time consuming and error prone.
Nowadays (FreeBSD 11.0 at the time of writing), the pkg package management system is the preferred (and fastest) way to upgrade the FreeBSD software.
Personally, I only use the ports collection when I need to hack the code for some software, for example:
<hack some code>
< link static lib /usr/ports/textproc/aspell/work/stage/usr/local/lib/libaspell.a to your program>