With the automatic upgrade features now included in WordPress, instalilng updates is much easier than it has been in the past. Even though it’s a simple process, there are still a few things to keep in mind for a smooth upgrade experience. Here are my recommendations for upgrading the WordPress software:
- Back up your database. Although I’ve never had a WordPress upgrade go wonky, having a backup of your database ensures that if something were to go awry, you won’t lose any of your blog’s data. Backups can be performed manually or using a plugin, for more information see the official documentation.
- Deactivate all of your plugins. This step is optional. To be honest, I don’t usually do it, but I have had a couple problems in the past that would’ve been made much simpler if I’d deactivated plugins. After the upgrade, if a plugin is problematic, it’s much easier to troubleshoot if it’s inactive. Do as I say, not as I’ve done.
- Upgrade WordPress. Go to Tools->Upgrade (or click the link in the yellow bar at the top of your WordPress Admin panel) and WordPress should download and install the latest version automatically.
- Verify things are working. If everything appears in order, go ahead and reactivate your plugins.
That’s it! Upgrading used to be much more time consuming before the automatic upgrade features were built into WordPress. Now, it can be a quick affair… once you’ve done it a couple times, you’ll probably be able to do the whole process in less than ten minutes.
Go forth and stay up to date!
Photo by Svadilfari, used under Creative Commons licensing