WordPress is a great piece of software driving billions of sites across the internet. One of the main reason WordPress does so well is because the community gives back freely and often. While these community contributions to the project mean that WordPress is continually enhancing its feature set, it also means that a web site powered by WordPress is continually in need of upgrades.
Being the excellent software that it is, WordPress gives you the ability to ‘Auto Upgrade’ to the latest version. If you’re running an unmodified installation and you don’t have too many plugins, this is an excellent option and I would highly suggest you give it a try.
If you’re going to upgrade WordPress to 2.9 on your own, we want to provide you with the following suggestions and resources.
- Always backup your database and your file structure (especially the wp-content folder) before upgrading. You can never be too safe. This goes for manual upgrades as well as auto upgrades!
- Always deactivate plugins prior to upgrading. If you have a lot of plugins and your site gets a lot of traffic, this may be tricky. It’s not ‘necessary’ but its safe practice because if one of your plugins doesn’t mesh with the new version of WordPress it may render your site inaccessible.
- We would suggest checking with all your plugins’ authors to see if their plugin is compatible with the latest release of WordPress prior to upgrading.
- Most hosts give priority to index.html over index.php. We often use this tactic to put up a nice “Site down for scheduled maintenance” message during the upgrade. This is obviously optional.
- You can find a detailed step-by-step instructions for manually upgrading WordPress on their website: http://codex.wordpress.org/Upgrading_WordPress_Extended
Finally – and lets be honest, the real reason we wrote this post – if you have had trouble with WordPress upgrades in the past or are a little bit hesitant to do it yourself, check out http://wpupgrade.com. It’s a site that FullThrottle just launched with the sole purpose of helping others upgrade their WordPress installations.