Should I Upgrade to the Latest Version of WordPress?

WordPress 3.5 was just released and I’m getting quite a few emails from clients asking if they should upgrade. The quick answer is: yes. The more involved answer is yes, but you might just want to check your plugins and your theme. Here’s a quick checklist before you upgrade.

  1. Back up! As usual, before you do anything drastic like this, you should back up your site and database. My backup plugin of choice is BackupBuddy.
  2. Plugins: check to see if your plugins are up to date and ready for the WP upgrade. How do you do this? You can check on the wp.org site to see if the plugin developer has upgraded the plugin to be compatible. Here’s an example of GD Press Tools. Ha, good example: it says it’s compatible up to version 3.2.1 (ages ago). So much for that theory. If you want to be more thorough, check out the plugin developer’s website to see if there’s any news about it. It’ll depend on the developer of course to see how up to date they are. But you’ll get an idea. If you want to get really proactive, you can ask the developer if they’re ready for the latest version. I just did this (well, after upgrading broke the plugin … !) with the developers of the very cool Banner Rotator / Content Slider WordPress Plugin and they responded quickly that they were working on a fix and even offered to install it for me on my site! Very cool.
  3. Themes: same suggestions as with plugins. See if you can get an idea from the developer if, basically, they’re on top of things. Has the theme been upgraded lately? Or at least on a regular basis? Or not for years?
  4. Wait a While: if you’d like to wait it out and let the WP gurus get the bugs out of the very first new version, wait a few weeks or until the “.1″ version comes out. Then upgrade.

Hope those are helpful. Remember, the safest bet is to just make sure you back up your data first.

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