WordPress Upgrade

Just before the end of last year, the team behind WordPress released an update, which was marked as an urgent upgrade for all users. For whatever reason, it’d been quite a long time since I’d updated last – that I’d let this upgrade pass by as well. Not quite sure what made me actually do the upgrade last night but it was such a painless exercise, I’m going to make a point of upgrading in step with the releases of WordPress from now on.

To give you an idea of what is involved in upgrading a copy of WordPress:

  1. Backup my current installation of WordPress
    1. First I downloaded my out dated copy of WordPress, which took about two minutes.
    2. Second I took a backup of the database as well, this took approximately ten minutes as I included everything in the database.
  2. Download the latest and greatest copy of WordPress, takes approximately a minute.
  3. Extract the freshly downloaded WordPress.
  4. Disable any plugins that are running, in case they aren’t compatible with the new version of WordPress.
  5. Set the theme back to the default, in case the current theme had any dependencies on any of the plugins which were active.
  6. Upload the new WordPress files onto the server, takes about two minutes.
  7. Load the web site upgrade file, which upgrades the database schema to the latest version.
  8. Re-enable plugins one by one, making sure they function correctly as you go.
  9. Restore your preferred theme.

After all of the fluffing about, it took about 20 minutes in total and most of that could have been avoided if I chose to only backup selected bits of the database (thus reducing the download size).

As a by product of the upgrade, I have a little house keeping to do around the site. I noticed that one of my WordPress plugins isn’t functioning correctly, since the category management has been completely overhauled since the version I was running. WordPress now supports tagging, which are essentially micro-categories; so it’ll be a bit of an exercise to go back through the last few years of posts and tag them appropriately but it’ll make finding information much easier for users.