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