Should I Update WordPress?

WordPress 3.5 Released: Careful When Updating, Folks!

You see the message at the top of your Dashboard: a new release is available!  Oh joy! But wait a minute… should you be updating WordPress to the 3.5 version?

Normally, we counsel everyone to keep their WordPress installation up-to-date as a “best practice.” Updates might mean that some new, useful, functionality has been added or a security fix has been released. However, we urge caution. There are a number of things you need to keep in mind before pushing that button.

  1. Before doing anything else, make sure you have a back-up of your site — both the database and theme files. If you are not using a plugin like BackUp Buddy, you can find a number of different options for backing up WordPress available in the Codex.
  2. Check your themes and plugins to ensure they are compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
  3. Consider waiting until the 3.5.1 release is available. Usually it doesn’t take more than a week or two before the x.x.1 version comes out, and it gives plugin and theme developers a chance to catch up with any core updates that may have impacted their products.

Obviously, the best of all best practices is to have a separate development or test server where you can test out the update before applying it to your live site. Don’t have one? Think about setting one up.

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