Upgrade WordPress … the journey begins

Upgrading your site is a daunting undertaking, fraught with many unexpected twists and turns. Reading forum posts on “how easy” and ‘straightforward” it is to update you site’s back-end to the latest version might be “simple” for website developers and webmasters who eat programming code for breakfast, but if you are just a mere blogger, this is no small task.

I’m ready to upgrade the WordPress version that is currently installed to the latest one (3.2.1). The main idea with this post is to document this undertaking and share “lessons learnt”. The main concern is to upgrade the back-end and have your site restored to its “former glory” – with posts, comments and other files all put- back-together-again. Considering what happened to poor Humpty-Dumpty, I’m thus attempting the “impossible”.

Why upgrade?

Since upgrading is so daunting, why upgrade at all? If your site works and you are comfortable with using the various tools to keep it running smoothly, why risk “breaking” it? There are two main reasons, in my book, why upgrading has become inevitable – new technological improvements and security.

Technological improvements such as mobile device used to access websites, the use of multimedia objects (e.g. videos) in your posts and the move towards an HTML 5 compliant web publishing system have made the move necessary. This version of WordPress, for example, is not “mobile aware” – the system does not detect and serve up a mobile version of the site when so accessed.

Security is the other main concern. Programming code, despite best efforts, is not perfect. There are those on the web who trawl through code, looking for loopholes to exploit and “hijack” your site. Fortunately, the team behind WordPress usually takes care not to release coding that’s easy to break into and are quick on the draw when such vulnerabilities are brought to their attention. From what I’ve been following in the forum posts, the current version is better at managing security issues than the older ones.

So, it’s time to take the plunge. I’ll keep you posted.