Can I upgrade WordPress myself?  This is a question that I’m frequently asked by customers.  The answer is, “Probably not.”

Upgrading the software involves making a backup of the entire blog.  Then I update the software.  The next step is to testing the site to make sure that everything still works.   The last step for me is updating the plugins.   Sometimes the plugins are compatible with the latest version of WordPress.  Sometimes they’re not.

The “probably” comes into play because there is a plugin that will update WordPress for you.  However I’ve had mixed results with this plugin.  I’ve had it work flawlessly and the upgrade only took 5 minutes.  I’ve also had it stall halfway through.  Half of the program was updated and half wasn’t.  NOTHING worked until I manually updated the entire thing.  It was a mess.

In looking through the forums at WordPress my experience seems typical.  When it works this plugin is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  When it doesn’t, you’d better hope that you’ve got a lot of aspirin in the medicine chest because you’re going to need it.

Because of the possible issues I recommend an old-fashioned manual upgrade for my customers.  It’s safe.  It has the side benefit of giving you a great backup of the site.  There’s less downtime if something goes wrong.  In my book it’s the way to go!

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