I’ve been pondering the usability of the automatic upgrade functionality of WordPress. In general it works just fine. (The only exception I’ve found has been this blog oddly enough.) However before you upgrade you should back up your database and your WordPress files. As I explained in an earlier post backing up your database isn’t a problem with the help of a WordPress plugin. That leaves backing up the database files. That, my friends, leads us to talking about FTP.
FTP stands for file transfer protocol. It allows you to move files from your computer to your website host and vice-versa. I use the technology every day when I work on websites. I edit or create website files on my computer. Then I copy the file over to my customer’s website host.
I did some investigation and found some nice free software for this – FileZilla. It’s pretty easy to use. (FYI – I use WS_FTP Pro. It’s a great program, but it’s not free.) You do have to be familiar with file folders and able to navigate through them.
Like I said, I FTP every single day. It works just fine. However in the spirit of full disclosure I’ve got to say that FTP software also gives you the ability to mess up your website. You could delete files or move them around and cause WordPress to malfunction. if you’re not paying attention you could also mess up your website. It probably won’t happen, but there is that possibility.