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30 Days to a Better Blog: Update WordPress

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30 Days to a Better Blog: Update WordPress

When’s the last time you updated WordPress (or your publishing platform of choice)? If you use a free blogging platform (Blogger, LiveJournal, etc) your updates are made behind the scenes. But, if you host your own blog you’ve probably seen that nagging alert at the top of your admin page telling you the latest version is available.

I admit that it took me a long time before I updated my first blog. I was terrified that I’d lose data or mess up my content along the way. But WordPress makes it easy to update and I have yet to encounter any problems.

Why Update?
Each release has a variety of fixes and new functionality. The layouts have changed, security has been tightened, bugs have been removed, and you may even find that the newest plugins and themes require a recent update.

How to Update?
There are several steps to follow in updating WordPress.

  1. Take a backup of your database.
  2. WordPress suggests disabling Plugins because there might be problems after the upgrade. I didn’t do this, but I didn’t have very many plugins in the first place!
  3. Update to the latest version. There are two ways to update:
    • Automatic Update (if you have version 2.7+) makes it incredibly easy to update. Just click the link and you’re on your way!
    • Manual Update (if you have a version prior to 2.7+ or are unable to use the Automatic Update) involves just a couple extra steps and FTP access. You can read details here. NOTE: Make sure to copy down your database name and user info before accidentally overwriting the file!
  4. Enable any disabled Plugins.

That’s it! Within an hour you should have access to the latest functionality and your blog will be more secure.

Do you have any tips or stories involving WordPress updates?

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