When To Update WordPress Immediately, and When Not To

By Daniel Scocco

A couple of weeks ago a major version of WordPress was released: WordPress 3.0. As usual, WordPress users were divided in two camps: those who went ahead and update dimmediately, and those who didn’t.

I saw many comments in the announcement post as well, from people who were in doubt regarding what they should do. That is why I decided to write a post sharing what I do in those cases.

My personal policy is: if it is a minor update (e.g., from version 2.9.1 to version 2.9.2), I upgrade immediately, because usually there are not many bugs on these releases, and they also fix security aspects, so updating as fast as possible is recommended.

If it is a major update (e.g., from version 2.9.2 to version 3.0), though, I prefer to wait for a couple of weeks, and see what will be the reaction of users who updated immediately. If everything seems to be working fine, I then go ahead and update myself.

Lately I am finding that even major updates come out very polished though (i.e., the WordPress folks are doing a good job hunting all the bugs before releases). This means that perhaps waiting to update is not a big deal anymore.

But I wanted to hear what you guys do. Do you always update right away? Do you wait? Have you ever had trouble one way or the other?



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40 Responses to “When To Update WordPress Immediately, and When Not To”

  • Steve @ 2008 Taxes

    The biggest problem I had with the 3.0 release was some plug-ins thought they were compatible but after a day found out from many users that they weren’t compatible. And then release two more versions that didn’t work right before finally getting it all together.

  • Liane

    I wish I hadn’t upgraded to WP 3.0 right away – it broke a lot of things on my blog. I figured it had been “beta tested” for a long time so it must be safe! WRONG! I won’t try that again…

  • Glen

    It’s always a good idea to wait with Major updates, personally I do it aswell.

    I fell into the vBulletin trap and updated straight away and my forum was littered with bugs and all sorts.

    It was a huge mistake.

  • Kelli @ 3 Boys and a Dog

    Well, I am going to show my stupidity here… I haven’t updated because
    1. I don’t know how
    2. I don’t understand what the update it
    3. I am terrified of messing up and deleting my blog

    So, there. ROTFL! One day (when I have time) I will figure outn how or find someone who will do it for me

  • Carolee

    I updated to 3.0 and have had no issues thus far.

  • Perry Butler

    Like the OP stated, I normally would have waited to see what the general reaction was from the public, but in this case I upgraded immediately, which turned out to be painless. I was too eager to implement the new menu system on my blog.

    The highly customized basic2col theme I was using would no longer render in WordPress 3.0 and displayed a PHP error, so I switched to TwentyTen and threw in some quick CSS customizations. Also, the WP-Syntax plugin didn’t seem to work properly, so I switched to using basic pre tags until I discovered SyntaxHighlighter Evolved about a week later. After working through these hiccups my site was back online in about 15 minutes.

    My blog is rather new and I try to keep it simple with the plugins by writing my own functions when necessary, so I wouldn’t recommend a compulsive upgrade for everyone, especially those who are using many customizations.

    I’m happy to see such a stable release from a dev team.

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