Do you upgrade as soon as a new version of WordPress comes out? Do you wait a little while to make sure all the kinks are worked out? Or are you still running a much older version like 2.0 and refuse to upgrade?
I’m in the middle on this one. I like to upgrade but I am cautious and careful about it. First, I like to see what happens. Are as many bugs introduced as were corrected? Are people reporting problems with the upgrade? I usually wait until the .1 update before upgrading. Before upgrading, however, I do a little bit of research. I check to see if my must have plugins are compatible with the upgrade as plugins are frequently the reason why an upgrade goes awry. If certain plugins aren’t compatible, I might wait or I will look for an alternative. Sometimes I will decide that I no longer need the plugin.
I also use a staging server to test themes, code tweaks, and layout changes before using them on my live site. I may install 2.7 there first to test it before installing it here.
I didn’t always used to be so cautious. For some reason, I used to get into my head to upgrade at 11pm at night when I was tired and something would always go wrong. I don’t know why I thought I could quickly upgrade and then go to bed. Maybe it was because I wasn’t as serious about those sites or because I didn’t know as much about WordPress then. Or maybe I’m just getting older :-)
WordPress 2.7, which comes out next month, is going to have some significant changes, especially in the visual interface of the administration area. I think it will be especially important to do some research and to be familiar with the changes before upgrading.
I do not plan to discuss all of the planned changes in 2.7 in this article but I did want to give an example of one change that could slowdown your workflow if you were not aware of it in advance.
One of the most noticeable changes will be that the navigation menu will now be a vertical menu on the left side of the screen. This was done to maximize the work space and minimize the amount of scrolling. I don’t know if it will be in the 2.7 release but ultimately the left side menu will be collapsible which will maximize the workspace even more. In addition, the header area has been reduced and their will be breadcrumb navigation links.
If you want to know more about the planned changes and updates, please read the WordPress 2.7 Wireframes pdf.
So, what kind of upgrader are you? Do you have to have the newest release as soon as it comes out? Are you more like me and wait a little bit to make sure there are no serious problems and that your plugins are compatible? Or are you still running version 1.5 ;-)
photo credit: publicenergy