WordPress Upgrade Preparation Checklist

Graphic of Arrow and WordPress logo representing WordPress upgrades copyright Lorelle VanFossenI recently asked if you were ready for WordPress 2.5, but let’s go through the steps to prepare your blog for upgrading to the new version next week.

  1. Check Compatibilities: Visit the and check the WordPress Theme Compatibilities and WordPress Plugin Compatibilities lists to ensure that the Theme and Plugins you are using will work with the new version. If there is a Plugin your blog is dependent upon, check with the author to ensure you have the updated version.
  2. Update Themes and Plugins: The Migrating Plugins and Themes offers tips on updating your Plugin or Theme for the latest version of WordPress.
  3. Do a PreFlight Test: The WordPress Upgrade Preflight Check Plugin tests your blog to make sure it is ready for the new version. This is especially good for those moving from older versions to the newest one.
  4. Disable and/or Remove Old Plugins: Go through your Plugins list and get rid of the Plugins you don’t use any more. Remove them from your server. If there are Plugins which are not compatible with the new version, check for updates and install them. If there are no updates, look for alternatives.
  5. Print Your Plugins List: Go to the Plugins panel and print a list of the Plugins you have on your blog and highlight the ones you can’t live without. In case something goes wrong, you at least have the list. (Nothing will go wrong.)
  6. Validate: If you have been tweaking with your WordPress Theme, take time to run it through a validator to ensure that it still works and there is nothing left broken. See the Validating a Website article in the WordPress Codex for help. While you’re at it, why not run your site through some checklists to ensure everything is up-to-date and ready.
  7. Backup: Backup your database. Backup your WordPress Theme. Backup Your Plugins directory. Backup EVERYTHING. Even do an XML export as an additional backup measure.
  8. Relax and Read: Take time now, not when you are in a panic of upgrading, to read through the WordPress Codex documents on installing and upgrading WordPress:
  9. Check The WordPress Support Forums: If something goes wrong during a major upgrade, you will find out first on the . You can monitor the site directly or through the feed.

The more you prepare your blog in advance for the upgrade, the easier it will be to make the transition without complications.

Here are some WordPress checklists that may also help ease the transition.

If you have more than one WordPress blog, the following articles may help you install WordPress across multiple blogs:


  1. says

    Heh, I rarely do any of that. I usually just backup and install.

    Wondering if my Nusuni Technorati Links plugin will still work/is still needed… might have to download a beta of WP 2.5 and try it.

  2. says


    I thought it had been upgraded, but my advice still applies if it hasn’t. There aren’t that many Theme changes as there were with that version. If you are upgrading from an older version, this will help step you up to be ready for the latest version.

  3. says

    Cool post Lorelle. As Jeremy stole my thunder already, I usually just do a full backup of the domain and then dive right into the upgrade. I figure if I run into any problems, I’ll be able to revert back to the old installation within a half hour and let my readers know. Plus, I like the experience.

    Good list of precautionary steps though for those who are less experienced.

  4. says

    I’m not ready! I just started mine and have worked out the kinks….pain to learn how to install on a yahoo server. check me out,
    I’m broke!

  5. says

    I’m not ready either. I had to recently take my Empress Events client’s website off of WP 2.3 quickly because the website was loading so slowly. I felt so horrible because I recommended wordpress to them because I use it for my own website. But, as Lorelle says, it does seem to be a matter of importance to take time and read WP instructions carefully and so forth. I miss the days when WP was easy as pie… :( but I have hope :)

  6. says


    As I said, use the Preflight Check Plugin for pre 2.3 versions to help migrate to 2.5. There are few Theme changes required for 2.5, though it will feature build-in avatars and a few elements that Themes can take advantage of, but you can add those yourself or request the Theme author add that feature to an updated version. I don’t expect many Theme breakings on this version…so far. I’m still waiting for all the details but most people haven’t had much trouble.

  7. says


    Actually, installing WordPress is easier than it used to be. Upgrading is now easier with the Plugin and 2.5 is supposed to have automatic upgrades.

    What I do not understand is what slowed down WordPress 2.3. Its cache system was much improved, so I bet it was a Plugin or, forgive me, a design code issue, and not 2.3. Did you use Super Cache? That really speeds things up dramatically.

    Sometimes, it isn’t the fault of WordPress that causes the problems. People forget that.

  8. Travis says

    the plugin list is pretty weak — not one of my plugins is on it!

    is the release still on time? it seems like there has been very little build up going into 2.5 — unlike other wordpress releases.

  9. Youdee says

    Know I still learn WP 2.3 version. I think it will be hard to follow next generation of WP.

    Maybe someone can help me to work with WP?


  10. says

    As usual, I’ll wait for at least two weeks before upgrading since there always seems to be issues and quite truthfully, I don’t want the upgrade monster eating my categories or something else.

    Besides, there are several plugins I use that according to the authors are not compatible yet.

    I would strongly suggest people contact the authors of the plugins they use rather than relying on the list at .org. It’s woefully lacking.

  11. says

    As usual, I’ll wait for at least two weeks before upgrading since there always seems to be issues…

    That’s the idea Richard. Make somebody else go through the pain so you don’t have to (or you can at least read about the pain) ;)

  12. says

    The list is a work-in-progress. Right now WP 2.5 is only available through SVN. Thus, mostly to people who really want to dig into the code.

    The list will grow exponentially once a real Beta is released.

    However, mainly it is up to the plugin author to test their own plugins, so I suggest contacting the authors of your plugins and finding out if they have tested in WP 2.5 yet.

  13. says

    @DJ Allyn:

    Actually, I think most people should have realized that with as much activity on the Subversion that the release date was unrealistic.


    I think I’m confused, are you talking about the Plugin Automatic Upgrader or are you talking about the Trac ticket for automatic WordPress Upgrading?

    If you are referring to the Plugin Upgrader, then yeah, there are still some issues that others are having. Those on Dreamhost will be fine, but other hosts might have issues. There should have been more testers early, but then again, the feature was added a little late.

    Automatic Upgrading of the WordPress installation will probably take a couple more versions depending on how long it takes to stablize the wp-filesystem (with that feature, it just has to work right every time). DD32 has been patching it up and doing a pretty good job. Just need more testers.

    The administration still getting some style updates. Looks better. Meh, I’m already on trunk, so I have no need for “checklists”. Although, svn upping can be dangerous, but it is a good thing my web site doesn’t get much traffic.

  14. says


    Yes, that’s an option, but it doesn’t clean up your Theme, remove old Plugins, or fix things that may need fixing within your WordPress blog. I use upgrades as appointment reminders to clean things up that get scattered around my blog house.

  15. says

    @Jacob Santos:

    I was talking about both. The goal was to get one of the two into this version, so I’m waiting to see which one wins. You’ve now made me hedge my bets. :D

    The Media Library will be the biggest feature talked about, I’m sure.

  16. says

    Also, set up a test site. I always have a test site for all of my domains (test.example.com) with a separate database. I attempt the upgrade on the test site before upgrading the live site. If the test database is up to date and everything works, I’ll simply swap the main & test directories to bring the test site live. I also like to test locally on my MacBook Pro before I try upgrading anything.

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