WordPress Upgrade Preparation Checklist

Filed as Features, News on March 7, 2008 8:11 am

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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:

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  1. By darran posted on March 7, 2008 at 8:29 am
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    Lorelle,

    The preflight check plugin only handles till 2.3, do you have any idea if it covers 2.5 too?

    Reply

  2. By Jeremy Steele posted on March 7, 2008 at 8:46 am
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    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.

    Reply

  3. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on March 7, 2008 at 10:31 am
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    @darran:

    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.

    Reply

  4. By Jeffro2pt0 posted on March 8, 2008 at 6:32 am
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    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.

    Reply

  5. By ivonson posted on March 8, 2008 at 7:08 am
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    Nice Post Lorelle. Same question with darran on the preflight check. Does it support version 2.5 wordpress?

    Reply

  6. By natespost posted on March 8, 2008 at 9:42 am
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    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!

    Reply

  7. By Kemi posted on March 8, 2008 at 12:10 pm
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    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 :)

    Reply

  8. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on March 8, 2008 at 9:42 pm
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    @ivonson:

    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.

    Reply

  9. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on March 8, 2008 at 9:50 pm
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    @Kemi:

    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.

    Reply

  10. By Travis posted on March 9, 2008 at 10:54 am
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    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.

    Reply

  11. By Youdee posted on March 9, 2008 at 1:11 pm
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    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?

    Thanks.

    Reply

  12. By Richard posted on March 9, 2008 at 11:56 pm
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    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.

    Reply

  13. By delusional posted on March 10, 2008 at 9:38 am
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    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) ;)

    Reply

  14. By Aaron posted on March 10, 2008 at 11:16 am
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    @Travis:
    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.

    Reply

  15. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on March 10, 2008 at 4:49 pm
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    @Youdee:

    It will not be hard. There is little to learn. It works basically the same way, it will just look a little different. I have some friends under 10 who blog, and they have no trouble at all. My friends over 70 love it because it’s so easy to use. They don’t have to work so hard to get a lot done.

    Check out the WordPress Lessons on the WordPress Codex for tutorials for using WordPress.

    Reply

  16. By DJ Allyn posted on March 10, 2008 at 11:18 pm
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    I notice that March 10th has come and gone, yet no WP 2.5.

    It seems that EVERYONE is keeping quiet on this.

    Reply

  17. By Jacob Santos posted on March 11, 2008 at 12:43 am
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    @DJ Allyn:

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

    @Lorelle

    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.

    Reply

  18. By Ben posted on March 11, 2008 at 8:33 am
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    Of course you could just install WordPress Automatic Upgrade and save yourself all that time and trouble.

    Reply

  19. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on March 11, 2008 at 9:57 am
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    @Ben:

    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.

    Reply

  20. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on March 11, 2008 at 10:01 am
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    @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.

    Reply

  21. By spanish posted on March 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm
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    Hi Lorelle,
    This is an excellent post, thanks for all your efforts.

    Reply

  22. By Mike Cohen posted on March 11, 2008 at 10:15 pm
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    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.

    Reply

  23. By Asher Elran posted on September 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm
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    I am always uneasy about upgrades. Worry that the theme is not compatible or plug ins will not work.
    Thank you for a detailed check list.

    Reply

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