I think about 50% of my websites are built on the WordPress platform, while I use Dreamweaver for the others. I am not a programmer, and at best, I am a novice developer, so I like WordPress because it’s easy to operate. One of the best aspects of WordPress can also be one of the most frustrating. Whenever WordPress rolls out a new version, or a plugin is upgraded, WordPress lets the publisher know that the newest version is available.
The notice is in a spot to ensure that people upgrade, since security patches are generally a big component of upgrades. It isn’t distracting, but positioning of the notice makes you feel like it’s very important to install the new version, whether it actually is critical or not. All you need to do is click the “Please upgrade now” notice, and you are taken to a page where you can easily upgrade to the newest version with the click of the mouse. Sounds simple, but it can cause major headaches for you.
With a custom designed website residing on the platform, an upgrade that goes wrong can lead to problems, which aren’t always obvious. Despite having an issue a few months ago that was the result of an upgrade gone wrong, I decided to take a chance and upgrade to WP 2.9. I had recently backed-up the entire site, so I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal if things went haywire.
The day after upgrading, I found that a post missed the schedule, which was an issue that happened last time. I did some testing (changing to the default theme and turning off the plugins), and I had the same issue. I got in touch with my designer, and he did a bit of research on the issue. Luckily for me, he found a thread on the WordPress Support Forums, where several people complained of the same issue. In a few minutes, my designer found the potential solution, which worked for my site.
The same type of WordPress problems can exist with a plugin upgrade, patch installation, or other WordPress upgrade. Before you are tempted to upgrade, make sure you back-up your full website. If you do run into a problem, do a Google search to find others with the same problem so you can either diagnose it or find someone who can diagnose it and remedy it for you. It’s great that WordPress makes it easy to upgrade, but it can cause you problems if things don’t work out as expected.