Should You Update Your Version of WordPress?
I’ve been rattling on about the update to version 2.7 on twitter and in a post here on my blog, I just thought I would write up a post saying why I think it is important to keep your code up to date.
Each new release will include a number of bug fixes. These fixes tend to be rolled out as a 2.7.x update rather than a major staging update.
What do I mean by that, 2.6 was a major staging update, and so is 2.7. I will be expecting 2.7.1 in the not too distant future when the bugs found by releaseing the code to the general populace come to light.
There are hackers out there constantly probing and testing hte security of WordPress blogs. Since there are millions of them in existence, it is fairly easy to test the security measures of WP.
Keeping your code base at the latest level ensures that any security breaches found in the code can be patched and the hackers can be kept at bay (at least for a short while until they find the next vulnerability).
This is for the geeks out there who need the latest and greatest features. WordPress is not a static platform, it is constantly upgraded and improved. Upgrade to the latest version and there will be a suite of new toys to play with.
If you keep your code level too far behind you risk putting the level of support available to you down a peg or two. WordPress is a whole community of people developing plugins and themes, most of this development is done near or close to the latest version. You may find that your favourite plugin stops working if you do not keep up to date.
Downsides of Keeping up with the Jones
All the latest bells and whistles of an update also come with a cost. There are two main downsides:
Compatibility issues – your update may cause your plugins or theme to stop working.
Introduction of errors – as you update code, there is an increased chance of corrupting your wordpress install or your backend database. Always backup before you upgrade. I will cover this in depth in future posts
Auto Update in 2.7
Just a quick note on the new autoupdate feature of WP 2.7. We have had the ability to download and automatically update plugins for some time now. This has been updated to include the code base as well. I haven’t seen this in action yet, but I look forward to this and blogging about it very soon.
My Thinking on Updates
I don’t take part on beta schemes on my production blogs, they are too “bleeding edge”, but I am considering creating a devblog.ibraininc.com to play with new features. But what I will do is upgrade or patch my wordpress code to the latest version when it is made generally available to the community.