How Long Should You Wait to Upgrade WordPress?

With the recent release of WordPress 2.8 this past week, there has been a number of complications and/or frustrations from the WordPress community, leading to a lot of discussion about how long you should wait to upgrade WordPress when a new branch is released.  Historically the WordPress team has always done a great job of testing their releases, which I think lead to a strong confidence from the WordPress community when it was time to upgrade.   Combine that with the one-click upgrade option that is now built into WordPress and the annoying tag reminding you to upgrade, and you’ve got a huge number of people who upgraded to WordPress 2.8 immediately upon its release.

Unfortunately, with each new WordPress branch comes changes which sometimes break WordPress plugins, create problems with the WordPress theme you are using, and usually includes changes to the code.   If you upgrade before the themes or plugins you rely on have been updated, this can cause problems.   The iThemes team recently touched on this subject with their post, When Should I Upgrade WordPress?  Their post also includes five helpful things that need done BEFORE you do your one-click upgrade:

  1. Make a backup of all your site data
  2. Upgrade of all your plugins
  3. Visit plugin and theme author websites
  4. Disable all plugins
  5. Ask yourself if you need to upgrade now

I also recommend waiting a week or so to view feedback before upgrading.

I know several of you haven’t upgraded WordPress to 2.8 yet.   How long do you plan on waiting until you upgrade your WordPress installation?  Please include which version of WordPress you are currently using with your comment!

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  • 10 Things You Need to Know About WordPress 2.7

    As we get closer to the eventual release of WordPress 2.7 (due by the end of the month at last check), it is only natural that we start to focus on the exciting new changes in WordPress 2.7 and figure out how to exactly it will change things for bloggers.

    In looking back over the last few releases, I think WordPress 2.7 will be similar to WordPress 2.3 and WordPress 2.5 in how it is a major change.   There will be a new admin design to get used to, new features available to WordPress bloggers, many themes will need updated, etc.

    If you are wondering what exactly you need to know to be ready for WordPress 2.7, you’ll want to check out a new post by Technosailor: 10 Things You Need to Know About WordPress 2.7.   I think this post does a great job of showing just how drastically different WordPress 2.7 will be, but also shows how much better it will be than its predecessors.

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  • Free WordPress Theme Courtesy of Cats Who Code

    Since I launched my blog Cats Who Code, many people asked me about a similar theme. I first thought about releasing the Cats Who Code theme, but the main problem with that theme is that it is very complex and too specific to our blog.

    So, I figured out that I definitely should release a similar theme, but make it simple to administrate for both WordPress advanced users and beginners.

    On a personal note, I chose to get inspiration for this theme from New York City, where I traveled in June and really enjoyed it. The vector image isn’t from me, but from a designer named Raul. I have sent him an email to ask him if I can use his image for the theme, but never received a reply. After 2 weeks, I decided to make the theme available, anyways most people will use their own image instead.

    Features

    • Widgetized sidebar
    • Widgetized footer
    • Custom field to display a thumbnail on homepage
    • SEO optimized
    • Easy to customize
    • Classy design with nice colors
    • Integrated pagination

    Screenshot & Live demo

    If you want to see a live demo of the theme, just click here.

    Download NYC Theme!

    If you find any bugs or problems in the theme, let me know and i’ll correct it for a future version.

    Hope you’ll like it! I plan to release a bunch of new themes in the near future, both here and at my blog Cats Who Code, so you should definitely subscribe to my RSS Feed and/or follow me on Twitter!

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  • Arthemia: A True Premium Magazine WordPress Theme

    [For a complete collection of the premium WordPress themes available, check out our Premium WordPress Themes Gallery]

    Over the past year a number of quality premium WordPress themes have been made available to the WordPress community from a large number of great designers.   Of these premium themes, most have focused on Magazine WordPress themes, as that seems to be what people want to buy.

    Yesterday I was excited to discover that another designer has thrown his hat in the ring.   This time we’ve got Michael Hutagalung’s new Arthemia magazine WordPress theme, which was built to be an advanced version of his popular free Arthemia theme.

    First, here are Arthemia’s features:

    • Theme Admin Panel
    • Choose a color for each category
    • Drop-down menu
    • Automatic thumbnail generation
    • Widgetized sidebar and footer
    • Ad banner management
    • Gravatar-styled comments
    • WordPress v2.5+ compatible
    • Cross-Browser Compatible

    And of course here are some screen shots for you to enjoy:

    Arthemia Premium Homepage

    Arthemia Premium Post Pages

    In looking at the Arthemia theme, one thing that really jumps out at me is that it truly looks like a online magazine’s homepage would.   Many of the magazine themes you see (both free and premium) are coded to function like a magazine theme, but they still have a “blog” look to them.  This one has a very professional look.  I also like the 728×90 ad block prominently displayed across the top for readers to see in a prominently displayed position.

    If you’re interested in the premium version of Arthemia, you can check out the Arthemia WordPress theme demo and/or purchase a copy.  It is currently available at the following prices: Single License ($70.00), Five Licenses ($140.00), or the Developer’s Pack ($240.00).

    If you’d prefer to view a complete selection of all of the premium WordPress themes available, check out our complete collection of the Premium WordPress Themes available.

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  • Some WordPress 2.6 Statistics

    I’ve always been a big baseball fan because I guess I am sort of a sucker for statistics.  This morning I just noticed a fun post over at Matt’s blog which talks about some WordPress 2.6 statistics, and thought I might share part of it here for our readers who might have missed it:

    • There have been around 23 thousand downloads per day. (Of just the English version.)
    • According to the update system there are 201 thousand blogs using 2.6 already.
    • That’s about 9% of all known WordPress.org blogs in 10 days.
    • The video in the announcement post has been viewed 665,080 times.
    • There have been over 300 themes submitted to the new Theme directory, which launched just 6 days ago.
    • In the same period (10 days) there were 579,871 downloads of 2,527 plugins.

    As Matt also eluded to, I’m sure that WordPress 2.6.1 will in fact bring those numbers up over 50% as a lot of people like to wait for the first patch release to upgrade.

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  • How To: Preparing for WordPress Upgrades

    According to word on the cyberstreet, WordPress 2.5 is due to be released this Monday.   This comes on the heels of a possible vulnerability found with WordPress 2.3.  So, what do you need to do to prepare for a major WordPress upgrade?

    As always, Lorelle has us covered over at Blog Herald with her WordPress Upgrade Preparation Checklist.   Here are the first two (and probably the most obvious ones):

    1. Check Compatibilities: Visit the WordPress Codex 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.

    Click over to check out the rest!

    Another thing you might want to do is to treat each major upgrade as a reminder to do spring cleaning on your WordPress blogs.  I remove/intergrate as many plugins as possible, remove extra images I’m no longer using, update my Robots.txt file, and check Google Webmaster Tools to make sure everything is being indexed, etc.

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