Last night I did an upgrade for an old client of mine. I have to praise the WordPress developers: the whole process went on very smoothly and almost without a glitch.
I know, doing an upgrade shouldn’t be something worth to mention but in this case even I was a little bit worried… The blog has over 15,000 posts and more than 100 categories (link and post categories together). The old blog was a pre-2.1. version so it had the good old classic post-categories and link-categories in separate tables, which now were brought “under the same roof”.
The only hickup happened when the upgrade script notified that there were two (old) link categories with the same name, and during the upgrade one of them was lost. Other than that – everything seems to be working well.
Seeing so many desperate posts in the forum about failed upgrades I almost began to think there must be something wrong in the script. Now, again, I am convinced if you prepare your upgrade as you should (and your host is not one of those weird companies…) the upgrade should be a walk in the park.
By preparing I mean you do you homework before the upgrade: first of all, read the documentation. I did, even though I know it by heart. Then, I installed the old theme on a 2.3.1 test blog and replaced all the deprecated template tags with the new ones. When the theme worked, I copied over all the plugins from the existing installation and checked if they work with WP 2.3.1. Some of them did, others had to be replaced. So, I searched the plugins repository and the net until I found new, compatible plugins with the same or similar functions. I tested them on my test installation with the updated theme. And only when I was sure that after the WP upgrade I can quickly replace the plugins to re-instate the familiar functions… only then did I proceed.
Yes, it meant some plus work and time spent before the upgrade itself. But if you are a responsible webmaster this is the minimum you should do for your blog. I prefer the additional work vs. running to the forum to post “OMG, I upgraded and my blog died…”
How about you?