With WordPress 3.2 already released, some questions and concerns may arise, because this is an update that brings a lot of changes and few new requirements. So I thought it would be a good idea to list the new WordPress 3.2 requirements and steps that you should check before updating.
Let’s start talking about the new requirements, starting WordPress 3.2 you need to have a web hosting environment that is running PHP 5.2.4 or greater and MySQL 5.0 or greater. These two new requirements, I would say, are the ones that you should really pay attention and take the time to check.
Now there are many people who are very savvy on what they talk about in their websites, but they are not necessarily savvy on everything that is WordPress, and that is understandable. One of the good thing about this CMS software is that it has thousands of plugins — thanks to the community –, and you can use one of the following to easily check if your website is ready for WordPress 3.2:
WordPress Requirements Check and Health Check, these two WordPress plugins will check and display a yellow banner telling you if your web hosting environment is running the minimum requirement for PHP and MySQL.
You can also use one plugin, which in my opinion is better, that is called WP System Health, this is a more full-featured system check; this plugin provides a Dashboard Widget (limit to administrators) that not only will show you which PHP and MySQL version you are running, but also a lot more useful information divided in 5 categories — if you would like to know more about it, visit the above link –.
If you don’t meet the minimum requirements, email something like this to your web hosting:
“I run WordPress <http://yoursite.com/> on my website and would like to upgrade to the latest version that has been released. It has the following requirements:
- PHP 5.2.4 or greater
- MySQL 5.0 or greater
Please make sure that my PHP and MySQL are up-to-date.”
Something else that you should know is that THEMES and PLUGINS that have specific PHP 4 code, will break things.
Backup is crucial, do not let excitement get the most of you, nowadays most web hosting companies have an easy way to backup your entire site in just a few clicks, so check their documentation to accomplish this task.
If you are backing up manually don’t forget to backup your database, it is really important, all your posts and pages are held in the database, so my best guess is that you don’t want to lose that, right? In the case you want to learn — and you should –, how to backup your WordPress site and database visit the Codex – WordPress Backup page. There you will find step-by-step instructions of which folders you should backup and how to backup the database using phpMyAdmin in cPanel, Direct Admin, Ensim, Pleck, vDesk, and Ferozo, and more.
Other thing that you should do, is to check all your active plugins to see if they are compatible with the latest release of WordPress. Also you should disable all your plugins before updating.
Additional things to consider: Schedule in advance when you are going to be doing the maintenance. If you have a website with tons of traffic a banner letting your visitors know when the site is planning to do maintenance could be also a good idea. Try to do the update late at night or really early in the morning, or when you know you have the least amount of visitors.
If things go south, DO NOT PANIC! Put yourself together, pay attention to the situation, and start troubleshooting, read the logs or any error message and research online. You can check this post in the WordPress forum called Troubleshooting WordPress 3.2 – Master List to start troubleshooting, check the WordPress.org – Forums, and you also join the IRC WordPress channel and get help from volunteers.
WordPress 3.2 looks great, feels solid, it has many new features, and it comes with the final release of the new Twenty Eleven default theme, that is fully HTML5. It is worth the to update!
If you’re still worried, don’t be! Chances are that when you click the Please update now link, everything is going to be just fine, being prepared does not say that WordPress doesn’t work, it is just the smart thing to do. Just imaging how frustrating losing all those years of work would be like.
Let us know if you have other tips that can be useful to other people when dealing with WordPress updates in the comment below.