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Here’s My Tip About Upgrading WordPress: Don’t

Wordpress W

Okay, first of all let me say one thing up front. I love the hell out of WordPress. I think it’s great piece of software. And I have nothing but respect for the people who work on it. When I first shifted Needcoffee to a blog format, I shopped around and quickly figured out that WordPress was the way to go. So I’ve tasted the WP Kool-Aid and dug it.

So I’m not hopping on the bandwagon of giving 2.5 a bunch of shit because it’s buggy. I mean, well, it is buggy. I installed it on a brand new site just to see how it was and while it’s slick (mayhap a bit too slick for its own good at times), image uploading didn’t work out of the box. There were numerous threads with about two to three different issues that people were experiencing just with getting their images online. And it seemed much slower than the lovely and stable 2.3.3. So that brand new site lasted about fifteen minutes on 2.5 before I downgraded it to 2.3.3.

But here’s the thing about 2.5: it’s brand new. They’ve revamped the entire admin area. And they did this for free and didn’t charge me anything. So am I surprised that it has a few kinks (or in the case of the image problems, at least one really huge kink–if it were any bigger it would be Ray Davies)? Nah. Am I disappointed? Meh. A little. But it’s not like I paid for it, is it? Brand new software is almost always buggy. So I’m not terribly concerned and figure 2.5.1 or something will be coming and I’ll upgrade at that point. Maybe.

So that’s what this post is about: it’s a call for sanity. Why in God’s name are so many people leaping onto 2.5? Okay, sure, it’s new and wow and stuff. And everybody loves to have the latest and greatest. But if they’re smart, they’ll learn what I learned a while back: if it ain’t broke, don’t upgrade it.

Some people never learn, though, and they constantly hurl themselves into the latest version of anything–whether it’s Windows or iTunes or whatever. But why? Oh sure, if there’s a security issue, then I can understand. But unless there’s that or some new feature that you just can’t live without…why? I’m about four levels behind on iTunes myself. Because they haven’t introduced anything that I need. Unless there’s something specific listed or some compelling reason, I just don’t upgrade.

And if you’re running a production website–why would you upgrade to 2.5 without doing what I did? Installing it and taking it for a spin. There’s absolutely no excuse for this. WordPress takes literally minutes to setup. Hell, it takes longer to upload WordPress to a server than it does to setup the database, configure the thing and go.

So listen: it’s no secret. Let all the crazy bastards who just! can’t! wait! go first. Sit back and watch and see what happens. Then you can see other people experience the broken plugins, the bugs and whatnot. If you must tinker, create a sandbox install somewhere else and try it there.

But if you must upgrade before it’s time to, at least do everybody the favor of not acting surprised when it bites you on the ass.