A new version of WordPress has been released (WordPress 3.5) as of 12/11/2012.
This is a major update to WordPress which brings many changes to the content management system that is running your web site(s). Most plugins (extra functionality that has been added to WordPress) that are updated regularly and have a large user base will be most likely upgrading very soon, if they haven’t already, to support the new WordPress version. Updates are essential to WordPress (and any other type of software) because new security holes, updates, increased functionality, and bug fixes are being worked on all the time and constantly.
Unfortunately, there are some issues I’m seeing already… Currently a few sites I’m developing and maintaining are breaking (in various ways) when the update is applied. This is something that just happens as new code is put in, old code is removed, bug fixes are implemented, and security updates are applied. In total there are 100+ changes in the new version of WordPress and that doesn’t count the changes we’ll see with individual plugins.
This is just a word of caution about what to expect. When upgrading WordPress a full backup should be taken in order to be able to roll back in case there’s issues, or worse, the full site goes down. WordPress will warn you as well when attempting to upgrade. A full backup includes backing up all the files and the database which the site runs on. Backing up all the files and database is not very intuitive but is possible if you so choose to do so. I can provide the necessary information to do so if you choose but take into consideration that it’s very easy to “mess things up” if you don’t know what you are doing which could be very, very costly in the long run.
If you would like me to do it and “be there” in case issues arise then I’m more than happy to. I can do it as a one off or I do offer a monthly service which will take a full backup of all the files and database on a regular basis, update WordPress and the plugins, and fix any issues arising from the update. WordPress has about 3+ major updates each year and around 10-20 more minor updates as well. Plugin updates change constantly and very inconsistently.
Please let me know if you have any questions or issues.