Updating to WordPress 3.1

March 9th, 2011 by Curtiss Grymala

As you may or may not know, WordPress 3.1 was released about 2 weeks ago. We at Ten-321 Enterprises have slowly been going through and updating many of the WordPress-based websites we maintain. Overall, the process seems to take an average of around 30 minutes. To some, that may seem like a long time, but we want to make sure we do everything methodically and take extra precautionary measures when performing updates.

The process we follow is:

  1. Perform a complete backup of the site (this includes the whole database and all files on the site/server – even tables and files not directly related to WordPress). Under most circumstances, we will use the WordPress EZ Backup plugin to perform the backups. However, some servers do not support the tools necessary to use WP EZ Backup, so we have to run a manual backup.
  2. Update all plugins with available updates, checking to make sure nothing on the site broke after each plugin is updated.
  3. Perform another complete backup (so that we can revert to the version with updated plugins if the core update fails for some reason).
  4. Deactivate any plugins that are known to cause conflicts or errors when updating the core.
  5. Perform the core update.
  6. Ensure that any cached pages (we use WP Super Cache on quite a few sites) are cleared out.
  7. Reactivate any plugins we deactivated prior to performing the update.
  8. Review the entire site to ensure no errors or issues popped up after the update.

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