How To Upgrade Your WordPress Blog Automatically

Call me the upgrade freak as I always have to have the latest versions of everything. But there was one exception: the WordPress installation on my blogs. The reason was that upgrading WordPress was not a walk in the park.

If it’s just about downloading the latest version, then there wouldn’t be any problem. Unfortunately, the process also involves backing-up the database, deactivating the plugins, uploading the latest installation files (which could be a hellish experience, especially on an unstable and slow internet connection), upgrading the database, reactivating the plugins, and upgrading the plugins (if needed). Add to that the possibilities of crushing your blog entirely and you have the perfect combination of reasons not to try to upgrade.

So when the latest version – 2.6 – of WordPress was released, my fingers started to tickle again. I was tempted. Still, I was not 100% sure if I was up to the task of upgrading. But then I came across a very useful plugin called: WordPress Automatic Upgrade.

As the name suggest, this plugin:

    -Backs up the files and makes available a link to download it.
    -Backs up the database and makes available a link to download it.
    -Downloads the latest files and unzips them.
    -Puts the site in maintenance mode.
    -De-activates all active plugins and remembers them.
    -Upgrades WordPress files.
    -Gives you a link that will open in a new window to upgrade your installation.
    -Re-activates the plugins.

The plugin can also can be run in the automatic mode where you only have to click on one button and let it do the rest. Sweet!

To be able to use this plugin, you’ll need to install it first. If you’ve read and followed the tips in my previous article about WordPress, you can do the installation easily from within your WordPress admin panel. All you need is the file download link.

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Otherwise, you can:

    – download the file,
    – unzip it,
    – then using an FTP application, throw everything inside that archive to folder “/wp-content/plugins/” of your WordPress installation location.
    – go to your “Plugin” tab within your Admin panel and click “activate”.

A quick note before you upgrade, you need to have permission to write the files and folders within your WordPress installation. If you don’t have that permission, at least you must know the details for the FTP account. Please ask the admin of your server regarding this information.

If everything is set, you can begin the upgrading process. There are two options:

    1. Using the step by step process will ensure a successful installation. Just follow the step by step “Click Here” instructions, and everything should be fine.

    2. Using the automatic process will free you from the hassles as everything is only one click away, but this option doesn’t always work. It depends on your authority status and the Chmod setting of your WordPress files and folders.

My suggestion is to go with the automatic mode first. Then if this has failed, you can switch to the manual step by step process.

Congratulations, now your WordPress is up to date – and will always be, easily. Personally, I think the 2.6 version is more comfortable to use. But there is more to upgrading than just to feel more comfortable.

The main reason is security. You will know yourself that the world is full of people who have nothing better to do than to find the loopholes of any application and exploit those holes (or maybe they are paid to do so). Therefore, developers have to continuously provide patches while improving product features. So that’s exactly another reason to keep up with the latest version: more goodies to enjoy!

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