If you have a WordPress site, you might have seen already in the admin panel the notice that is prompting you to upgrade to a newer version. The question is why would it be better to switch to the latest version? Is it so necessary? First of all, most users do not know that there are certain risks involved when upgrading.
The switch itself is very simple – just a click to upgrade. However, some things are likely to go wrong. The risks can be minimized though. Sure, any new version comes with improvements for the average blog user, but also for the web developer. New features are to be enjoyed. With one such update we got, for example, the hover menus enabling access to any screen with a single click. This was a welcome change. Also, the new media uploader was a great improvement, since one no longer has to browse for the file to be inserted.
A most important aspect is the site security. WordPress latest versions unavoidably focus on this. Since hackers work without a halt, developers at WordPress also work continuously to get one step ahead and resolve the security issues. A responsible approach means to accept the updates as they are issued. If everything is good by now, then what could go wrong? Typically, users face incompatibilities between the newer version and their website theme or plugins in use. Upgrading can cause damage to the website, and it is all for the worse, if it is a complex one or loaded with many plugins.
These points being considered, the question still remains: should you upgrade or not? An upgrade is certainly necessary and must be done at some point or another. The best way to do this is to hire a designer specialized in WordPress. Simple websites may not be in need of that, but complex ones call for some work. Whatever was included in the main installation will be affected, the pre-packaged plugins especially. Customizations that you've made will be lost. A good web designer with WordPress skills will track the configurations that were made and will achieve your goals with the new version.
The WordPress Codex offers instructions for upgrading. It teaches one how to backup a website before accepting the upgrade. Therefore, if you have the time to go through it, you may proceed to getting to the next level by yourself. Additionally, besides backing up the site, it would be good to create a test version, a separate one that duplicates your live site and lets you see how changes work.
Source by G Sonali