About a week ago, or so, WordPress released the latest version of their popular blogging software, version 3.5.
I have been using WordPress for years, and there was a time when I would not immediately upgrade when a new version of the software was released. I figured that in case there were glitches or bugs in the latest software, it would be better to wait a week or so before upgrading, so that the bugs could be discovered and ironed out. In more recent years, though, I have gotten to where I upgrade immediately when the new version of the software becomes available. There are several reasons for this:
- Upgrading now is so easy, because you just have to click a button or two and it upgrades automatically. In the past, you had to manually upload the new software and do the installation yourself. The auto-upgrade has cut back on the work involved, and no chances of making a mistake that could affect your site.
- WordPress software has really matured to the point where release versions are almost always very stable and reliable, not requiring the time for other people to work out bugs.
- Because WordPress is so popular, it becomes a target for hackers to attack, which is the reason for many of the updates. Hackers have discovered an exploit that they can do to WordPress, leaving all WordPress sites vulnerable until they upgrade to the most recent software, which blocks the exploit.
Because of these reasons, I now feel that upgrading should be done immediately.
However, in spite of the fact that WordPress itself is very stable and reliable, upgrading can still lead to problems. It’s not the WordPress software that is generally the problem, it is often the plugins that you are using with WordPress that have compatibility problems with the newly updated core software. What is a plugin? A plugin is generally a 3rd Party “add on” software package that allows you to customize the way that WordPress works or looks. Generally, on my various WordPress blogs, I use between 15 to 20 different plugins to customize the setup.
Usually, when WordPress upgrades, everything just works, even the 3rd Party plugins. The latest WordPress upgrade, though, has had issues with many plugins. I have about 40 different WordPress websites, and out of those, about 15 of those websites have had issues with the upgrade, all of which (so far) I have determined to be related to plugins that no longer work properly with the newly upgraded WordPress software. Some of the plugins that I have found to have problems with the new update:
- FeedWordPress – This is a plugin that allows you to syndicate content from other sites. I use it on a few of my sites. FeedWordPress offered their own plugin upgrade to go along with the WordPress core software upgrade, but I found that the upgraded plugin had problems. Specifically, it made it where you could not post in WordPress using the Visual Editor, you could only use the Text or HTML editor instead. The solution I came up with on this was to roll back to the previous version of FeedWordPress, which still works fine.
- WordPress GZip Compression – This plugin GZip’s your content before serving it to readers. Modern browsers can read GZipped, compressed, content, so this uses less bandwidth than non-compressed content. I found that if I use the GZip Compression plugin, I cannot upload images to my WordPress posts. That is not good! My solution on this one has been to simply disable the plugin until an upgrade is released. Alternatively, if GZipping is important to you, I suppose you could disable the plugin while uploading images, and then re-enable it once you are finished with that chore.
- These are the only plugins that I have had personal experience having problems with related to the software upgrade.
I am having another problem still with another site, which I am pretty sure is related to the software upgrade. So far, though, I have not figured out what is causing the problem or if others are experiencing this problem as well. If I get this figured out I will post more about it here. In short, though, I have one site where the links to all of my posts are ending up on a 404 Error page instead of going to the post where they should go. More on that later, hopefully.
How do you determine is a plugin is causing a problem?
Really it is very easy to find out if one or more of your plugins is causing a problem with the use of your WordPress site. How do you do it? Well, if you find something that is not working properly on your site, just go to your plugin page in the admin area of the site. Deactivate all plugins, then try using your site again and determine if the problem you found has gone away. If the problem still remains, then it is not a plugin problem. On the other hand, if the problem has cleared up, then you should start reactivating your plugins one at a time. After each plugin activation, try the site to see if the problem has returned. When the problem is back, you can bet that the last plugin that you reactivated is not working properly, and you need to either upgrade that plugin, or stop using it until the problem has been resolved by the plugin author.
Good luck, I hope that your newly upgraded WordPress site is working properly! I’ve got all but one of mine working. This particular WordPress upgrade had a few bumps in the road, not like normal!