One of the main questions businesses ask whether or not they will be able to upgrade their website in future? The answer is simple “Yes” but there are a few things to understand here. Please read on if you are thinking about upgrading your WordPress website and needs to understand the process.
The WordPress CMS is designed with backwards compatibility in mind. The core team around the project is planning all upcoming features to prevent existing sites to break. Hundreds of thousands of WordPress websites have been upgraded from versions released in 2009-2011 to a latest version without any regressions.
However, there is no guarantee that your WordPress theme or set of plugins would act normally after updating the WordPress core. There is a Developer Documentation available for WordPress developers including the best practices for building plugins and themes. Various WordPress programmers do not follow the conventions and build solutions that could be affected after updating the WordPress Core.
A good rule of thumb is verifying the support level and plugin compatibility rating at the WordPress.org Plugin Directory page for a given plugin. The amount of support inquiries is an indication about the number of active plugin users, and the quality of the author’s response. A healthy project has a large community and closes issues as they get resolved.
The compatibility level indicates whether a given plugin version is supported in a specific WordPress version. You can decide whether the last plugin version is supported by WordPress or are there any critical issues that would require you to postpone the update.
WordPress introduced the Automatic Background Updates in WordPress 3.7 and all WordPress versions now update automatically to their minor versions. For instance, if you run WordPress 3.8, it will be automatically updated to WordPress 3.8.1 and 3.8.2, but won’t be updated to WordPress 3.9 alone.
Some hosting providers like SiteGround could update your major updates as well in order to keep you safe and provide you with the latest features from WordPress. You can also install the Advanced Automatic Updates if you want to update your core, themes and plugins as soon as an update is out in addition to running a WordPress backup solution to prevent unexpected situations.
If you run an old WordPress version in a large project, we can investigate the current setup, clone the site and update it locally to verify for edge cases. If a safe process is established, the copy would be provided to your web platform. Otherwise we can list all of the problematic features, fix them and stabilize your updated platform.