Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas! If you’re using WordPress to power your website (and you should be), you’ll soon see an upgrade nag at the top of your Dashboard, giving you a notice that Version 3.5 is available for download. Several times a year, WordPress releases updates to the open-source software (sometimes these also include important security updates). It’s important to keep your WordPress installation up-to-date.
You can check which version you’re running by logging in to your Dashboard, scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the screen and looking at the bottom right corner of your site. You should see a line there that says, “You are using WordPress version X.x…” You can also find it by clicking on Dashboard and then expanding the “Right Now” option box, and reading within that that box.
Before you start clicking the “Update Now” notice all willy nilly, please take a moment to backup your WordPress installation first. You can backup your most essential information by creating an export of your Posts, Pages, Comments, Menus, Custom Post Types, by logging in and going to Tools>Export, and choosing to export “All Content.” This will give you an .xml file of all of that information above which could be used to restore it if something went wrong with the update. Now, this is important to know – that won’t backup your plugins or your theme. It’s essentially backing up your content only – the REALLY important stuff. To backup everything at once, I recommend BackupBuddy. It’s also helpful for scheduling backups which can be emailed or downloaded to an offsite location on a regular basis. Those backups can then be used to restore your site and also to easily move it to a new server or new domain if you should ever need that.
Ok, so back to WordPress 3.5. I’m on my way out the door to pick up Nila from school (she’s in kindergarten)… but I wanted to make sure you had a heads up about 3.5 coming this week. Here’s a great post from tutsplus.com about some of the changes you’ll see in WordPress 3.5, and below is a video demonstrating some of the most important changes, too. Take particular note of the MEDIA LIBRARY changes, because once you update, the user interface for uploading and inserting pictures will look really different.
One last thing – We recommend all our clients and friends use WordPress SEO by Yoast ( http://yoast.com/wordpress/seo/). I mentioned it briefly in my article on Search Engine Optimization. Last week, he released a premium TRAINING video to accompany this plugin. If you’re a current client and would like access to this video, please leave a comment below and I’ll shoot you an email tonight with instructions on how to access it for free. We purchased a license for all our clients so you can be best equipped to use this amazing tool yourselves. Of course, if you want us to handle your SEO for, give me a buzz and we can do that, too.
Hope you’re having a great week! Gotta go get the girl before she’s the last one standing in the walker’s line by herself!