When NOT To Upgrade Your Website

by | Dec 21, 2018

This is what is happening

The new 5.0 version of WordPress was released on December 6, 2018.  This version includes a number of changes, the most revolutionary one being the new Gutenberg Editor.  You can read a preview of the changes to the editor here: https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/gutenberg-editor-wordpress/


Gutenberg Editor

Here are are the concerns

 I had stated in a previous article regarding security that everyone needs to keep their WordPress websites up to date.  When new versions of components are released they often include fixes for security vulnerabilities.  The release notes typically include details of the security holes that were plugged.  Consequently hackers then search the web for weaknesses and if your website is not updated it might be a target.  However, major releases such as WordPress 5.0 are exceptions to this rule.  I administer a number of websites and during the weekly upgrades I am seeing warnings of several plug-ins that have not been tested with the new version.  Some people who have upgraded early are encountering many issues.  This is a perfect example of when not to upgrade your website.




This is what you need to do

First of all you need to learn the new features in the new release before you upgrade.  Also verify that your theme and all your plug-ins will work with the new version.  At Persson Technologies we can install a test version of your website on our servers for a fee so you can see how it will work with the new release.  This service is available free of charge for customers who have enrolled in our weekly prepaid maintenance program (certain restrictions apply).

WordPress version 5.0.1 was released on December 13th and version 5.0.2 was released on December 19th.  Therefore it appears they are addressing the bugs in the new version as they are being reported.  Here are the steps I recommend:

  1. Verify that you know how to use the new features
  2. Check that your theme and plug-ins have been tested and will work with the new version
  3. Perform a full backup of your website
  4. Upgrade to the new version and thoroughly test everything

Please note:  I have discovered it is very easy to install the 5.0.2 version of WordPress and turn off the new editor.  That is the path I am taking for the Persson Technologies website because I encountered some issues with Divi integration.  I am mentioning this in case anyone wants to follow in my footsteps.  The old editor will be supported in WordPress until the end of 2021.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion you can see there are some situations where newer is not always better.  When it comes to major software releases it is best to “look before you leap”.  I always view any software release with a “00” at the end of the version number as a release to be avoided.  For instance, version 7.03 sounds much safer than version 7.00.  The “03” at the end signifies there have been three versions released to address problems found in the 7.00 release.