How Quickly Do You Upgrade WordPress?

How Quickly Do You Upgrade WordPress?Back in April I wrote an article entitled The Great Plugin Backwards Compatibility Debate, in which I referred to some data showing that a considerable proportion of WordPress users have not installed the latest version (or even the previous latest version, or others before that).

Those figures will be somewhat skewed by inactive sites and the like, but I don’t think anyone could dispute that there are (and probably always will be) a proportion of WordPress users who choose not to upgrade to the latest version of the software.

But why? I would say that there are three common “fears” associated with upgrading:

  1. Fear of theme/plugin incompatibility
  2. Fear of potential bugs
  3. Fear of the unknown

These fears are not irrational – there certainly are a few potential downsides to upgrading. Themes and plugins can break, there can be bugs, and unexpected things can occur.

If you look at the potential downsides, you might ask yourself why you would upgrade. There are two obvious reasons:

  1. New features
  2. Security updates

The problem is that these reasons can be easily outweighed by the aforementioned fears. The benefits of new features typically pale in comparison to the risk of existing functionality breaking down, and security risks are typically only feared by those who have previously suffered from security issues.

So I am interested to know what your thinking is when it comes to upgrading. Do you upgrade immediately, wait for a period of time, or do you actually have no interest in upgrading from a particular version? And what is your reasoning? Let us know in the comments section!

Creative Commons image courtesy of Collin Anderson