WordPress version 3.2 is set to be released in the very near future (probably sometime this week) and the hosting requirements have changed. To run the latest version of WordPress (which you always should for security and performance) your WordPress hosting must be running at minimum, PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0. If you are not sure what versions of PHP and MySQL your WordPress site is running on,contact your hosting company and find out before you upgrade.
If your hosting is compatible, remember to perform a complete backup before upgrading. A good rule of thumb: upgrade WordPress before any plugins that need updated. Here is list of what we backup before upgrading a WordPress installation:
- Database (via plugin or through your hosting panel)
- Theme files
- Uploads folder
- wp-config file
- htaccess file
- Any premium plugins
To read the new requirements directly from WordPress.Org and get a link to a WordPress plug-in that can check your hosting compatibility with the latest version of WordPress (screenshot above), visit: http://wordpress.org/news/2011/07/are-you-ready-for-wordpress-3-2/
To backup your theme files, uploads folder, wp-config file, and htaccess file, you’ll need to log-in to your site by FTP. At Bourn Creative we use the paid version of SmartFTP, which you can also use for free. We also recommend the free FTP program Filezilla.
What’s New Direct From WordPress.org
Version 3.2 is our fifteenth major release of WordPress. We’re dedicating this release to noted composer and pianist George Gershwin.
The focus for this release was making WordPress faster and lighter.
The first thing you’ll notice when you log in to 3.2 is a refreshed dashboard design that tightens the typography, design, and code behind the admin. (Rhapsody in Grey?) If you’re starting a new blog, you’ll also appreciate the fully HTML5 new Twenty Eleven theme, fulfilling our plan to replace the default theme every year. Start writing your first post in our redesigned post editor and venture to the full-screen button in the editing toolbar to enter the new distraction-free writing or zen mode, my personal favorite feature of the release. All of the widgets, menus, buttons, and interface elements fade away to allow you to compose and edit your thoughts in a completely clean environment conducive to writing, but when your mouse strays to the top of the screen your most-used shortcuts are right there where you need them. (I like to press F11 to take my browser full-screen, getting rid of even the OS chrome.)
Under the hood there have been a number of improvements, not the least of which is the streamlining enabled by our previously announced plan of retiring support for PHP4, older versions of MySQL, and legacy browsers like IE6, which allows us to take advantage of more features enabled by new technologies. The admin bar has a few more shortcuts to your most commonly-used actions. On the comment moderation screen, the new approve & reply feature speeds up your conversation management.
You’ll notice in your first update after 3.2 that we’ll only be updating the files that have changed with each new release instead of every file in your WordPress installation, which makes updates significantly faster on all hosting platforms. There are also some fun new theme features shown off by Twenty Eleven, like the ability to have multiple rotating header images to highlight all of your favorite photos.