Utilizing an open source blogging solution has its ups and downs. I love WordPress and am a BIG fan, but whenever I upgrade to a new version I always hold my breath and cross my fingers… Nothing SHOULD go wrong, but you never know, and being your own technical support person can be a bit trying at times. My experiences moving my blog to a new hosting company a couple of months ago were a bit nerve wracking. I have made mistakes previously in simply upgrading my WordPress installations– mainly forgetting to de-activate all my plug-ins. For these reasons, I don’t take an “upgrade” lightly. I’ve tried, and the moment I do and attempt to “quickly” upgrade something inevitably goes wrong and creates lots of unwanted stress!

I have gone ahead and upgraded three of the four WordPress blogs I currently maintain to version 2.5: Learning Signs, Eyes Right, and Talking Science. So far everything went very smoothly. The new dashboard interface is going to take some time to get used to, but I REALLY like the auto-update feature which some plug-ins can now use. I used this “one click” feature to update my Akismet plug-in to the latest version:

Upgrade Plug-Ins Automatically in WordPress 2.5

The only possible plug-in compatibility issue I’ve identified so far is with the AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget (drop-down). On Learning Signs, it looks like some of the truncated blog entries on the homepage may have some code problems with the plug-in. That may be more related to the theme I’m using on Learning Signs rather than the WordPress version or plug-in versions. I’ve been using Cutline 3-Column Split 1.1 by Chris Pearson. That theme is now in version 1.2 AND 2.1. I thought if I updated to the latest version the quirky code error I saw will disappear, but it actually messed up our header images on the blog and went from a 3 column theme to a 2 column one. So for now I’m leaving it as-is.

I’m going to have our kids share some posts at a new podcast this week on Learning Signs this week and see what they think of the new interface, as well as make sure there are not any plug-in issues. I am using a few more plug-ins on this blog than I am on my others, but hopefully that won’t cause problems. Most of the feedback I’ve read from other WordPress 2.5 upgraders on the web has been VERY positive. I don’t think this upgrade will result in any visible changes on any of the blogs, just back-end stuff.

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