WordPress 3.7: Don’t Update Just Yet!

WordPress just seems to keep on churning out updates lately. Generally, that’s a good thing, but it’s still worth it to be careful. And if you haven’t updated to version 3.7, it’s a good idea to wait.

Why You Shouldn’t Update Just Yet

word-press_3.7Don’t panic – if you’ve already updated and your site seems to be working fine, you don’t need to worry. WordPRess 3.7 has some pretty cool features, which we’ll get to in just a minute. But if you rely heavily on plugins, it’s a different story.

3.7 is a major update, which means it makes some pretty serious changes to your site’s coding. And since it just came out, many plugins haven’t changed their code to match. So your totally awesome widget that you use on your front page might break if you don’t stick to the old version.

If you’re planning on updating, first check that the plugins you use have updated as well. If they haven’t, see if you can switch to a different plugin that does the same thing. Otherwise, hang on to 3.6 for just a little while longer.

What’s New in 3.7

So, ready to update? Here’s what the new version has in store for you:

  • Automatic Updating – Once you download 3.7, many routine updates will be taken care of without the click of a button. But don’t worry; you can filter the updates to make sure you have total control of your site. Check the codex if you’re thinking of doing this.
  • Stronger Passwords – Not a big deal if you’re already a security nut, but the new password meter will make sure that new users choose extra strong passwords, which will keep your site protected. Overall, a pretty neat feature, especially if you have a lot of different profiles.
  • Better Searches – For those of you with a huge archive of blog posts (self-reference, anyone?) this feature will help your readers find what they need. You won’t notice a huge difference, but the results should be better.

The developers among you will find a handful of neat new support and security updates and quite a few bug fixes from the last update. Once again, check the codex for all the little details; they’ve updated everything from the comment editor to the password protection on certain blog posts.

What’s fixed in 3.7.1 (yup, they released a patch yesterday)

WordPress 3.7.1 is now available! This maintenance release addresses 11 bugs in WordPress 3.7, including:

  • Images with captions no longer appear broken in the visual editor.
  • Allow some sites running on old or poorly configured servers to continue to check for updates from WordPress.org.
  • Avoid fatal errors with certain plugins that were incorrectly calling some WordPress functions too early.
  • Fix hierarchical sorting in get_pages(), exclusions in wp_list_categories(), and in_category() when called with empty values.
  • Fix a warning that may occur in certain setups while performing a search, and a few other notices.

As always, remember to back up your entire site before you update. This step is particularly important with this update; if a plugin isn’t working, you can always revert back to the original form.

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