Major WordPress Releases and WordPress Roadmap
Just like how Joomla has a road map and plan for upgrading their software, so does WordPress:
WordPress Roadmap (wordpress.org)
Since WordPress 2.1, they release a major upgrade every 3-4 months. So far, they've stuck to that. Patches are released as needed in between those times. A month before there's a major release, there are not any patches released so that they can focus on the major releases.
Right now, WordPress 3.4 is in "Release Candidate" status, which means it'll be released soon.
This year, there are 3 major releases of WordPress planned. Expect to see versions 3.4, 3.5 and 3.6. Again, in between those releases, expect some patches to be released. Often, there's a patch released within a week or two of a major release.
Webstix and WordPress Releases
As with Joomla, we sometimes need to wait to apply a major release until all the plugins have caught up. We may not do an update right away due to this reason. The Release Candidates come out so that plugin developers can test and modify their plugins with it but sometimes they are slow with this. Many WordPress plugin developers are volunteers and work on plugins in their spare time. That's part of the nature of Open Source software.
Webstix Policy on Major WordPress Releases: We will not apply major releases right away and instead wait 2 weeks before applying them. We do this for a few reasons:
- There is usually a patch that comes out shortly after a major WordPress release. It's better to wait for that patch so that your website is not open to any new holes that the new release may create.
- Sometimes plugin developers need more time to update their plugins after a major release. Upgrading to a major upgrade may break these plugins.
- If we do an upgrade and another one comes out right away, it saves everyone time and money if we just wait to see if a patch is immediately released.
We may not fstrictly ollow this policy if it looks like the major WordPress release takes care of some critical holes. We'll use our best judgement when applying upgrades. Our goal is to make sure your website is secure and also save you money.
It's up to you to do your upgrades but we are here to help. If you are hosting with us, then we do require that these upgrades and patches are applied. Performing upgrades in WordPress is generally pretty easy. It's just a few clicks in the administration area. You might need to know your FTP username and password to do it but you should have that information. What's important with these upgrades is that you do a full backup of the website and database before you do the upgrade. Then, after performing it, you should do testing to make sure everything works - that means check pages, submit forms, etc.
If that just sounds like too much work, then, as we mentioned, we're here to help. We have introduced a WordPress Upgrade Program where you authorize us to do all upgrades and patches as they come out so that you're up to date. We do the backups and make sure it goes smoothly - and you get peace of mind!
We encourage all our clients to use our WordPress Upgrade Program!