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I Hate Upgrading… but I did it.

September 19th, 2009 · 16 Comments · Blogging

I hate “upgrading” software. As far as I’m concerned, if it ain’t broke, why “fix” it? I believe that for some software companies, “upgrades” are more about generating cash flow than about necessary new features or improvements. I seldom need any of the new “how have you lived without these” features. And I just don’t like the risk of the upgrade going haywire. Perhaps that’s why I stuck with IE6 for so long, thinking I’d wait until I got a new computer to change to a new version of Internet Explorer (I still haven’t gotten the new computer). Last year I finally got fed up with too many websites not working in IE6, but instead of upgrading to a newer version of Internet Explorer, I switched to Firefox (Firefox now keeps telling me I should upgrade, but I haven’t yet). Once I get software installed and it works, that’s it for me. And this same [crotchety] mindset applies to WordPress, until now.

The Trade Show Guru turned a year old last week… it was a quiet celebration. When I set up this blog a year ago, I installed the version of WordPress that was available through my web host (2.6.something). Immediately after installing it, I found out that there was a never version of 2.6! Like heck I was going to immediately go through the potential headache of upgrading. And so to continue, for the last year I have lived quite comfortably with my WordPress 2.6.something. But then a few weeks ago I got a notice from my webhost that I needed to upgrade WordPress to 2.8.4 to avoid getting hacked. There was an evil worm spreading by the hour, if not the minute. I remembered that Rudy had upgraded, Mitch had upgraded (Mitch upgrades all the time I think), and so had several other bloggers I follow. I also remembered that JD got Hacked last year, and so I read the warnings this time and took them seriously.

My version of WordPress didn’t have the “auto upgrade” button, so I had to manually delete all my files (except the database of course) and then install the 2.8.4 files. It took a little while, and involved more than a bit of anxiety. But I did it, and more importantly it worked. I also made a few other security improvements while I was at it. Now I have the “auto upgrade” button as well, so maybe next time I’ll upgrade a little sooner. Or then again, maybe I’ll wait until the Trade Show Guru turns two.

From what I read, the threat out there to older versions of WordPress (2.8.2 and earlier) is both real and serious. If you aren’t running WordPress 2.8.4, upgrade now. If I can do it, anyone can do it. If you don’t, it’s probably not a question of if your blog will get hacked, but when it will get hacked. So upgrade today!

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16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 JD at I Do Things // Sep 19, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Congratulations. It’s nerve-wracking, all right. And oh, what a black day that was when my site was hacked. I say, yes, do whatever you have to do to prevent that. Next time will be so much easier with the automatic upgrade button. All I did was deactivate my plugins, hit the button, and . . . done. Took about 5 seconds.

    And happy belated blog birthday!

  • 2 Mitch // Sep 19, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Man, I’m glad you did the right thing and upgraded. Getting hacked doesn’t sound like fun at all, and JD’s not the only guy I’ve heard of who got hacked.

    And I was actually holding out myself, because WP had been upgrading every 2 weeks and it seemed to be getting a little bit ridiculous. However, when you read and see that they’re security updates, and know of people who’ve been hacked, you just get it done.

    As for Firefox, man, if you haven’t updated it, then you’re not going to be updating WP when you’re supposed to either, because it’s just as easy to do. Matter of fact, it takes less than a minute between Firefox loading the new software and reopening the browser, which you can put off until later. Easy and you’re protected; get ‘er done! 🙂

  • 3 Lin // Sep 19, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Hiya Steve! Good for you on upgrading wordpress. There’s been a lot of wp sites getting hacked, and if you visit Lorelle’s blog at lorelleonwordpress.com you’ll see she’s STRONGLY telling everyone on wordpress to upgrade their blogs immediately to the newest version.

    Fortunately for me, I have a really cool online friend who handles all of that stuff for me. I’d break something for sure. It must be the blond in me, ha!

  • 4 Will // Sep 20, 2009 at 1:21 am

    Now that the latest versions of WP have the auto upgrade button there are no excuses. The older versions were more difficult. In fact a few people each month used to pay me to upgrade their sites for them. Once I put them on the latest versions, I put myself out of some work. I used to get a few people hiring me to install WordPress for them also. Now there is almost none of that either. Most hosts now have an automatic script that does it for them.

    So yes always upgrade. I got an email yesterday from someone wanting help with their broken site. As far as I can tell they were hacked by some sort of automatic script. They were several WordPress versions back. When I told them how much time it was going to take to fix their site, they said they thought they were just going to start over!

  • 5 Will // Sep 20, 2009 at 1:23 am

    By the way – Is that you in the photo? hehe.

  • 6 The Trade Show Guru // Sep 20, 2009 at 10:17 am

    hi JD, good to hear that with the auto-upgrade button the upgrade process takes about 5 seconds. I can handle that.

    Hi Mitch, OK, I guess I’ll upgrade Firefox too. Time to stop living in 2008 I suppose. 🙂

    Hi Lin, I pretty sure Lorelle’s blog post is the one that finally scared me into doing it. It’s a good blog. And yes,your friend is really cool, and very helpful too. 🙂

    Hi Will, No that isn’t me… but computers can make me feel that way sometimes!

  • 7 Rudy // Sep 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Happy belated Blogiversary!

    Glad to see you had an uneventful WordPress upgrade. Talk about anxiety, did you find yourself pausing before you press that “Enter” button?

  • 8 The Trade Show Guru // Sep 22, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    hi Rudy,
    Thanks. Yes, I paused, and then paused again, and the paused one more time… but finally hit “Enter”. 🙂 ~ Steve

  • 9 Todd Morris // Sep 26, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Hi Steve,

    I know where you’re coming from on this one. I used to be scared to upgrade as well … especially because I am addicted to “tinkering” with the designs on my site … I don’t want to “break” it with a new version.

    That being said, with the most recent versions of wordpress, upgrading has become so relatively painless that there’s almost no reason not to.

  • 10 The Trade Show Guru // Sep 27, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Hi Todd,
    I had made a few “tweaks” that I was worried might not work after the upgrade, but they did. And now that I have the “automatic upgrade” button, I’m sure I’ll do it more often. Thanks for dropping by! ~ Steve

  • 11 Junk Drawer Kathy // Oct 1, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Man, I know the feeling. Always feel like throwing up my lunch when I’m about to upgrade. That last threat had me scared and I actually had someone else upgrade me. I couldn’t take the pressure. I will always upgrade on time from now on. You may not know this, but my blog was also hacked. January 2. Happy new year to me, right? My heart sank when a fellow blogger emailed me and said “What’s wrong with your blog?” Ugh. Never again!

  • 12 The Trade Show Guru // Oct 1, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    hi Kathy,
    Because your blog is so popular (and thus probably a more prominent “target”) it makes sense to keep it upgraded for security reasons, especially since you’re a member of the “my blog was hacked” club. Fortunately with the “automatic upgrade button” it shouldn’t be too hard now.
    Thanks for stopping by! Steve

  • 13 Ernie // Oct 21, 2009 at 11:39 am

    I’m all for upgrading, so long as I just have to push one button and then let the computer do all the heavy lifting. I switched to Firefox because whenever I upgraded IE it would always try and force me to restart my computer IMMEDIATELY or I guess it would self-destruct or something. I always wanted to restart my computer when I was ready. But if the computer says it will work better with an upgrade I do it, because my computer wouldn’t lie to me.

  • 14 The Trade Show Guru // Oct 22, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    hi Ernie,
    I’m not sure about your statement “my computer wouldn’t lie to me.” 🙂
    I’m glad I’ve got the single wordpress “UPGRADE” button now to make life so easy, but I figure now that I have it, there probably won’t be any upgrades for a long time… not. 🙂
    Thanks for stopping by! ~ Steve

  • 15 Tim // Nov 14, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Hey, Steve!
    We been hacked! The horror! The indignity!
    But thankfully I fixed it all easily and then upgraded. It took longer than five seconds, but all told modifications like upgrading all the plugins and such took less that 2 hours. Would’ve been faster if I had real internet, but what do you do…
    My own fault. I’ve been lollygagging and lazing about, at work and with my family and such, and ignoring the much more real and important internet. I neglected to upgrade.

  • 16 The Trade Show Guru // Nov 14, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Tim,
    I can’t believe someone would hack the Redneck Bar and Grill. What a low life! You must have fixed it fast, because I still stop by for a drink every now and then and I never noticed it.
    Anyway, nothing wrong with lollygagging and spending time with family! Sounds like you have your priorities straight. 😉
    Thanks for dropping by. ~ Steve

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