Web Site Software Updates and Growing Pains

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If you think I’m a lazy delinquent blog writer, you have no idea how delinquent I’ve been as a blog administrator. Web site software updates are really an essential activity for the smooth functioning of the site, and for security reasons. Any software, open source content management scripts in particular, are constantly issuing upgrades for both improved functionality and improved security. WordPress, which runs this site, is no different. Until today, however, I hadn’t upgraded my WordPress version in many months.

There were enough good reasons to not upgrade software, even beyond laziness, of course.

With every new software patch or upgrade there come the inevitable new issues and problems along with the improvements. This is especially true when you are working with a modular system like a blog script or a content management system. Your site depends not only on the main software but also numerous plugins and modules that create the user experience you want. Often, changes in code render old plugins obsolete and broken, and there aren’t always easy alternatives to switch to.

Familiarity and comfort with a particular version of code can be a strong reason to stick to it. This is the reason people were still using COBOL code in the last decade and we had the Y2K scare. Even with WordPress, the new version was a drastic change from the one I was using, and perhaps I was delaying the inevitable a bit.

Last, but certainly not the least, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Old systems sometimes reach a certain level of stability which cannot be bettered. If a piece of software does everything you want it to do, and it has no major bugs or security flaws, there really is no logical reason to change.

I can’t claim that to be the case in my story. WordPress was well overdue for an update both for the better functionality and security of my site. Of course, this now means that many things are not working like they used to, and it might take me a few days to get things back in order and replace lost functionality with new plugins.

So, I appreciate your patience with my growing pains, and if you come across something specific that doesn’t work like it’s supposed to, feel free to use the comments below as a bug-report thread. I would appreciate the help, and I would also love to hear about some of your software upgrade experiences.

Samir

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