WordPress 2.7 was released last night, quietly as always and I was going to write this post but was simply too tired after been up for nearly 20 hours. This is a much awaited version and as someone who played with it since its early alpha I can also tell you that it was well worth the wait. WordPress 2.7 brings not only visual enhancement to Admin interface but also functionality improvements that excite me personally the most! But there is one thing you should know:

WordPress 2.7 Is Not A Security Update!

And while I recommend you bring your blog to this version, you have some time to do the proper planning to ensure smooth migration to new design and functionality. This post is here to help you!

  • This post assumes that your blog is currently at latest SECURE version of 2.6 trunk – 2.6.5, which was released few days ago. If not – UPGRADE NOW!
  • Web 2.0 Wealth and Expert WordPress customers advised NOT TO UPGRADE just yet. I’m in process of testing the process and as always customers will be presented with a video to how get it done with least pain.

But if you are feeling confident and would like to play with new functionality – Why Not, right? And here is a great Video Presentation of New WordPress 2.7 features, provided by Dev. team

That’s The Spirit I Love!

While this post is not designed to teach you how to do an upgrade (there is plenty written about it already) I do want to outline some best practices. I have previously wrote a post that outlines some of the exact steps I use for upgrade approach and you can find them in my post WordPress 2.4 Skipped, What Should You Do?. Don’t be put off by version number in the headline – it is still very much relevant as it deals with Best Practices!

Your WordPress 2.7 Action Plan

As I have already mentioned – new version brings big changes. Changes that require you to check both your theme and currently used plugins for compatibility with this version. There is an excellent guide for those of you who know how to do some coding and want to get your hands dirty – right here.

And for the rest of us…

Theme Compatibility

Good news is – even if your theme is NOT compatible with WordPress 2.7 – it will continue to work. Bad news is – it will not be able to take full advantage of the new functionality offered by WordPress 2.7. You can check if your theme is on compatible list or not here.

What are the most important features brought by 2.7:

  • Enhanced comment display. Now you get comment threading, paging etc built into core assuming your theme supports it.
  • Post classes allows you to display different classes of post in different format – style them differently
  • Sticky posts feature introduced in 2.7 can also be integrated into theme and sticky posts can be excluded from custom queries on your pages.

All of the above simply means – better visual for your blog, as long as your theme is ready.

Plugins Compatibility

WordPress 2.7 comes with a lot of enhancements and I’m not even planning to list them here. But what it means to you in practice – it will allow you to shed some of the plugins you currently use because functionality is already integrated into the core. This blog during the upgrade will loose 5 plugins that I heavy rely on right now!

That will help with page load speed (or give me room to install some more plugins πŸ™‚ ) I do recommend that You Always check if plugins you use and view as MUST HAVE on your blog as compatible with latest version. You can get a community contributed list of plugins compatible with 2.7 here.

Before You Start Upgrade – Backup!

I decided to finish this post with a reminder that should be ingrained into your brain – ALWAYS do a backup before any upgrade. That includes backing up your database and more important files. This will simply ensure that you have a way out if things do go wrong during upgrade.