WordPress 2.5 Upgrade Guide(s)

April 2nd, 2008

There are many guides out there (one in particular I won’t dare mention) about upgrading to 2.5, but I was curious how your experience was.

I’ve personally upgraded two of my blogs — one manually, and one using Keith’s awesome WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin. In both cases, I ran into no issues aside from a few incompatible plugins (you did check the list, right?).

To get the ball rolling, here are several links to some upgrade experiences around the web. My hope is to make this post a resource with a list of upgrade guides and experiences. Please feel free to add your own in the comments below (only one link please).

So what was your upgrade experience like?




  1. Robert (2 comments.) says:

    With some of the frayed nerves I’ve seen around the WP forums the last few days, I thought I would pass along something to all those who only THOUGHT they may be doing something stupid.

    Last evening’s project was to upgrade to 2.5 on a subdomain of one of my web sites. So I go through the tired and true procedure:
    * Backup the site.
    * Backup the db.
    * Deactivate all plugins
    * Delete all WP files, except wp-content
    * Upload the new files
    * Run the upgrade script
    Then go back to the dashboard. Yep, you guessed it… I’m still at 2.3.3

    So, I go check the files, clear my cache, make sure I’m uploading the rights files, blah, blah,blah. Let’s try this again. Delete files. Upload files. Try the upgrade again. Yep, still 2.3.3. Hmm, let’s try downloading a fresh zip file from the WP site. Delete files. Upload files. Upgrade. You gotta be kidding me. 2.3.3

    It’s at that moment that I happen to look at the server directory on Filezilla… Jeez, all this time I’ve been deleting and uploading to the FRIGGIN ROOT DOMAIN!!!!

    (yes, the root site did survive the onslaught. and yes, the upgrade went off without another hitch)

  2. Ronald Huereca (66 comments.) says:


    If you don’t mind me saying, that story is hilarious. I’m glad your root did survive though.

  3. JohnGreg says:

    Upgrade to 2.5 was essentially successful; lost a couple of minor style sheet maintenance changes to original theme – somehow my backup of the production copy did not make it back to host directories;

    To be successful, one should follow the detailed step-by-step upgrade guide faithfully. Learning how to back-up the database was a critical addition to knowledge and experience. Again, the step by step guides are very well done and appreciated.

  4. Scott (21 comments.) says:

    Yeah. See this.

  5. Spamboy (7 comments.) says:

    Upgrading (from 2.3 to 2.5) was easy enough that I was able to do it between sessions at WordCamp and still pay full attention to the presentations.

  6. Ronald Huereca (66 comments.) says:

    I upgraded during WordCamp as well. My friend next to me (also upgrading) wasn’t so lucky.

  7. TheTick (17 comments.) says:

    Smooth easy upgrade, all features working as they should. I am a happy camper.

  8. Network Geek (21 comments.) says:

    I hadn’t upgraded in, well, a very, very long time, so I was due. I expected to have issues with incompatible plugins, but, really, I only had a few minor issues. I replaced one plugin and fixed the other myself. Though, it did seem like Bad Behavior needed to be updated still. At least, it was throwing errors at me when I had it enabled last time.
    Other than that, though, it was the normal, simple WordPress upgrade.

  9. Richard (4 comments.) says:

    I first upgraded my local MAMP install on my MacBook Pro (using the three step upgrade) and had no problems whatsoever, and after pounding on it for a couple days, I updated my main blog today and again, had no problems. Everything works.

  10. Thaya Kareeson (51 comments.) says:

    I have nightly backups AND a staging site to try the upgrade so I didn’t have to go through the checklist at all :). I upgraded my staging site via “svn sw” and it went very smooth. I’m very impressed with the slight speed increase in the front-end. The only thing that’s keeping me from upgrading my live site to 2.5 is that Popularity Contest and Link Harvest is not working.

  11. Ronald Huereca (66 comments.) says:


    I, too, used a local install (using XAMPP) for RC1 and eventually the full WP 2.5. I highly recommend it to anyone debating whether to upgrade.

  12. Jason (75 comments.) says:

    I had quite a few issues updating my main site to 2.5, and eventually decided to roll back. That said, a few of my secondary sites have been running 2.5 since RC1 without so much as a hiccup :???:

  13. Random View (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks alot Ronald Huereca. I had never thought some will consider my WordPress 2.5 Upgrade Experience This really encourages a blogger to writing more As their are so many people looking for such things :)

  14. BlaKKJaKK (10 comments.) says:

    The only issue I ran into is that the Maintenance Mode plugin nerfed my admin panel after the update. I had to manually turn it off by changing a value in MyPHPAdmin. Otherwise it was all good.

    One strange thing I noticed. The Plugins page no longer tells you if a plugin is out of date. Not sure what to do about that.

  15. infmom (8 comments.) says:

    I’m going to wait till 2.5.1 comes out. Last time I upgraded I had to do it again a few days later because of “critical security issues.” I don’t enjoy the upgrade process so much that I want to do it day after day after day.

  16. Jared (2 comments.) says:

    I have never had any problems with upgrades since using the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plug-in. I check the plug-in site to make sure it’s compatible with the version of WordPress I’m upgrading to and just go for it. Granted I don’t make money off my site or try to so some down time isn’t going to kill me by any means.

  17. Jacob Santos says:

    2.5? Dude, I’m already on 2.6! I don’t know what you guys are talking about, 2.6 is the way to go! I’m kidding of course, there were only a few changes with fixes that will be going into 2.5.1. It is good to get the fixes now.

    You know, I said don’t use your live blog for testing without realizing that I’m on Trunk. I do keep up on the commits to make sure nothing will break and if it does it won’t cause that much damage. I do freak out every time I see “Upgrade WordPress!” page and think, “Will this be the last time I see my posts before I load a backup?”

    If I lose my blog, I lose nothing. I’ll be pretty sad about losing material for several game projects, but I have them in my head, so not even those will be a total waste.

  18. Ken-Arild Kristiansen (1 comments.) says:

    I’ve upgraded both my sites, and without any problems at all. I was aware of the WPG2-incomp. and get rid of both WPG2 and G2. I’ve installed Nextgen Gallery instead.

  19. ChrisM (4 comments.) says:

    “One strange thing I noticed. The Plugins page no longer tells you if a plugin is out of date. Not sure what to do about that.”
    >>BlaKKJaKK — I’ve upgraded one of my blogs to 2.5, and the plugins page (for me at least) does inform me which of them have available updates. Might be worth selectively turning them off, one by one, in case one is blocking this feature?

  20. c0y0te (4 comments.) says:

    I upgraded my test site first and had no issues, but when I did my live site using the same method it screwed up my pages. Basically I can’t see any of my pages any more, only my posts.

    The response from the WP team in the forums has been non-existent. There are lots of other users out there who have hit the same problem as me, but there does not seem to be any easy solution for those of us on Windows/IIS solutions.

    I find the lack of response very dissappointing after all these years of faithful usage of the WP product and I must say there are so many issues being reported about this particular upgrade that I think 2.5 is probably the worst one yet, which is a shame since it’s such a step forward from 2.3.

  21. Mike (1 comments.) says:

    I upgraded to 2.5 about a day after its release. I was pretty excited, everything ran smoothly. I did the little upgrade procedure. My blog survived, that is to say until I reached my dashboard. Seeing as I’m running a K2 theme, it didn’t mix well with the upgrade. And after an hour of stressing, I found out the fix was to just rename the theme folder from k2 to K2 (or something simple like that.)

  22. shadaik (2 comments.) says:

    Problem with the plugin compatibility list is, there is no button to just add a plugin you know to run, so I don’t have any idea how to submit plugins to this as I have tested a number of plugins by myself that were not listed.

    As for the upgrade itself: It’s all a matter of finding a time slot idle enough to not upset to many visitors during that 5-15 mins downtime.

  23. Alpha (2 comments.) says:

    I upgraded several hours after WP 2.5 was released and after few mistakes that resemble the one described by Robert in the first comment, it all went OK.

    It’s not that upgrading is hard, it’s about the stress it creates. And sometimes being preoccupied with following the all the instructions about backing up, building file lists and checking plug-in compatibility can blur basic common sense. Weird.

  24. Helen (5 comments.) says:

    I haven’t dared upgrade yet (I mean, I’ve been too busy – that’s my real excuse :))

    My concern is: how can I tell whether my theme is WP 2.5 compatible? I’m using gridline lite. Yes I looked at the theme compatibility list but I suspect it’s incomplete ;-)

  25. Nicolas (1 comments.) says:

    Everything went smooth for me as well…no problems…like WP 2.5.
    I guess you didn’t like the one form MT where they suggest to upgrade (move) to their application (was a good joke though).

  26. Don says:

    I clicked on the link in this post to the In-depth WordPress 2.5 Review site and the NoScript extension on Firefox warned me they prevented a possible cross-site (XSS) attack from that site! Anyone else have that happen? (I run Windows XP SP2.) I also sent thislink to a forum before i notieced it. Hope this is a safe site.

  27. Samir (10 comments.) says:

    great post mate i was waiting for it.I am about to upgrade my blog from 2.1 to 2.5 and its very big upgrade.I will do it o subdomain first or locally and then transfer it to site.

    I will surely share my experience with all.


  28. Doug Smith (2 comments.) says:

    Worked great using the Automatic Upgrade Plug In. I didn’t opt to do the database up[grade option but the plug in insisted and did it anyway. If this happens you have to go in and restart all of your plug ins manually. Other than that it was very easy and so far after a week no issues.

  29. Spamboy (7 comments.) says:

    I’ve read some comments about people being stressed out about the upgrade process, in terms of “did I follow every step?” If anyone’s interested, I have a WordPress Upgrade Checklist I put together to keep my dev and prod environments up-to-date with proper backups, .htaccess edits, etc. Shoot me a note if you want a copy.

  30. andrea (1 comments.) says:

    I had no problems upgrading, but I suspect my WP installation is very stripped-down compared to others. I didn’t have to adapt my custom theme and none of my plugins broke WP or acted funny, I suspect it’s because I’ve tried to keep my WP installation as simple as possible.

  31. Jonathan (7 comments.) says:

    I went from 2.3.2 to 2.5 last night without a hitch. I really need to get a better FTP than Windows Explorer though. ARGH!!! Prior to the upgrade I ALWAYS had the “there’s a new version of WordPress available” on top of my admin panel, which drove me nuts because I tried to upgrade via my web host to 2.3.3 but now, even on 2.5 it STILL says there’s a new version available! Does anyone know if this is a perpetual message or is there actually something new out there already?

  32. Otto (215 comments.) says:

    Being that my site is pretty customized, I had a few issues.
    -Many plugins didn’t work, some worked after upgrading, some I eliminated, some I replaced with equivalents.
    -Theme had to be modified as I was using deprecated calls in some places. I also wanted to implement the new avatar functions.

    But generally speaking, the upgrade process was smoother than most.

  33. Jaynee (1 comments.) says:

    The upgrade itself was easy since I use the auto upgrade plugin. However, I did have issues with the image uploading section of the upgrade – it took a LOT of scrolling through the forums to find the four or five different recommendations to fix it. Even now I still can’t do the batch upload, but everything else is working now.

  34. Ronald Huereca (66 comments.) says:

    Thank you all for the comments. You all are providing very well-rounded feedback as far as the upgrade experience.

    @Jacob Santos,
    Sorry, not everyone can be you :)

    Try submitting a bug report. At least then a developer will see it.

    Removed the link. Better to be safe than sorry.

    Do you have a post written about it? If so, I can include it in this post.

    I have the same issue on one of my blogs. No multi-upload either. But I haven’t played around with the .htaccess yet, which seems to be the solution if you have an add-on or sub-domain.

  35. K-IntheHouse (4 comments.) says:

    Mine just a couple of hitches. Popularity post plugin & Image uploading after the upgrade. Both were easily fixed after reading the forums/codex. If anyone is interested, I wrote about the fixes and have linked the post to my name.

  36. Phil B (7 comments.) says:

    There’s absolutely no need for upgrade stress – or unpleasant surprises – if you keep a test installation that’s a functional duplicate of your production blog, with identical plugins and the like. I test installed several nightly builds and so knew just what to expect. I also got really good at upgrading, what with all the practice. :-)

  37. Phil B (7 comments.) says:

    @Helen: Ask Thad Allender, author of Gridline Lite, about 2.5 compatibility. On his forum, he said that he plans to upgrade all themes, though he didn’t say when. He did say that he didn’t expect WP Core to change in any way that would cause major problems to the themes, and the developers have said much the same about WP 2.5 and themes generally.

  38. Gary Taylor says:

    The only problem I had – which meant a change to my sidebar – was that I was using a plugin which deactivtes widgets. Of course, reacivating it after upgrading lost me my Dashboard. Took me a while to work out why I could still reach all my admin sections, just not the Dashboard…

  39. Trisha (16 comments.) says:

    I upgraded one of my blogs as soon as I got home Sunday night from WordCamp Dallas and love 2.5!

    However, I spent 3 hours on the phone yesterday helping a friend who had totally messed up her upgrade – the problem is that she uses BlueHost and didn’t have an FTP program – she was just using her CPanel File Manager, which she didn’t fully understand how to use, so she wound up unzipping the new version into just about every subfolder she had…aarggh……and also she missed the step of deleting the old files before uploading the new files…..aaarggh…..since she didn’t know how to explain “where” she was on her server it was hard for me to follow – once I convinced her to give me her BlueHost login and password so I could see what she was seeing, I got it fixed for her in 5 minutes, and cleaned up all the detritus……

    But the lesson here is, if you don’t know what you’re doing ask for help before you start, and if you’re using a hosting company that supports WordPress, ask them first if they will do the upgrade (some will) – I had her call them afterward and they told her that they would help anyone who wanted to upgrade 30 days after a version is released. Would have saved her a lot of trouble and angst and me a lot of time if she had just been a little patient

    The bleeding edge should be the domain of those who know how to avoid getting ‘cut’……:D

  40. Helen (5 comments.) says:

    Thanks Phil – I did send an e-mail to Thad through the contact form but I didn’t hear back yet.

  41. Nico (2 comments.) says:

    I’ve found that even contributers can view unpublished posts by anyone (not just their own), and edit comments, edit posts, delete posts, etc…this doesn’t seem right.

    Also, the dates on several posts have been mysteriously backdated to 31/12/1969!

  42. Trisha (16 comments.) says:

    @Nico – there’s a great plugin called Role Manager that allows you to totally customize user roles and permissions – I use it on several blogs but haven’t yet tried it on one with 2.5 so I can’t vouch yet for compatibility. Most of the plugin author’s site is in German but thankfully this page I linked to has been translated to English for those of us who are not fluent in German. :)

  43. Hector (1 comments.) says:

    Everything went ok. Only had a problem with links and images uploading with IE 7, with Firefox was ok.
    Upgraded Flash solved the problems.


  44. Allen (3 comments.) says:

    I just recently upgraded to wordpress 2.5 and I’d like to share my experience. I used the wordpress automatic upgrade plug-in to upgrade my blog.

  45. Naijaecash (3 comments.) says:

    Thanks for sharing this information. I must confess that I have been scared of upgrading. The official Step-by-step guide provided for upgrading did not in alliviating my fear. It actually got me more scared. Reading peoples weird experiences all over the internet actually added to it. I told myself, I will not upgrade until I have learnt all I can from others mistakes.
    Well, I do not need to wait any longer. The Automatic Upgrade Plugin you recommended was used by the last commenter to this post. So, I am going to try it out. Cheers. ;-)

  46. Naijaecash (3 comments.) says:

    Well I used the plugin and it worked. You can read my success story in my post Upgrade Your WordPress Site Automatically. I wish to say a big thanks to Ronald and others who encouraged me through their comments. Cheers. ;-)

  47. sammy123 says:

    I upgraded my site without deactivating my plugins. Does that cause any damage? If so, how can I fix it? Thanks!

  48. marsha (1 comments.) says:

    I used the wordpress automatic upgrade plugin and it worked wonderfully. I couldn’t be happier. Only one tiny problem, I can’t post to twitter from my dashboard any more. I’ll fix that later.

  49. bubazoo (213 comments.) says:

    I upgrade wordpress using the SHELL prompt. subversion sucks, I use a simple shell script. I was going to post how I do it, but your comment system keeps telling me I’m sending spam, so I can’t post how I do it, but my method works in less then 5 minutes from a shell prompt, I don’t know why you guys make upgrading wordpress so complicated.

  50. Jason (75 comments.) says:

    Most people don’t have shell access on their machines and, even if they did, wouldn’t have the requisite knowledge to update a WordPress install accordingly. While there are quite a few bloggers versed enough with systems to do such a thing, most people will not have had the need to learn such techniques.

  51. Rev. Voodoo (4 comments.) says:

    When I initially installed wordpress, it was through GoDaddy, so it was an auto install. They don’t release updates real quick, so I tried my hand at upgrading following the guide. Real easy, with no problems at all. It was almost fun!

  52. Annand (1 comments.) says:

    I just upgraded with WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin, which was successful, but now I’m unable to login. Any ideas on how I could fix this?

  53. Takeabreak (1 comments.) says:


    Upgraded, but I cannot get the pages on my blog to work anymore!! Frustrating!
    Any help?

  54. Mark Ghosh (386 comments.) says:

    Takeabreak: I could try to help if you use the contact me form on the menu above and send me some information on the exact problem. The Forums are also a good place to find some help.

  55. Thaya Kareeson (51 comments.) says:

    I mentioned before that I had a staging site. Some people asked me what I did to setup a staging site, so I decided to create a post/checklist, For those of you who have many plugins and are not sure if you want to upgrade to 2.5 because of compatibility issues, you can follow these relatively easy steps to create a testing site and try out 2.5 before you upgrade your production blog.

  56. cuzzy (1 comments.) says:

    I used the automatic update plugin and all went well except now I get a STALLED script when trying to start a new post.

    I also think this is affecting my CPU usage on my host. My site had to be shutdown a few times because I was exceeding 25% on a shared server. That is nuts seeing as I have a small site.

    might have to do a clean install manually.

  57. Vedic Astrologer (1 comments.) says:

    WordPress 2.5 automatic upgrade through the plugin is a fraud. Dont fall for it. Actually looking at some of other posts here, entire 2.5 release is a fraud.

    I am facing the exact same problem as “Takeabreak” and “c0y0te”, static pages do not appear and the dreaded 404 error is seen all around. Forums are useless as well.

    Good sense prevailed and I went back to what I was running.


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