WordPress is the most popular content management system on the web today. Today, the latest version of WordPress has been released.

Changes in version 3.3

Many of the changes in WordPress 3.3 are usability-based. Many of the menus are now flyout menus, which take up less visual space. There are also explanatory bars at the top of each page to help first-time users of WordPress navigate the content management system. The system used to upload media has changed to drag-and-drop, and the whole system is built to be tablet compatible. A full list of the changes in version 3.3 is available on the WordPress Codex.

Update carefully

Though the “please update” on the top of every page can make it very tempting to immediately update your WordPress installation, this must be done carefully. If you are already running a WordPress based website, then you likely also have plugins and widgets built to run with WordPress. You should check to make sure that the plugins your site relies on are entirely compatible with the latest WordPress version before updating. Take a day to read compatibility reports and back up your website files and databases before upgrading. In the best cases, you could or should run a secondary “sandbox” testing installation of your website to test updates and new plugins before putting them on your “live” server.

If something goes wrong

It is possible that a plugin or widget or custom theme you rely on for your website won’t be compatible with the new version of WordPress. If this happens, then your website will break in one of a variety of ways. Go through and disable all of the plugins, then re-activate them one at a time to see which one is causing problems. You can also downgrade your WordPress, though this should be done carefully because older versions do not contain security updates.