Version 2.7.1 of WordPress, the software that powers this blog, was released a couple days ago. I’d been looking forward to this release, even though it’s just a minor maintenance deal with no big new features. I was looking forward to it because this is the first release since 2.7, which implemented the ability to automatically upgrade to newer versions with a single click. In other words, this was the first opportunity to put automatic upgrades to the test.

And, mostly, it works. But there is at least one potential glitch that may burn some users. I found out about this when Lee upgraded his blog. It went smoothly except for one dispiriting glitch. The upgrade overwrites the default template with the latest version. So if you made any changes to the default template, they’re gone. Ideally you backed your modified version up, but if not, your changes are lost.

This is easily avoided of course. Instead of editing the default template directly, one can simply make a copy of it and edit the copy instead. For example, I copied themes/default to themes/default-modified and activated that template instead.

That way, when you upgrade automatically, only the old default template is overwritten, and default-modified remains intact.

I hope this helps somebody. Other than this one potential stumbling block, the automatic upgrade feature appears to be everything I hoped for, and should make my life administering multiple blogs for different folks a little easier.

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