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With the release of WordPress 3.1, I'm about to update my own WP installation. I've had a thought about the different ways one can do the update: by hand (ugh), via Subversion checkout on the server, and using the built-in updater.

To this point I've used the SVN route, not sure why, possibly that was from before WP added the auto-update feature. It's a minor hassle though, as I have to log in to the server and run svn up to get the new release - admittedly that's not a big deal, but it's an extra step over logging into WP to apply the update.

I would imagine that the WP folks have worked hard on the auto update feature and kept it as smooth as possible. With that in mind, should I just not bother with an SVN checkout to run my site, and just use the updater? Or is there any reason why I should keep using the SVN method?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

If you're already using the SVN method, then keep using it. Trying to auto-upgrade an SVN site will probably fail due to all the extra .svn directories and such.

Auto-upgrade doesn't do anything special or different. It's just replacing the WordPress files with the new ones. SVN will do the same thing.

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+1 for svn up. Seems to be the most logical method. – Chris_O Feb 23 '11 at 19:41
+1 - Gets my vote to, seeing as i only work locally my opinion is pretty much based on how well it serves me working locally, but all the same it's my preferred method(despite managing to fudge my install earlier today). – t31os Feb 24 '11 at 1:13
It does make sense to keep on the SVN route since it's already in place. I'll put up with the minor extra work, since it may pay off someday. – Grant Palin Mar 10 '11 at 6:32

I used to do it by hand, but using the auto-update feature is a lot easier and saves me time. There are times though when I get stuck in maintenance mode, but I believe I have only run into that while updating plug-ins. With some 3.0.x releases, the auto-updater actually replaced my Akismet plug-in with an older version. The newer Akismet wasn't bundled with Wordpress until 3.1 was released so I had to re-update the plug-in again.

One thing you may want to consider is the wp-config.php file. I have been upgrading Wordpress (both by hand and the updater) for quite a while before the 3.x releases without even looking at the wp-config-sample.php file. In my case, the only major changes were the authentication keys and salts that were added. One of the key constants didn't even seem to be used anymore. However, even with an older wp-config.php file Wordpress still worked with no problems.

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I've been updating multiple WordPress installations using the automatic upgrade for the last couple years without any problems. Even if it works well, though, you should always take the time to back up your database and files just in case.

WP-DB-Backup is a simple plugin you can use to create a quick backup of your database.

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