Like the rest of the WordPress Community, we’re eagerly anticipating the imminent release of WordPress 3.5. A full run-down of 3.5’s shiny new awesomeness can be found over at WordPress.org. The Core team has added some fantastic functionality to WordPress that will make publishing and managing your content more user-friendly, and continue to democratize publishing on the web.

Along with all the excitement, WP Engine has been working to ensure the release of 3.5 will be compatible with our platform. Making sure your WordPress site is up to date is one of the cornerstones of our Managed WordPress Platform, and we want to share WP Engine’s plan of action to make sure the release of 3.5 goes as smoothly as possible for all our Customers, as well as the entire Community.

While WordPress 3.5 brings many great new features and we can’t wait to roll it out to customers, we’re also aware that most WP Engine clients are businesses, some of whom have voiced their concern to us regarding the possible impact of the upgrade to their business website(s), particularly in the midst of the Holiday season. For many clients, this is both a busy period for site traffic, but also a period of short staffing while people take well-deserved time off to be with their loved ones.

With this in mind, we will not begin rolling out WordPress 3.5 upgrades to existing client sites until December 27th.

Please read on for more details…

Testing

Out back in the “WP Engine Garage,” where we run our staging servers, we’ve been testing early beta and release candidate versions of 3.5 against customer sites, both to make sure our customer sites are prepped, and also submitting minor bug fixes as we find them.

During our testing we’ve found no obvious or significant problems/incompatibilities/etc with major plugins. However, if you are particularly cautious and would like additional peace of mind, you can test the new version of 3.5 via your WP Engine Staging Site. Our staging area empowers you to test your site on a separate install without affecting the WordPress instance your visitors see. This is, of course, one of the many features all WP Engine clients receive with every site they host with us.

New Client Sites

Shortly after WordPress 3.5 is released to the public on Dec 5th, all brand-spanking-new WordPress sites created on WP Engine will be created with Version 3.5. Therefore no further work to new sites will be necessary. It will not, however, be possible to downgrade to previous versions.

Existing Client Sites

As mentioned, we will not begin upgrading existing client sites until December 27th. This will be staggered over the course of a week or so. If you are happy with this schedule, you need to do nothing further other than ensure your plugins are up to date to ensure compatibility when 3.5 is rolled out to you.

However, clients have two further options:

1) Perform an auto-upgrade manually
If you would like to move to 3.5 ahead of our upgrade schedule, you can do this easily yourself. Once 3.5 is released simply log into your /wp-admin/, click the Dashboard > Updates menu items and follow the WordPress 3.5 upgrade instructions.

2) Request a deference
You may request to defer your upgrade until a date if:

  1. You have tested your WordPress site via our Staging facility or your own local copy, and
  2. You have found that your site will break under WordPress3.5, and
  3. You cannot resolve the issues before your site is scheduled to be updated

To do this, please create a ticket with our Technical Support Team stating the reason for the deference request, with a brief outline of issues you have experienced and an estimated date by which you can be upgraded. Our support team will then be able to work with you to make sure your update to 3.5 goes off without a hitch.

We’re looking forward to the release of 3.5, and want to send our gratitude to all the WordPress Community members who have contributed to Core, and have worked on this latest version of WordPress. You can say the following with every release of WordPress, but in particular, 3.5 is the Greatest Version of WordPress yet!