If you can satisfy two reasonable requirements, upgrading WordPress can be ridiculously easy using Subversion. If you’ve ever attempted to manually upgrade WordPress using the “Three Step Upgrade,” you know how much of a pain it can be. Three steps is false advertisement. It’s more like a gazillion. ;)
The two requirements?
- You need command-line (shell) access to the web server with WordPress installed.
- Your web server needs to have a Subversion client installed.
I venture most web hosts will support both requirements (I host with Site5 and they do).
Assuming you meet the requirements, you just need a single command.
svn sw http://svn.automattic.com/tags/2.6/ .
2.6 with the current stable version. It’s like magic. Updating WordPress went from a tedious, hour long task to a walk in the park.
More specific instructions can be found in the WordPress Codex.
UPDATE (08-28-2008): I should mention the above command works out-of-the-box only if you’ve already got your WordPress install setup with Subversion. If you initially installed WordPress without using Subversion, please follow these instructions to get Subversion working with your existing installation. Once you do that, you will be able to use the above command for future updates.