WordPress follows a lengthy process for testing and fixing the bugs before releasing a new version for public use. If you have customized site with lot of plugins, custom fields and modified theme files then it is a good idea to test the compatibility of your entire site with WordPress beta version. This will help you to find problems and fix them before you update the version on your live site.
Using WordPress Testing Versions
Below are some of the questions come to any users mind when decided to test the site with WordPress development version.
- What is the release cycle and latest version?
- How to install and test it on your blog?
- How to report bugs if you find anything?
This article attempts to explain all those questions.
Test on Staging or Local Site
WordPress development versions will go through multiple update process for fixing bugs. Hence, it will not be stable and can create conflicts with your theme or plugin. You may also find some functionalities are not working properly completely. Therefore, it is very important that you install development version on staging or testing site. Do not update your live site with the development version to avoid unexpected behavior like layout broken.
You can move your live WordPress site to local sever using one of the apps like MAMP, Local or WAMP. Alternatively, check your hosting company offers a staging site creating feature so that you can replicate the live site on the same server.
WordPress Release Versions
Generally, WordPress release a new version in the following sequence:
- Release candidate and
- Final stable public version.
What you can upload from wordpress.org site or from any hosting companies is the latest public released version.
Getting Latest Release Information
Uses the below options to get the details of the latest WordPress release versions:
- The latest public release version of WordPress is updated in wordpress.org site under blog section. Click here to go to the release section to check out the release status of the latest stable WordPress version.
- You can find the updates on the WordPress core site or register as a tester to get updates on beta version.
- Check Alpha / Beta forum for the latest Alpha and Beta version updates.
How to Install WordPress Development Version?
Download the latest nightly build development version from wordpress.org site or use WordPress Beta Tester plugin to install the latest development version on your testing site.
Activate the plugin once installed and navigate to “Tools > Beta Testing”. Plugin offers two possibilities of WordPress installation:
- Point release nightlies – this option allows you to update the point version like x.x.x.
- Bleeding edge nightlies – this option will update the latest development version which will be updated every night. This will be more unstable compared to the previous option.
Choose the “Bleeding edge nightlies” option and save your changes. Navigate to “Dashboard > Updates” and click on the “Update Now” button to install the latest development version of WordPress.
There is confusion in using this plugin since it also installs Alpha version in contrast to the plugin name of “Beta tester”. As discussed in the WordPress support forum thread this will be the future behavior of the plugin whenever the release track changes. Even if you download the file from WordPress.org site you will be end up in installing next Alpha version instead of previous beta version.
If you find any bugs then report it in the support forum for Alpha / Beta version. Basically WordPress team monitors this forum and if there are no significant open topics pending then the test version will be updated to release candidate before being announced as a public version.
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