Late last week, WordPress 4.1.1 was released. This patch fixes 21 bugs and doesn’t add any significant new functionality. The WordPress development team did an outstanding job with the release of 4.1 which was a very smooth release and this patch is equally smooth. All the sites I maintain have been updated with no problems at all.
Clients in my Website Management Program are aware that I typically don’t update to major releases until the first patch comes out. This is because significant releases typically have issues that get resolved within the first couple of weeks with the release of a patch. So, when 4.1 came out, the expectation was that 4.1.1 would follow relatively quickly.
It seems the WordPress developers have tightened up their releases as the last couple of point releases (e.g. 4.0 to 4.1) have not been followed so quickly with patches as have previous releases. That’s great to see and makes a better case for updating more quickly after a point release instead of waiting for the first patch. While I prefer to err on the side of caution, it’s becoming less cut-and-dried that a point release will be followed closely by a patch release.
Going forward, I will be evaluating each point release to determine the extent of new functionality added to the release and based on that and thorough testing will determine how soon updates occur. Updates that address security issues should ideally be applied as soon as possible, however, new functionality has a tendency to have unforeseen problems that aren’t revealed in beta testing, so it’s a balancing act.
In other words, waiting for the first patch is becoming less rigid as a requirement so that won’t be a hard and fast rule going forward.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net