Its not just a smart step but in our opinion an ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY STEP to upgrade your WordPress site and Database before you upgrade your site. We’ve said this before but its so important this advice cannot be repeated too many times.
What would you do otherwise if anything (unlikely but possible) went wrong when you are upgrading the site?
After all the Database is a repository of every single post, comment and link that you have on your blog. Now, think what would happen if that Database got either erased, or corrupted – you would lose everything.
And it doesn’t have to be your fault as there are a number of reasons why it could happen, some of those factors are under your control and some are not.
WHAT IS UNDER YOUR CONTROL is that you can back up your data.
Not done much (or any) backing up before, well turn to WordPress.org – Codex and you will find the instructions you need there.
Realise that there are several parts involved with the back up procedure for your WP site – (i) Database and (ii) Files. Understand – you need to backup your entire site but you will also have to back up the Database as well – both of them.
Check with your particular website host to find out what services and programs they provide for backup. Now even though most ghosts provide software to backup your site it takes time to get yourself a copy and most of the time a speedy recovery is crucial.
LEARN how to back up and restore your own sites – ITS CRUCIAL!
As for backing up your Database – this is a MUST also. Do it regularly and ALWAYS before upgrades and moves to new locations. Its comforting to know that you don’t need to be familiar with phpMyAdmin to back up your Database in WordPress but you really should learn the steps and the process of at least finding phpMyAdmin on your server and then you can follow any instructions for a simple and easy backup.