Just as I have been doing for the last several versions I will be updating to run the most recent version of the WordPress beta (version 3.3-beta1 as of this writing) live on this site as well as all of the other domains I own where WordPress is installed.

Although I have complete confidence in the stability of the beta versions I would still only suggest / recommend this practice to those with a reasonable knowledge of PHP and the ability to recover from any potential catastrophic disaster (read: BACK-UP everything first!!!).

Here are the basics, as each version changes these may not be exactly the same but should still serve as a general guideline:

  1. Back up your WordPress installation (all of it).
  2. Using your preferred text editor, open the /wp-includes/version.php file in core to edit.
  3. Find and change $wp_version to a ‘point value’ greater than the current version, for example: 3.4-alpha.
  4. Go to your the Administration Panels (“Dashboard”) of your WordPress installation.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “stay updated” link in the bottom-right corner. (Refresh the page if the link is not there.)
  6. Follow any additional prompts, such as updating the database, etc.

You should now be running the latest version of ‘trunk’.

Of course there is a widely used plugin (WordPress Beta Tester) by Westi that does most if not all of the above for you … I just like to do this manually.

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NB: Updated to reflect WordPress version 3.4 beta is now available.