Update January 2010: This plugin is now obsolete, and has been for some time, since WordPress is capable of updating itself when the built-in updater is used.
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I just this minute upgraded my WordPress from version 2.1.3 to the new 2.2, and it took only a few seconds. How did that happen, you ask? (Even if you didn’t ask, I’m going to tell you anyway.)
When I noticed that the WordPress software had just been updated – information here – I went over to my Plugins page and activated the Instant Upgrade plugin by Alex Günsche of Zirona. To my complete and utter astonishment, the plugin worked as advertised, and I had absolutely none of the problems that Mr. Günsche spoke of with regard to implementing the plugin. As advertised, the update was fully automatic, and it took only a split second.
Of course, before using the software, I backed up my database tables. I already had copies of all the other files that I use in my WordPress blog that I download as needed. I learned a long time ago that backups are a lifesaver, even if one isn’t having a near-death experience.
For database backups I use two programs – WP-DB Manager by GaMerZ, and WordPress Database Backup. The latter does timed backups, depending on the schedule you set, and will email, download, or store on-site my WordPress database backups.
Thank you very much, Alex Günsche.