One of the downsides of being a self hosted WordPress user is having to do manual upgrades when new versions of the software are released. It’s a multi-step process that involves backing up your database (okay, you should be doing this regardless), disabling plugins, uploading the new files, re-activating the plugins one by one, and then hoping everything works. Well if you hate this, then you just have to bite the bullet and install WordPress 2.7.
There are a number of new features in 2.7, including an overhauled admin panel and enhanced comment functionality (threading and pagination). But the the feature I’m most excited about is auto-upgrading. When that next new security release rolls out, no longer do you have to go through all the steps mentioned above. You can now upgrade from within your administration panel.
This same functionality allows you to browse and install plugins without having to download and FTP the files to your server.
So if you haven’t jumped to 2.7 yet, I encourage you to do so. It was one of the smoothest upgrades I’ve made (and I’ve been using WordPress since 1.5). I didn’t even bother to disable plugins first and I had no issues. Proceed with your own caution on this front and please check the compatibility list before doing so.