It’s all to easy to simply hit the “upgrade automatically” button and watch Word Press perform it’s magic.
However, on older versions that can prove problematic, especially with the requirements of more recent versions.
If you remember the changes you made to your theme, then simply copy and paste the code snippets from old theme to the new version.
On the other hand, if you do not remember the changes you made, then you will have to find them first.
If you’re running an old version of Word Press, chances are you also have some old plugins knocking around.
Check out the Word Press Upgrade Preflight Check plugin to see whether your plugins will work with WP 3.2.
What is the point of having a separate DLL if you have to re-deploy the entire site to implement any changes?
Here's the question: How can I update a DLL on a production web site without breaking the app and without re-deploying all of the files?
That should be it – you should have successfully upgraded your old Word Press installation to the latest version.
The easiest way to do this is by comparing your theme files.
You will need to use a file comparison software like Win Merge (kaleidoscope for Mac, Meld for Linux).
It is worth noting that backing up the uploads folder (inside wp-content), which can often take a long time, is not necessary before upgrading.
We have backups of it on hand, plus nothing in a Word Press update is going to affect your uploads. In most cases this will be W3 Total Cache, Super Cache, or Quick Cache.