Customer Paradigm Senior Magento programmer Alan Barber has just published a comprehensive guide to upgrading your Magento installation.
Basically, there are three steps to any Magento Upgrade:
1. Install a fresh version the Magento file tree (the version you are trying to upgrade to)
2. Run the installer from this file tree on-top of the outdated database (thereby upgrading the database)
3. Move over themes and custom extensions from the old version to the current version of Magento.
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