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Does your current Magento runs on a dedicated server? If no, then you will probably have to change server, otherwise it will be even more slover with new version.
You should read some manuals that Magento website offers. For example:
However, some of these tips may be difficult to follow if you are a newbie. As an alternative you may try to use Cart2Cart:
They offer migration instead of upgrading. You will install a new version of Magento on a server and cart2cart will move data from your current store to a new one.
Good luck =)