Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to Upgrade Your Blog to Wordpress 2.7

Upgrading to Wordpress 2.7 isn't that difficult, but it will be the last time you'll have to perform a multi-step backup process, because Wordpress 2.7 includes a 1-click backup feature. Next time a new version of Wordpress is released, you'll be able to upgrade without leaving your Wordpress dashboard. For now however, if you host your Wordpress.org blog through a third party server, you'll need to follow the steps below to upgrade to Wordpress 2.7. And if you don't host your blog through a third party host (meaning you blog at Wordpress.com), your blog was automatically upgraded for you, so you're done!

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: (depends on the size of your Wordpress blog)

Here's How:

  1. Confirm compatibility: Check your existing plugins to make sure you have the latest plugin versions installed on your blog and to be sure that your plugins are compatible with Wordpress 2.7. Also, check to make sure your theme is compatible with Wordpress 2.7. Note that if your theme or plugins aren't listed in the compatibility documents, they still might work in Wordpress 2.7. They simply haven't been tested yet. Finally, check to make sure that your blog host is compatible with Wordpress 2.7.
  2. Backup Your Wordpress Blog: Check if your hosting provider offers a backup mechanism. If not, use the Wordpress Database Backup plugin (WP-DBManager) to backup your blog's databases. Download the plugin, then upload it to your plugins folder in your hosting account. Activate it from your Wordpress dashboard (a "Backup" link will appear in your dashboard menu), then follow the instructions on your screen to backup your Wordpress database. Once that's done, be sure to go back into your hosting account and make a copy of your wp-content folder which includes your plugins, themes, uploaded images, and so on.
  3. Upload the Instant Upgrade Plugin for Wordpress: Download the Instant Upgrade Plugin for Wordpress and upload it to your plugins folder within your hosting account. Activate the plugin through your Wordpress dashboard. Next, deactivate all of your other plugins. Then run the backup (an "Upgrade" link appears in your Wordpress dashboard menu), and reactivate your plugins. Hopefully, all went smoothly, and your blog is working perfectly with Wordpress 2.7. If not, you can simply revert to the backed up version.
  4. Get help: If you run into any problems, the Wordpress documentation files provide detailed instructions for a manual Wordpress 2.7 upgrade. Additionally, the Wordpress support forum is a great place to ask questions. Finally, don't be afraid to call your blog host and ask for help.

Tips:

  1. Backup! Backup! Backup! Before you upgrade, backup your Wordpress database and content files.
  2. If you're upgrading from an older version of Wordpress (prior to Wordpress 2.6.5), you should be even more careful to backup as the process might not go as smoothly.
  3. Check your blog hosting provider to see if they offer a backup function, which is another easy way to backup your blog.
  4. Be warned that the Instant Upgrade Plugin for Wordpress was not tested with blogs that used Fantastico for Wordpress installation. I used it without any problems on a blog created through a Fantastico Wordpress installation, but the plugin developer does provide a warning that it was not tested with Fantastico Wordpress installations.
  5. Did I mention backup your blog first? You never know what might go wrong. Every blog is unique, so upgrade steps that work for one or many bloggers, might not work perfectly for you. Backup first so you can restore your blog to its original state if the upgrade doesn't go smoothly.

What You Need

  • Wordpress Database Backup Plugin (link included above - WP-DBManager)
  • Instant Upgrade Plugin for Wordpress (link included above)
  • A complete backup of your Wordpress blog

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