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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

3:05 pm
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Sometimes things are more complicated than they need to be.  Like Macbook Pros running OSx Leopard.  You’d think that the “common man’s” laptop that’s supposedly for the “artist-driven” and “creative” folk would make some sense.  But everywhere I turn, things are just plain confusing.  

More on that later.

This post marks my 1000th post.  I just upgraded to WordPress 2.7 a few moments ago after writing up the following.  After fixing some plugin issues (a few caused my admin page to give server errors), I came back to edit my post and noticed I had 999 posts.

1000 posts is pretty big.  I wonder if I should give something away.  Then again, I’ve given some things away on past entries that I still haven’t finished delivering (but I will, I promise!).  So maybe the upgrade to 2.7 is my own gift to myself.

This post is about my convoluted WordPress upgrade.  Wordpress is what I use to run my blog.  I’ve been on WordPress for a while now (3.5 years) and have been through a fair share of upgrades.  I’m also pretty geeky – I can do lots of stuff from the command line and know WordPress well enough.  I’ve upgraded other blogs to the latest WordPress 2.7 without a problem, and usually in less than 5 minutes.

But I have a little problem, as I’ve mentioned before.  With all these upgrades I’ve done over the years, there’s something amiss with the blog.  Specifically, the database has issues.  Anytime I try to do a backup of my blog with the tried-and-true WP-DB-Backup plugin, it fails (stuck at wp_options, and the page doesn’t refresh itself).  

Here’s how stupid it is – this backup hasn’t worked for over a year now.  So, what happens when I go and re-try it again just now, just so I can get a screenshot?

Go ahead, guess.  YUP.  The stupid thing actually WORKS.  So now I have a good backup.  SHEESH.

The other problem I constantly had was when I try to use the built-in Export function of WordPress, it fails as well (server error 500).  Maybe I’ll be lucky and it’ll work this time.

Nope.  Well at least half of my complaints are still valid.

Anyway.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, failures.  Ok, so now I have a backup.  I like having more than one backup, so I also want to do a MySQL backup *and* a filesystem backup.  I’m putting those in the extended entry below for those of you who’d like to know how to do that.

Now that those two things are done (see the extended entry for additional info), I need to download the latest 2.7 upgrade.  I keep all my plugins, themes, and code in my ~/src directory.

(uiserver):whall:~/src/wordpress > wget http://wordpress.org/latest.zip
--14:20:41--  http://wordpress.org/latest.zip
          => `latest.zip'
Resolving wordpress.org...,
Connecting to wordpress.org||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: unspecified [application/zip]
    [  <=>        ] 1,849,558      4.80M/s
14:20:42 (4.79 MB/s) - `latest.zip' saved [1849558]
(uiserver):whall:~/src/wordpress > mv latest.zip latest-27.zip

I also like having the multiple versions around, so I move latest.zip to latest-27.zip.

The next thing to do is double-check and triple-check the Upgrading WordPress guide.  Here’s what I did with this upgrade:

  1. Verified my backups
  2. Did more backups
  3. Said a little prayer for my backups
  4. Downloaded the latest wordpress files (above)
  5. Deactivated plugins
Now I need to follow more of the directions.  I unzip the wordpress files into a separate directory (~/wordpress)
(uiserver):whall:~ > unzip ~/src/wordpress/latest-27.zip
This extracts the files into ~/wordpress for temporary use.  Note that my blog is in ~/blog, remember?  Some people put their blog into ~/wordpress, so if you actually have your blog in that directory, you’ll want to do something else.
The directions say to delete the wp-includes and wp-admin directories.  I know in the past when I forgot to do this step, it’s not a good thing.  So make sure you do it.
(uiserver):whall:~ > cd blog
(uiserver):whall:~/blog > \rm -rf wp-includes/ wp-admin/
Notice I used backslash in front of “rm” because I didn’t want it to use an alias, if any.  I frequently alias “rm” to be “rm -i” so that it confirms deletions.  This way, with the -rf option, it recursively deletes the two directories in my blog directory.
Then I use my special tar command to take the new wordpress 2.7 files to stomp on top of my existing directory, but keeping any other files that I have.  This is important, because I don’t want to lose my plugins, themes, or uploaded files. 
(uiserver):whall:~/blog > cd ../wordpress (uiserver):whall:~/wordpress > tar cvf - . | (cd ../blog; tar xfBp -)
See the extended entry for more info about this tar command.
The final step is to visit the wp-admin page of your blog to check for an upgrade and continue on.  If all goes well, the upgrade is complete and you can start turning plugins on one-by-one to make sure they work.
Now, I wrote all of this BEFORE doing my upgrade, so I’m about to do another backup and then actually perform the steps.  If it all goes well, I’ll be on WordPress 2.7 and will publish this post. 
If not, well, I might still publish it just to complain.
Update: it seems to have gone well, since I’m now editing this post in all it’s WordPress 2.7 glory.  Now to publish and hope it doesn’t break, and then to maybe do some more backups now that I’m on the latest version.

How to do a MySQL Backup from PHPMyAdmin at 1&1

I use 1&1 for my hosting.  They provide pretty decent admin tools through their console, and one of the tools is PHPMyAdmin.

I just click on phpMyadmin and it launches the console tool for managing MySql.

Once you get there, there’s an “export” button that really means “backup”

On the next page, select the database you want to back up, leave it as “SQL” for the type of backup, and click “Go” and you’ll get a backup file.  I presonally prefer my backup files to be zipped or gzipped, which is another option given.

How do to files backup of your blog directory

The essential parts of your blog are stored in the database – items such as posts, users, comments, categories, tags, options, etc.  However the actual code for the blog and your images are stored on the filesystem of whatever server you’re running on.

Every time I do an upgrade, I make ABSOLUTELY sure I back up my blog directory.  I use SSH to gain shell access to my server and use my friend tar() to do a good backup.  It’s a lot better than copy or anything else because it preserves structure, permissions, and ownerships of all the files.

So, let’s say I keep my blog in ~/blog (which I do).  I create a backup directory in the parent directory of the blog directory.

(uiserver):whall:~ > mkdir backup-of-blog

then I go into the real production directory and run the following command.  Make special notes of the options given – if you mess these up, you could really screw up things on your server.  

(uiserver):whall:~ > cd blog
(uiserver):whall:~/blog > tar cvf - . | (cd ../backup-of-blog/; tar xfBp -)

then it will start copying all your files and making a complete backup of the entire directory, including permissions, modes and everything.

And lo, the people did comment thus:


  1. Dave2 says:

    No LOLCats on the occasion of your 1000th post? Who are you and what have you done with Wayne??

    Dave2´s last blog post..Yearly

  2. Nobody™ says:

    Luckily, I had no issues with my upgrade to WP 2.7. I used the automatic upgrade plugin, which I expected to fail, but amazingly it worked.

  3. whall says:

    Dave2, Haven’t you heard? There’s 1001 ways to skin, er, show off a LOLcat.

    Nobody, glad to hear it. I’ve also noticed that my db backup works now, as does auto-upgrades of plugins, which was also broked.

    Poppy, thanx!

  4. Poppy says:


    My stats:
    Poppy's wordpress stats

    Poppy´s last blog post..I love Cake Wreck Sundays

  5. Janna says:

    See, I understand almost none of what you said, but somehow I still think you’re cool anyway.
    This means either I’m apathetic, open-minded, or just a sweet person with low expectations. 🙂


    Janna´s last blog post..What I SHOULD have said….

  6. Avitable says:

    I hope your next thousand posts are just as interesting as this one.

    Avitable´s last blog post..Magaziniac

  7. Good dad + smart man= lucky Mrs. Whall!

    My husband just fixed my laptop up for me tonight and it’s working so much better. All of this stuff is way over my head so I’d never be able to do it myself.

    I can’t decipher any part of this post, but I hope it all worked out for you. 🙂

    BlondeBlogger´s last blog post..Watch This Star Shine

  8. metalmom says:


    You just made Metalmom’s head explode. You’d better get over here and clean this crap up!!

    • whall says:

      “unintended consequences and side effects of blog upgrade may include headache, dizziness, and death metal. Not Death Metal like you may know of it, but death of metal mom.”

  9. Tug says:

    blahblahtechieblahyadatechstuffblah….. Happy 1000th!!

    Tug´s last blog post..I wish you all a Happy.

  10. Robin says:

    your html lingo is hawt.

  11. Sandi says:

    Now see, this is why I am terrified of upgrading. Many kudos to you!

    Also, kudos on 1000 posts! That’s Blogging Dedication Exemplified! 🙂

    Happy New Year!

    Sandi´s last blog post..2012

  12. Dragon Baby says:

    Congratulations on your 1000th post!! Who knew you had that much to say. 🙂

    Dragon Baby´s last blog post..Beef Rouladen

  13. Raganator says:

    You’re 1000th post should have been all LOLcats and funny witticisms.

    I agree with Dave.
    Guess that means that post 1001 will have even more cats!

  14. martymankins says:

    This WP 2.7 upgrade blows… where the cool avatars?

    We are going to hold you to those giveaways… you can’t let 1000 posts come and go without at least offering free guest blogger post for your fans (you still owe me a guest blog post… I will call it due here soon)

    oh… BTW… congrats. May Banal Leakage reach the milestone that whall.org has reached.

    martymankins´s last blog post..Snowy Sunday #08

    • whall says:

      The gravatars are fixed. And I’ve been working on your guest post for a little bit now (as well as @BlondeBlogger’s, and @Avitable’s). I hope you like it when it’s done.

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