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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.


tsk tsk

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