The recent release of WordPress 2.3 with new features and database changes begs the question, how should a webmaster plan and then implement the upgrade. Any upgrade that involves database changes should be undertaken carefully, and preparation is key to a successful upgrade.
Typically, most webmasters install custom themes and additional plugins, and of course they upload extra files such as images to their /wp-content/uploads folder. All of these files need to be backed up and stored off server prior to undertaking the upgrade process. The database itself also needs to be backed up.
Backing up your site is best achieved by installing the “BackUpWordpress” plugin and selecting the default backup options which will create a compressed file of your complete site including files and database. If anything does go wrong it should be relatively easy to restore this and import your database into MySQL using phpMyAdmin or your host’s preferred database manager.
Once you are certain your site has been backed up, you’re ready to start preparing for the upgrade. Are your plugins and chosen theme compatible with WordPress 2.3? Most modern themes shouldn’t cause any problem except that non v2.3 themes may not include the tags code needed to make use of the new tags feature of WordPress 2.3. This is a relatively simple update to make, and simply involves adding extra php code to the theme’s index.php and single.php.
Open index.php and single.php in your favorite text editor and search for the following code , and simply add the following code before or after depends on where you want the tags will be displayed (before or after your article).
The plugins used in yor site will need to be checked against the list of compatible plugins. Any plugin that isn’t compatible will likely not work correctly or at all. You may need to contact the plugin author for an update or discontinue using that plugin until an update is available.
You should now be ready to upgrade your installation to WordPress 2.3, and if your host provides wget functionality simply copy the zip file to your server then unzip them directly into your WordPress folder. If wget isn’t available to you, then you’ll need to download the zip file and use an ftp client to upload the unzipped files.
Once you’ve uploaded your WordPress files, make sure your WordPress 2.3 compatible theme is uploaded to /wp-content/themes. Did you need updated plugins? Upload these to /wp-content/plugins. You should now be ready to initiate the WordPress update script.
Navigate to the admin section of your site, WordPress will automatically recognize that an upgrade is required. Once completed, and if all has gone to plan, you should be able to login to Dashboard without any difficulty. Good luck.
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