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How to Upgrade to Thesis 1.8.6

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In this session we show how to Upgrade to Thesis 1.8.6. The upgrade is necessary because of a comment problem that doesn’t show up on a site using WordPress 4.0. We demonstrate the upgrade process using two ways. One using FTP Client and the other way using the host’s control panel and in this case, we use the Bluehost control panel.

You see how to download all options to make sure we have a copy of these options for backup and how to copy a custom folder from the last version to the version that we want to install. Finally, we check for errors in the site options and see if there is a problem with the writability of layout CSS.

We also answer the question whether or not DIY Themes will upgrade Thesis 1.8.6 and that just depends on how things will change. Chris is committed to update Thesis 1.x in order to be compatible with WordPress upgrades. The same thing is true with BYOB Plugins, we will continue to upgrade them to make sure they work properly with the current version of WordPress.

Video Transcript

Good morning everybody and welcome to this Wednesday morning edition of our live call in question and answer session. Today, we’re going to start off with something a little special. We’re going to start off with a tutorial on how to upgrade your current Thesis 1.x version to Thesis 1.8.6. The reason why we are doing that today is because there is a problem with comments being displayed on a site in 4.0.

So if we go to some articles right now, I don’t know if I have any. I don’t have a way of displaying this because I don’t have any comments on the site but what happens is, is that the whole comment thing just doesn’t show up once you’ve gone to WordPress 4.0 using Thesis 1.8.5 or less. So today we’re going to take this site and upgrade Thesis on it and we’re just going to start at the beginning.

Actually, now that I say that out loud I’m going to demonstrate 2 ways of upgrading Thesis. I’m going to demonstrate one of those actually on BYOBWebsite. The BYOBWebsite version is going to be the version using FTP and this version here, the is going to be the version using your host’s control panel and in this case, it’s going to be the Bluehost control panel.

You have to have access to one of those two things. You have to have FTP working properly on your site here or you have to have access to your file manager in your hosting account.

The very first thing to do is to disable all caching plugins. Okay so if you’ve got WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache or WP Minify, you need to disable those before you do anything else. If you don’t know you can come over to Installed Plugins and you can just look through here, look at your plugins and see if there’s anything that says “cache” or “minify”. You can search “cache” if you don’t know to see if anything shows up with cache or minify but in any case, you have to deactivate all of your plugins that are related to caching.

The second thing to do is to come over here to Thesis and Manage Options and we’re going to download all options because what we want to do is make sure we have a copy of whatever options we have for a backup so we’re going to download all of those options and I’m going to do the same thing here in BYOBWebsite. Actually, because BYOBWebsite is a real live site, the first thing I’m going to do is back it up.

I am excluding that part from this conversation because that’s a part of a larger conversation, I’m going to assume at the moment you know how to back your site up and you have some kind of a backup system in place and because I’m using WP Engine I have this handy dandy instant backup thing available to me which I’m going to implement right now and this is going to be “Prior to Thesis upgrade”.

Okay, so it’s creating a backup at the moment and when that backup is ready it’s going to send me an email so I can come back over to my Admin now while that’s happening. I’m going to come down to Thesis and Manage Options and download all options. If you’ll notice actually, because of what’s happening here is I’ve got two different sets, I’m going to rename this to (byobwebsite). Unfortunately, this does not make that distinction but these are my two backups, this is the sbywh or Start Building Your Website Here and this is the BYOBWebsite.

Step number 3 is that you want to backup your custom folder from your Thesis installation and I’m going to do that here. Actually, I’m going to turn off and restart FileZilla because I’m going to tell it not to replace existing files so this will go a little faster. So Site Manager and then we’re going to go to byobwebsite.wpengine and I’m going to wp-content and themes and thesis_185.

You know, this is supposed to have moved along with me. Well, now it is thesis_185 and then I’m going to come down here to custom and I’m going to download the custom and I’m going to say skip for those files that are the same because I already have a backup it’s just not the most recent backup so I’m going to have fewer files I have to restore that way.

Okay, while that’s happening then what we’re going to do is install Thesis 1.8.6 so which one is this one. Okay, Start Building Your Website Here final so now we’re going to come over to Appearance and Themes and you can see I have a bunch of old Thesis themes here and I’m going to Add New. I’m going to upload, choose the file, I got to go find my latest copy of Thesis.

You know what, I’m not even have download this yet, I’m sorry. I should go over to DIY Themes and download it first. Then we’re going to go to download Thesis and we have to go looking for Thesis 1x and we’re going to download Thesis 1.8.6 then I can come over here to the Install Themes, choose the file.

If you’re used to working in Thesis 2.1 you will know how much easier it is in 2.1 than it is in 1.8.6 to do this because you don’t have to go through any of this rigamarole in 2.1. We are waiting for this thing to do its thing. Okay, we’ll come back over to downloads and let’s go by date, thesis_186, open. Great, that one didn’t work. So thesis_186, open, install now. Okay, I’m not going to activate it yet.

First, I’m going to go in to Bluehost. It’s not the right password bear with me for a moment while I look up my password. Okay and so then I’m going to come over to Home and I’m going to scroll down to File Manager. In this case, let’s see we’re going to public_html and this is in my sbywh-final subdomain so sbywh-final then I’m going to wp-content, themes, thesis_185.

I’m going to take this custom folder, right click on it and say copy and then I’m just going to decide what folder I want it to copy to and I’m copying it to 186 here so copy that. So we’ll go up one level now, we’ll look at thesis_186, we have a custom now and let’s just make sure yes, it is. So now we have our custom folder and I think that we can now safely activate Thesis 2.1 on sbywh so we’ll activate it and I don’t think we have to do anything but we’ll go take a look.

Okay, yes we do we have to choose the menu. So we’ll come over here to I guess it is Site Options really where we choose our menu. Yes, select the menu type, we’re using the WordPress Nav Menu and then we can come over here to Appearance and Menus and this is our main menu so we should save that, see Manage Locations, select our primary menu as the main menu, save the change, refresh this and now we have our menu set up for us and let’s just make sure everything is working right.

Okay, it is. You’d know it wasn’t working right if these little thumbnails weren’t working right. So that’s all there is to this as long as we are using this method – the cPanel method of moving the custom folder. The critical aspect of this is that  you’ve moved your custom folder from your previous version to this current version or you’ve copied it and moved it.

Now, there are a couple of other things you might want to take a look at that if it’s not working correctly, you want to make sure that the permissions for your custom folder are 0755 and that your custom.css folder is 0644 and your layout.css is 0644 and that your cache folder is 0755. So you want to make sure if something is not working right. Now generally, if you’re using the cPanel method to copy it’s going to copy it over just fine with the same permissions it had before.

One of the things you can do is you can also come over here to Thesis and Site Options and look to see if there is an error. Now, there isn’t an error here but if there was a problem with the writability of layout.css there would be a problem here but since there isn’t you don’t have to worry about it. That’s using this other method, now we’re going to use the FTP method.

First, we’re going to come over here to BYOBWebsite and we’re going to install Thesis 1.8.6. Now unfortunately, BYOBWebsite is ever so slightly more complicated in that I have a bunch of extra files in places that are not typical with Thesis… Okay, return to the Themes page. Okay, Thesis 1.8.6 is installed there and just to make sure I’m in the right version of this, so that’s the correct IP address, username and password is right so right now, I should be seeing a Thesis 1.8.6 here. There it is, okay.

I’m actually going to download Thesis 1.8.6 here so I have the full copy of it on my computer like I had Thesis 1.8.5. Then once I’ve done that, I’ll come over to that location on my computer, take my custom folder that I copied, go over to thesis_186 and paste it. Let’s see, there are 8 files with the same names, we’re going to replace those files.

Then what I can do is come back over to my FTP client, open my thesis_186, take the custom, upload it and you can see I have a whole bunch of files upload but once I’ve done that I can activate it and the site will be running Thesis 1.8.6. Before I move on to other things, I’d like to see if anybody has any questions about upgrading Thesis 1.s to Thesis 1.8.6 so I’m going to open it up for questions here. If you’ve got a question just go ahead and post your question in the question box.

It’s a fairly straightforward process except it’s just way more complicated than people who use Thesis 2.1 are used to. Thesis 2.1 now has a handy dandy little auto-upgrade and all you have to do is hit update, you don’t have to mess around with FTP or anything like that.

Let’s see, Jane asked do I know if DIY will have to upgrade the 1.8.6 again later on. I don’t know whether they will have to or not because that’s dependent on how things change so I don’t know whether or not they will need to. I do know that Chris has committed to updating Thesis 1 in the event that it needs to be in order to stay compatible with WordPress recognizing that now Thesis 2 has been out for almost 2 years, this is the first that Thesis 1 had to be updated since then.

We’ve gone through Thesis 2 and 2.1, we’re all the way up to 2.1.9 and he’s still upgrading 1.8 when it’s necessary so I don’t know if it’s absolutely necessary or if it’s going to be absolutely necessary ever again but if it is necessary I do believe he will continue to do it.

The same thing is true with all my plugins. Any plugin that I have created I will continue to upgrade as long as Thesis 1.x is upgraded and I’m not adding new functionality to them but I am going to upgrade in order to make sure that they work properly in the current version of WordPress.

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