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Lesson 14 – Part 6 – How to Upgrade WordPress

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Now that we’ve upgraded plugins that leaves us with how to upgrade WordPress. This is the old version of WordPress. It is WordPress 3.1 and we want to upgrade to 3.3.1. We are going to use the automatic upgrade process.

Perform an Automatic Upgrade of WordPress

So obviously, we’ve already backed up everything so we don’t really need to worry about that. But the next thing to do for us is to deactivate our plugins. So we’ve got everything backed up and redundantly backed up, right? That’s all the backups done.

First Deactivate all your Plugins

Then we come over to plugins and we deactivate all of the plugins. We just select them all and bulk deactivate. This is very important to do when you are are upgrading WordPress. It is very important to deactivate all your plugins first. So we’ve got them deactivated and then we’re just going to say… yes, please update now and update automatically.

Videos on Troubleshooting Upgrade Problems

We have lots of videos on the site about how to troubleshoot update problems because people do have problems going through this process from time to time. And so I have a whole bunch of videos demonstrating various upgrade issues and solutions to various upgrade issues. But it does not appear that we had any problems this time.

Upgrade Complete – Now Reactivate Plugins

So with that all working just fine, now what we’ll do is come back down to our plugins and we’ll select them. I’m not going to install Hello Dolly or the Tiny MCE Advanced but all the rest of them I’m going to activate.

When to Activate Groups of Plugins Rather Than All at Once

In fact, if you’ve got a lot of plugins, it makes sense to activate them individually. Say take two or three at a time and activate them because you don’t know for sure whether or not one of these is going to have a problem with WordPress 3.3.

You’re better off not activating them all at the same time because it helps you narrow down which plugin was the problem. So in fact, what we’re going to do is we’re going to activate these three first and then we’ll activate this one second.

Reviewing Your Site After Upgrading

So apply that activate. Those plugins were activated just fine. Come back over and take a look at the site. It looks pretty good except that I don’t have my styling. None of my style looks right but we’ll just come back over here and fix that.

So come back over to plugins, install plugins and we’ll activate syntax highlight or evolved. Come back over and see if it’s working and it is. So now you can see that the… this is highlighted correctly. That was what that plugin did.

Do A Backup of your Updated WordPress Site

And the site is fully updated now. We have all of our plugins updated, our theme updated. Everything’s been backed up. And in fact, now that we are right where we are, I always do one more backup. I always back up the last best place. And right now, the last best place is where we are right now, a completely updated site.

And so I just do another full backup. Because I know, a couple of weeks from now, if this site crashes, what I have is a backup before everything was upgraded because sometimes you don’t catch all the issues when you upgrade. So I have a backup of everything immediately before it was upgraded and a backup of everything immediately after.

I’m much more fastidious about getting a backup immediately before. I only do a single easy backup for everything after. But nevertheless, backup everything before in a belt and suspenders way. Do all your upgrades. Backup again and perhaps, not so belt and suspenders way and you are very well covered.

Special Case for BYOBWebsite Plugins

Now there is a special case here sometimes for my plugins because what happens when you deactivate my plugins. All my plugins write CSS. And I assume that if you’ve deactivated my plugin, you don’t want that CSS to still show up on your site. So part of the deactivation routine for those plugins is to remove the CSS from the file.

So if you deactivate all of my plugins and in order to install WordPress, you don’t have that CSS anymore. Now most of my plugins will automatically rewrite the CSS once they have been activated. But there are a few older plugins out there still that don’t write the CSS until you have opened them and hit save.

So it could be that if you are working with one of my plugins, it could be the case that once you have deactivated the plugins and reactivated them, that you may need to open them back up and simply save them.

So here’s an example of this situation. Simply hit that save button and it will then force the plugin to rewrite the CSS which is what the appearance of the site is based on. The appearance of the site is based on this custom CSS that has been created by the plugin itself. And so every time you hit the green save button, it automatically rewrites that CSS. So that’s the one other thing to add to this equation.

It was a problem that I didn’t really anticipate until WordPress 3.3. And when everybody was wholeheartedly upgrading from 3.2 to 3.3, all of a sudden, I realized that that was that flaw in my plugins. And I pretty much solved it but there are still potentially a couple of plugins out there that don’t automatically rewrite their CSS upon reactivation. So it’s just something else to keep in mind.

And on that happy note, we have finished the course. I have covered all the material that I wanted to cover in this basic class. There is a lot more to learn and there are lots of things that you can learn how to do and I hope that after this class, you will explore all the other possibilities of what you can do with your site.

We do have videos on the site for how to build a couple of different scenarios for building online stores. We have videos on the site for how to build a membership site. We have all kinds of customization videos for Thesis. And so you can continue to take this process of developing your site quite a ways beyond where we are right now. And I encourage you to do that as you have the chance.

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