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Lesson 14 – Part 8 – How to Upgrade WordPress

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That leaves us with how to upgrade WordPress because that’s where we are now. This is the old version of WordPress, it is WordPress 3.1 and we want to upgrade to 3.3.1.

Automatic Upgrade

We are going to use the automatic upgrade process and obviously, we’ve already backed up everything so we don’t really need to worry about that.

Deactivate Plugins Before an Upgrade

The next thing to do is to deactivate our plugins. We got everything backed up and redundantly backed up, we come over to plugins and deactivate all of the plugins, we just select them all and bulk deactivate. When you are upgrading WordPress, it is very important to deactivate all your plugins first.

We’ve got them deactivated and say, “Yes, please update now” and “Update Automatically”. 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 so I have a whole bunch of videos demonstrating various upgrade issues and solutions to these issues but it does not appear that we had problems at this time.

With that all that working just fine, what we’ll do is come back down to our plugins and select them. We’re not going to install “Hello Dolly” and TinyMCE Advanced Styler but all the rest of these are there and I’m going to activate them.

Activate Plugins Individually

In fact, if you’ve got a lot of plugins, it makes sense to activate them individually. Take two or three at the 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. We’re better off not activating them all at the same time because it helps you narrow down which plugin was the problem.

What we’re going to do is activate these 3 first and we’ll activate these ones second. Apply activate and those plugins were activated just fine, come back over and take a look at the site. It looks pretty good except none of my styles looks right but we’ll just come back over here and fix that.

SyntaxHighlighter Evolved

Come back over to plugins, install plugins, activate SyntaxHighlighter Evolved, come back over and see if it’s working and it is. Now you can see that this is highlighted correctly, that’s what that plugin did. The site is fully updated now, we have all of our plugins updated, our theme updated, everything’s been backed up. In fact, now that we are right where we are, I always do one more backup.

Do One More Backup

I always backup the last best place and right now, the last best place is where we are right now, a completely updated site. I’ll 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.

I’m much more fastidious about getting the backup immediately before and I will do a single easy backup for everything after. 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.

BYOB Plugins – Rewrite CSS Upon Activation

There is a special case here sometimes for my plugins because 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. Part of the deactivate routine for those plugins is to move the CSS from the file so if you deactivate all of my plugins in order to install WordPress, you don’t have that CSS anymore.

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. If you’re 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.

Here we are in 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 every time you hit the green save button, it automatically rewrites that CSS.

That’s one of the things to add to this equation and it was a problem that I didn’t really anticipate until WordPress 3.3. When everybody was wholeheartedly upgrading from 3.2 to 3.3, all of a sudden I realized that was the 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 your CSS upon reactivation so it’s something else to keep in mind.

On that happy note, we are finished. I have covered all the material that I wanted to cover in this basic class. There’s 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 you can continue to take this process of developing your site in ways beyond where we are right now. I encourage you to do that as you have the chance.

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