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How to Upgrade Your WordPress Website – A Best Practices Demonstration

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Part 1 – Overview and Check Minimum Requirements

This is an overview video of How to Upgrade Your WordPress Website – A Best Practices Demonstration Tutorial Series. This is a live upgrade of my website, so you can see how to upgrade a real website and what the best practices are when upgrading your WordPress websites.

In this session, we review the WordPress Codex on Updating WordPress and look at the recommendations there. Then we begin with the first step which is checking the minimum requirements.

Download the presentation pdf here: The Bible for WordPress Upgrades – A Best Practices Guide.

Video Transcript

Well, good morning everybody and welcome to this Thursday morning edition of our live call-in Question and Answer session. Yesterday, I got this swell idea that I would just demonstrate how to upgrade WordPress to the latest version of WordPress using my website which gives everybody a chance to see what a real upgrade looks like. And so we’ll take questions today after I’m finished with that as long as there’s time and I’m going to emphasize questions that are related to backing up your site and restroing your site and that sort of thing.

But first, what we’re going to do is just dive right in and start learning the best way or the right away to upgrade your WordPress website in such a way as to preserve its integrity in the event that problems may arise.

Now, I also have a whole set of slides that I’ve created for this presentation and if you want access to those sides, please feel free to send me an email. There will be a download link for these slides when the videos are actually posted but if you’d like to get the slides in advance, just send me an email, and I’ll send you the pdf version of these slides right away.

Okay so the first thing to say about this is that there is a bible for WordPress updates and that’s the codex. And the address of this is right here on the screen, and we’re going to start off there actually, upgrading and updating WordPress. And this is the procedure that we are going to follow so while I’ve produced a whole bunch of slides about this, really, the procedure I’m going to follow essentially follows this process here. And we may end up if the backup or if the update doesn’t work properly, we may end up doing some of the troubleshooting steps that are on another page here. We may end up restoring from a backup if that… if all else fails. But the chances are, this is going to go just fine and we won’t have any real problems here.

Okay so anyway, that’s where the bible is. Now, here’s an overview though of what we’re doing. The first thing to do is to checkt o make sure that your web server meets the minimum requirements. And then secondly, you’ll backup your site. This is the most extensive part of the process actually is making sure that you’ve got your site backed up. Then you’ll deactivate your plugins, you’ll do the automatic upgrade. You’ll activate your plugins. You’ll upgrade any plugins that need to be upgraded and then you’ll test. And so actually, this is a fairly quick procedure as long as you have a normal system in place for backup.

So the first thing we’ll take a look at is your minimum requirements. Your minimum requirements for WordPress 3.3 is that your server needs to have PHP 5.2.4 or greater installed and it needs to have mySQL version 5.0 or greater installed. This is what it looks like from my Control Panel on my host and they say I have 5.2.17 and 5.1.6 as the 2 versions here. I’m gogin to show you wher eyou can see that though because we’re going to just go directly to my control panel.

And what I’m going to do today is I’m going to first update a site that you know, is a demonstration site. It’s not really a working, active site although it does have plenty of plugins and I do have plenty of custom code on it. But it’s not a mission-critical site necessarily. And then once you’ve shown you how to do it with that site, the next thing I’m going to do is repeat that process again but do it on BYOB website. Okay?

So first, let’s just log in to Blue Host. This is where this site happens to be hosted. Okay and if you like on the right hand side here, this is where the version of php and mySQL is. And this is generally what you’re going to see in any of the C Panel based hosts so Host Gator, InMotion Hosting, stuff like that. You’ll see this little bar here on the right hand side which gives you this information. There are other control panel systems for other hosts and so they’ll all look a little bit different than this. But nevertheless, you’re looking for your php version and your mySQL version.

1 Comment… add one
1 comment… add one
  • Mindy Lighthipe October 5, 2012, 1:20 pm

    I checked my PHP version and it is 5.2.17 which is an earlier version. How do I get it to 5.24?