or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

Upgrading WordPress

   February 12th, 2011 Brian Herzog

Wordpress logoI'm upgrading my WordPress installation this weekend, going from way-out-of-date v2.5 all the way up to v3.0.5.

So far so good - a few glitches, but nothing major.

I know commenting is a little different, but if you notice anything out of the ordinary, please let me know.

I'll post the bigger problems I'm having here, and then solutions as I find them (but I am also open to suggestions if someone else has encountered these):

  • WordPress won't accept my FTP credentials - this is annoying, and it is preventing me from updating any of my plugins
  • Save Draft button isn't working - these are a few interrelated issues here: it seems like something is wrong with the permalinks, which is preventing me from previewing draft posts. Draft posts are also not saving to the list of draft posts, which means I can't save anything in advance

Update 3/8/11:
It looks like this is finally resolved. The root cause was two-fold, I think

  1. I hadn't been keeping up with regular upgrades (it had been years)
  2. The underlying database was corrupt, and wasn't allowing me access to everything I needed access to

Even before I upgraded, the access problem existed - it only became noticeable after such a huge upgrade jump, because WordPress had changed how it accessed the database, and now the parts I couldn't access were more critical than before.

The ultimate fix was to scrap the old install completely and start over with a fresh install - new WordPress, new database, everything. I exported all my posts and other content, got my theme set, and then my host essentially redirected my domain to point to the new directory.

A pain in the butt, basically, that could have been avoided long ago if I had been upgrading properly.

Thanks to Otto from WordPress for all his troubleshooting help, and to Chris of thevale.net for fixing everything I couldn't.

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Upgrading and Hosting

   July 1st, 2008 Brian Herzog

Wordpress logoI know I'm a couple months late to the party, but this past weekend I upgraded this blog to WordPress 2.5.1 (I upgraded the library's blog, too, but more on that in a minute).

Upgrading SwissArmyLibrarian.net
The upgrade went fairly smoothly, and I think this website is operating normally. If you seen anything different or wrong, please let me know in the comments.

A few backend issues still need to be dealt with. For some reason, the comment admin screen is not displaying comments. If I search for them, they appear, but when I click the Show All Comments I get a "No results found" message. Odd. And, I'm having trouble with the ftp settings. Which should be fairly straight-forward, so I'll keep trying.

Beyond these issues, I'm also still getting used to the new look and design of the admin interface. I'd heard it was very different (and not necessarily better), so I was prepared. Even with accounting for bias, I do think I like the old version better, but we'll see.

The upgrade itself went smoothly. WordPress makes is pretty easy, with their upgrade instructions. It really was as easy as the directions indicate, despite me making a few mistakes along the way (hurray for backups).

Upgrading ChelmsfordLibrary.org/blog
However, I must say that it was not as easy as upgrading my library's blog. Our website is hosted at Bluehost.com, which offers many web services and programs pre-installed through Fantastico. I know Fantastico has some issue, but it sure does make upgrades like this easier. What took me a few hours to do on my own for swissarmylibrarian.net took perhaps ten minutes through Bluehost (and I didn't see the problem with comments and ftp settings).

I don't want make a sales pitch for them, but if a library is looking for a place to host their website, we've been very happy. It's cheap (something like $7 a month), their tech support has been great, and so much software comes preinstalled that it's easy to manage and try out new web tools without having to do all the installations yourself.

But if you are a library looking for web hosting, definitely check out LISHost.org. They specialize in hosting library websites, offer a lot of the extras, and will also help design a website.

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