WordPress upgrade to 2.8

After postponing the inevitable upgrade to WordPress 2.8 for some time, I finally felt brave enough to complete the upgrade process. Having taken all the necessary precautions (database backups and alike), I decided it was time to pull the trigger.

Before I actually updated this server, I tested the update process on a temporary server with an older copy of the website. The upgrade process went smoothly until I tried to access the site after uploading/updating all the required files. I ran into a small problem, which was solved with the help of a very useful tech blog post. Essentially, my redirection plugin was causing an error, which was breaking the site.

Once that was solved, I felt confident that I was ready to upgrade the actual site. Before I upgraded I did a full mySQL backup (a godsend, it would turn out). After upgrading WordPress as per the instructions on WordPress.org I was prompted to upgrade the database. I was hopeful that all would go well. However, upon upgrading the database I was met by a page worth of SQL errors. Oh no. Had the worst happened? I couldn’t be sure, so I tried to upgrade the database again. This time, it was a success – at least it appeared to be.

I entered the dashboard to check the status of the site, and was met with a completely blank dashboard screen – no posts, no pages, no comments. Nothing. All the settings, plugins, and so forth were intact, but all of the content was gone. The worst had indeed happened, the SQL database had been corrupted during the update process. Luckily I had a backup, and was able to restore the database; however, had I not been proactive with my backups I would have lost the entire site.

The lesson I can pass along: always backup your database. To that effect, I must recommend a wonderful WordPress plugin that automates the process. WordPress Database Backup is probably the best backup tool I’ve come across. Not only does it let you backup your database on demand, but you can actually schedule backups and have them emailed to you on a weekly basis. This was the plugin that I used to backup the 944 Turbo Resource prior to upgrading to WP 2.8.

I cannot recommend WordPress Database Backup enough, not only because backing up your database regularly is a great idea, but because this plugin effectively saved my database!

Now that the 944 Turbo Resource is running on WP 2.8, the site should run a little more smoothly. Part of the problem was that I had previously upgraded the site from 2.5 to 2.7 with an upgrade plugin because I did not feel confident manually upgrading the WP version. As such, it never completely functioned properly – and I was unable to automatically upgrade to 2.8 from 2.7. However, after doing a clean update to 2.8, everything should run smoothly. I hope I won’t have to do any manual upgrades in the future.

I have attached an image of my heart attack moment – when I realized that the entire database was lost. Check out the 944 Turbo Resource, sans content.

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