Sunday morning WordPress installation maintenance

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Effective January 1, 2010, this site does not use Drupal and instead uses only WordPress.

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This site is a merge of WordPress and Drupal, with the former handling the blog and the latter everything else. I use variations on the Garland theme originally developed for Drupal to try to make the combination appear as seamless as possible.

Though I sometimes think about going with just one or the other, all those links into blog entries make me very cautious of going just with Drupal. I’ve also liked the way Drupal handled more general content management, though now that WordPress was given the Overall Best Open Source CMS Award in the 2009 Open Source CMS Awards, maybe I should rethink that.

In any case, I realized late this week that I had not upgraded WordPress to the latest version, 2.8.6. Though everyone was awake, it was nice and quiet in our household this morning, so I decided to do the upgrade. Here’s what it took:

  • I made sure all my plugins were current. One, My Link Order, needed refreshing. (A side note: I’ve found with My Link Order that it needs resetting after certain upgrades, so I need to go in and manually tell it to order my links. If your links vanish and you are using this plugin, you should do the same. Update: the author of the plugin told me that this is no longer necessary.)
  • Next I cleared the cache of pages via the WP-Cache plugin and checked that the blog looked the way it should.
  • Now for the backup: I used the WP-DBManager plugin to make a new copy of everything in the blog, and then downloaded it to my desktop Mac. I ran Time Machine to capture a copy of everything to an external drive, and tonight JungleDisk will save everything up to the Amazon storage cloud.
  • From the WordPress dashboard I clicked the option to upgrade the installation and told it to do it automatically. It went without a hitch.
  • I next deleted the cache again, and poked around to make sure everything looked good.
  • None of the plugins said they needed to be upgraded, so I’m now good to go.

I could back up everything one more time, but I think this is stable for a few days. If anything goes terribly wrong, I can revert to 2.8.5.

While I was at it, I changed my photo on the blog. More casual, but more recent. I used an online tool to generate the favicon file, the little image that appear next to the page URL at the top of your browser. You may need to clear your browser cache to see it.


  1. Hi Bob, saw you trackback and thought I’d let you know I just released a new version of My Link Order that does away with the file patching. No action is needed after plugins now.

  2. Andrew: Thanks! I went back and added a note to that effect in the post.

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