Updating WordPress

Periodically WordPress  must be updated.

You can determine the current version of WordPress by looking at the source code of the a post.  (Right-Click on the page and select View Page Source.)  You'll see a line similar to the following approximately 20 lines down.

Once in the WordPress Dashboard you will see a message like "WordPress 2.8.4 is available! Please update now." across the top if an upgrade is due.

Users reasonably comfortable with MySQL and with access to the server should install the MySQL Administrator and MySQL Query Browser from the MySQL Website to assist with database management.  It's a much easier way to work with your database, and it's not all that complicated.  I find MySQL Administrator a much easier way to work with databases that a web-based tool like phpMyAdmin.

Follow the following process to do the backup.

  • If you're using phpMyAdmin, use your webhost's control panel to access  phpMyAdmin and backup your database.
  • If you use MySQL Administrator to create a backup of the database.
    • Select Backup from the upper left pane; Select the WordPress Backup from the projects list in the lower left pane, click Execute Backup Now in the bottom right corner.
    • (If a backup project is not listed, click New Project, enter the name WordPress Backup, select your WordPress database in the schemata list, click [>], click Save Project.)
  • Backup necessary WordPress Files.
    • Typically it is only necessary to make a backup of the of the /wp-content/ folder, though a full backup of the site can be made.
    • Make a copy of the /wp-content/ folder in the wwwroot share.  Rename the copy of the folder to reflect the existing version number, i.e. if the existing version (see above to find the version) is 2.8.4, the copy of /wp-content/ will become /wp-content.284.disabled/.
  • Update WordPress
    • Click the Please update now link at the top of the WordPress dashboard and follow the instructions.
    • Visit any blog post, you'll be prompted to update the database.  Proceed with the database update, despite the warning of several minutes it will only take a few seconds.

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