Our SEO blog has been upgraded to the latest version (2.7) and I am pleased to report all went well. There is always an air of trepidation when upgrading anything digital, as you know at some point you are going to have to hit that delete button or overwrite files that are essentially working.
The key to any upgrade is of course backing up your existing files, keeping them safe so that they can be swiftly put back in place if something goes wrong. With WordPress, there are two back-ups required, your database which contains all of your posts and comment data, also there is your WordPress directory on your server containing the configuration files, themes and plugins.
When you have adequate back-ups the process is fairly straight forward.
1. Download the latest WordPress installation and extract it to your desktop.
2. Change the details in the wp-config-sample.php file to match your old wp-config.php file, this normally includes database name, username and password and rename it to wp-config.php.
3. Deactivate all of your existing plugins in your current WordPress installation.
4. Over write all of the existing files in your blog’s root folder with the new WordPress files, except for the wp-content folder. For the wp-content folder, copy the files from within this folder into the existing wp-content folder and the appropriate sub-folders (otherwise you will lose all of your themes and plugins).
5. Open your browser and access your admin page, e.g. yoursite.com/blog/wp-admin, you may be prompted to upgrade your database, if you are, click ‘upgrade’ and this will happen automatically.
6. Now you will be prompted to log in, enter your usual details and you will be able to access your shiny new WordPress dashboard. All that’s left is to re-activate your plugins and upgrade any that are flagged.
Overall the upgrade was fairly painless and straight forward. However, if you do run into any problems, try the WordPress upgrade guide where there are FAQ’s and advice for common problems people have run into when upgrading. Remember, back up your files before you begin!