WordPress Update

December 2nd, 2008

Geek Warning…

I’ve been wanting to update chadnorwood.com for a while, so over the weekend I upgraded wordpress from version 2.3.x to 2.6.3 and picked out a new theme.  First I did a wordpress export of my blog as a backup.  Then the upgrade was done using hostmonster’s fantastico deluxe, an automated installing system in cpanel.  Some don’t like fantastico, but it took me 10 seconds to do the upgrade with no problems.  Success.

After the upgrade it took me almost 4 hours to figure out why my category links were broken.  WTF? Basically under 2.3 I had my permalinks setup so if the URL was http://chadnorwood.com/tag/travel/ wordpress would show posts under the tech category.  So I upgrade to 2.6, and Settings-Permalinks show “tag” as the “Category Base” but /tag/travel is broken – no longer works in 2.6.  Of course I didn’t think about changing this till I examined the mysql database tables, dug through thousands of lines of terrible wordpress code, and googled every phrase combination related to this I could think of.  In the end, I reverted back to the basics and it all worked.  I still had to resolve the 404 issue of the old tag links, which I did using template_redirect.

Picking the theme took even longer – but that was more fun.  I basically viewed about 50 of the most popular wordpress themes, downloaded and installed 10 of them, activating one at a time and testing them for functionality and style.  Only 4 seem to have all the basic functionality working correctly, and even tho I liked the wood in State of Mind, I went with the Inove theme. Inove is more clean and shayna thought the wood one was too academic.  I also tweaked Inove .. but thats in the next post.

Overall the wordpress 2.6 is not much different.  The admin pages look cleaner and are better organized for the most part, but the db has changed and some stuff is broken so I would only recommend upgrading if there was a specific theme or plugin that needs 2.6.  I really love the plugins and themes – the number of great choices makes wordpress much better than all the other blogging platforms. It’s not perfect, and the documentation could improve alot, but these wordpress guys are still actively working on making a better blogging software which is a very good thing.

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