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Upgrading To WordPress 3.2; What You Need To Know

Posted by on Jul 7, 2011

Yesterday was a mess. It was so much of a mess that I needed to write this post so that no one else will go through what I did. Well, they will if they don’t read this post, but maybe I can help some. And yes, I’m talking about WordPress 3.2.

First, this one seemed to come pretty fast since I’m thinking it was only a few weeks ago that we upgraded to 3.1.4, and it was in May that we upgraded to 3.1.3. However, in reality it was a year ago that we moved to 3.0, and I remember that because I had to go through some gesticulations to get my blogs and websites up to PHP 5.0 so it would accept 3.0; ah, the things we remember.

Yesterday morning I saw the message about upgrading to 3.2, and I ignored it because I had other things to do. I figured that I would get to it later in the day, and I did after I’d written a few blog posts I decided to use the automatic upgrade thing that we all have, yet found that it only worked on two of my four blogs; what the hey?

Obviously I had to go research it, because I was getting this error message saying I had run out of memory. That didn’t make sense, but what did make sense is that the two blogs that wouldn’t automatically upgrade were using the same theme, though I’ve modified them so they don’t look the same. And the error message highlighted the same line, so I knew it had to be related to the theme.

What I found didn’t mention the theme, but it did say that anyone that was having the out of memory error message had to load 3.2 manually. That’s not so hard to do, and they always give the same instructions for doing it. However, most of the time I don’t follow the full instructions.

What I’ve always done is just download the new version, then load the software for both the wp-admin and wp-includes over what’s already there. That’s always worked in the past, and then for wp-content I specifically go in and load each new file instead of doing the same thing because that holds all your other stuff, such as pictures, plugins, etc. The entire thing took me 7 minutes total for both blogs; by the way, other than doing the automatic upgrade, any time you’re upgrading your WordPress software always disable your plugins and load them back when you’re done.

Anyway, when I went in to test things a lot of things wouldn’t work. I couldn’t respond to comments. I couldn’t do anything with my plugins. And the admin panel didn’t look right; not like the other two blogs.

This meant I actually had to go through the step by step process of deleting all the files from the two files I mentioned and reload it. With my FTP program, I can’t delete any folders that have files in them; the same thing probably happens to you. So, this process takes awhile, making sure I delete each file within a folder, then deleting these folders one by one and backing back out until I can eventually delete the main folders. I had to do that for both blogs, and reload everything.

At that point you’d think I was done, right? Not quite. One blog came back immediately, and I was a happy guy. The other blog, my business blog; nope. I couldn’t do anything with another new post I was writing. That is, I couldn’t add tags or a category, and I couldn’t post date anything; what the hey? And on that blog I also still couldn’t respond to comments; ugh.

I decided to go through the steps again of deleting everything then reloading the files. I ended up doing it 3 times; nothing. Then something hit me, and I opened another browser and tested things there. What do you know; it was working on another browser.

At this point it seemed that the trick was to empty the cache on the browser I always use, Firefox. I did that, went into the admin panel, and everything was working perfectly. Man, I wish I’d thought to do that up front because I might have had it right after all. Why it didn’t affect both blogs I don’t know, but everything is all right with the world once more.

Also, my research mentioned that there was some extra stuff in 3.2 which also needed more resources, which is why it might not have worked for everyone, but from this point on all other updates should work just fine. I guess we’ll see about that. Anyway, you’ve now been informed and updated and I hope if you have to go the manual route you’ll learn something from this post.

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I noticed a lot of updates recently too. I like the extra little details they added in the admin panel. The new look is also great, it seems like you have more space to click around.

July 7th, 2011 | 10:55 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

John, I must be missing it because, though it looks a little different, I’m not noticing any big changes in the admin area.

July 7th, 2011 | 1:01 PM

Thanks for the heads up on this. I’ll plan the upgrades to my blogs accordingly.

July 7th, 2011 | 1:56 PM

Very timely! I just did this and I have to say I’m digging all the changes except the loss of the “new post” button from the dashboard. Thanks for the tips!

July 7th, 2011 | 2:21 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Charlotte, I’ve never actually used the quick post thing on the main admin panel, but if you click that screen options thing it might be hiding in there but turned off. Overall, the dashboard looks almost the same to me. Then again, I’m the guy who didn’t notice there was a basket in the laundry room for almost 10 years in this house. lol

July 7th, 2011 | 7:56 PM

Oh heck, does that mean I’m going to have problems? Darn it!

I usually go to my hosting account and upgrade it there mainly because I can do all of my blogs at the same time. I’ve seen the notice to but haven’t had time to do it really. Now I know I’ll wait until the weekend just in case I run into any problems. Thanks for letting us know Mitch. Pray for me okay!

Adrienne 🙂

July 7th, 2011 | 3:09 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Adrienne, you might not have any issues; as I said, I was 50% in my initial success. But if you do have problems, hopefully I’ve helped some.

July 7th, 2011 | 7:57 PM

Sorry you’ve been having problems upgrading to the new version of WordPress… however, I’m grinning just a little since I realised a few weeks ago that WP try out the changes that they’re going to bring in for self-hosting blogs, on us free-users first. So a lot of us have gone through a lot of changes over the past few weeks… dashboard, comments form buttons (I’ll link to a humorous post I did on that), themes, and more.

It was particularly annoying to me as I was in the middle of writing a guide to using and I had to redo a whole bunch of screenshots and am having to re-write a lot of stuff.

There’s a blog that I look at sometimes now so that I don’t get such sudden nasty surprises, that might be of help to you and other self-hosting WordPress bloggers: WordPress Development Updates The post about two or three back has more stuff about the current upgrade.

July 7th, 2011 | 4:24 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks a good share, Val. Actually, it’s linked on the main admin page, but I’ve rarely thought about going there, which is actually surprising me some. I didn’t know they tested things on you first; figures. lol

July 7th, 2011 | 7:58 PM

Moderation? You? How come? (I’m grinning. But I expect I’ll learn it’s a glitch in the WordPress machine!)

July 7th, 2011 | 4:35 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Val, I never moderate, but I’ve noticed how every once in awhile people end up in the spam filter. I’m not really sure why unless their ISP addresses are known for spam, which some are. Then again, this particular message of yours didn’t go to spam, and your previous messages didn’t either, but now that I think about it you added the link to that website in your message and my spam filter is set to move any comment that has a link in it to the spam filter if I remember correctly. And there you go; I’d totally forgotten about that.

July 7th, 2011 | 8:00 PM

Curious that. Usually if a comment lands in the Spam filter (Akismet, anyway), it just vanishes after posting it, but this time it sayd ‘your comment is awaiting moderation’. That must be a different thing on than, then!

July 8th, 2011 | 5:57 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Val, I never knew it told people it was awaiting moderation; now interesting. And I’m surprised it said that since your post didn’t show up in the pending area, but was in the spam filter. At least on this end it doesn’t automatically delete things so I was able to pull it out.

July 8th, 2011 | 10:08 AM

I upgraded and had a problem. Sidebar was gone!

I solve it just like a guy in this post :

Maybe it gonna be helpful to someone 🙂

July 7th, 2011 | 9:08 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks for sharing Luke; I hope no one else has that issue, but I know someone will.

July 8th, 2011 | 12:26 AM

I’m still having issues with word press 3.2 Mitch that’s why I can’t upgrade it yet. I’ve encountered wp_widget (something) error when I upgraded it. Good thing my hosting offers automatic backup facilities and I was able to restore to original settings right away. I’m not sure if the problem is with my theme or with the wp version 3.2 release, but I will not yet update it until they released a stable version.

July 7th, 2011 | 9:31 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Jhong, did you go the automatic route or did you have to try to install it manually?

July 8th, 2011 | 12:28 AM

Good looking out, Mitch. I haven’t taken the plunge yet, waiting ’til I have time to do the backups, etc.

Sorry you had issues with the upgrade but glad you both know how to do an end run around them and have the patience to sometimes run in slow motion (through no fault of your own, of course). 🙂

July 7th, 2011 | 11:08 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Vernessa. I just wish that sometimes I’d do some of this research sooner so I wouldn’t waste as much time. lol

July 8th, 2011 | 12:30 AM

I didn’t have any problems except my blogs that are hosted on LunarPages. Apparently they’re still using and old PHPAdmin and the latest version of WordPress only sees the new one. I’ve shot them an email and I am waiting for a reply.

As for the cache thing, that always catches me out. Half the time when I have an issue it’s usually a cache problem. Should check that first but I always seem to forget. 😉

July 8th, 2011 | 1:44 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Sire, did you ever run the tests and things I wrote about concerning PHP 5.0 way back when, just to see if any of it might work for you? If not, search for PHP 5.0 on this blog and give it a shot. And I almost never think it could be the cache; my mind just can’t figure out why that should work.

July 8th, 2011 | 2:13 AM

Nope, never ran any tests that I can remember. As to PHP5, I got an email back from the tech guys and they told me how I can do that from CPanel. I followed their instructions and now I’ve been able to update my remaining blogs without a hitch.

July 8th, 2011 | 4:55 AM

WordPress is a great platform but sometimes things might go wrong just like in your case. I had simmilar situations few months ago with other upgrade now I’m very happy that I was using the backup plugin from the very begining. My whole WordPress files went in to mess and I hand to make a new instalation from the scratch. Never the less I still think WordPress is the best:)

July 8th, 2011 | 3:20 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Gabe, I’m in a weird position. I do backup my stuff, but the files are bigger than the site allows as far as recovery and thus I’d be stuck having to figure out how to add it all back manually. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that particular issue. I love WordPress as well.

July 8th, 2011 | 10:00 AM

Sometimes when automatic update stuck, the issue is related to update folder permissions. The easiest is to delete and rebuild the folder. I also found that latest Mozilla is doings some heavy caching. Yesterday I was relocating a website to new server, what I saw is that website looks still available, even give me the option to log-in, but technically the website didn’t exist in this particular moment. I htink you was right when you mentioned for the previous version that it looks a lot like Chrome.

July 8th, 2011 | 4:21 AM

It sucks having to battle updates like this. Why can’t it just work with a few clicks? 🙂

I think I’m going to wait till the 1st update to 3.2 comes out, just to make sure the major bugs are fixed – in case there are some optimizations/bug fixes regarding the upgrade process also.

Clearing browser cache after updating (including plugins) is usually a good idea. One of the later CommentLuv updates broke things for me – until I cleared browser cached, and it started working again…

July 8th, 2011 | 4:56 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Klaus; it’s just something I’d never considered before, and I wonder why it works that way. I thought about waiting, but decided that at the worst it gave me another topic to write about. lol

July 8th, 2011 | 10:04 AM

I had no problem auto-updating WordPress to 3.2 on the two blogs I manage, I did have problems with the Genesis on my business blog though, and I am not sure why. I had to reset the child theme and try to apply the modifications I did to it again, now it works fine even though it does look different (I couldn’t manage to remember everything I changed in the old child theme version and I had no people available to put on it, so, heck, it’s fine as it is).
I am kinda surprised it worked so flawlessly on WP end.

July 8th, 2011 | 5:23 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Gabriele, you didn’t make a visual copy of where everything was before you started changing things? For shame! lol Actually, if you’re talking about what everyone else used to see as well you could probably look at and see what it looked like a month ago. At least that used to work.

July 8th, 2011 | 10:06 AM

I too have noticed rapid-fire updates to WP, Mitch. The last one stripped out paragraphing from one of my blogs but I got around it by changing the theme to one I liked better anyway. This just gave me the excuse. One day I’m just going to have to learn CSS so I can tweak things like that manually.

Fortunately my auto-update went smoothy otherwise.

July 8th, 2011 | 10:33 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Allan, I gave a quick thought to changing my theme as well on those other two blogs but decided I could probably get around it; thank goodness!

July 8th, 2011 | 12:20 PM

It’s too bad you can’t just skip the updates that make everything difficult. Aren’t web sites enough of a pain without having to deal with problems like that. I’ve already done my updates and yes, there were problems; I have to completely change things around so the site would have similar S.E.O. properties.

July 9th, 2011 | 11:53 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

BCALIP, I guess that’s the price we pay for not paying anything for the software sometimes. lol By the way, I changed the name you used per my comment policy; I hope you check it out.

July 10th, 2011 | 12:03 AM
James@Indian Web Developers:

I found that if you have a plugin, and you edit the files in the plugin editor by accident, it becomes “inactive”. Sadly, there is no way to recover the plugin files back to “active” i.e. deleting/re-installing, overwriting the wp-admin and wp-includes folder..nothing.

I haven’t found a way to solve this issue in 3.2 as of yet.

July 13th, 2011 | 5:52 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Luckily James, I’ve never been in the files of a plugin so I’m safe from that. And it seems that if you update to 3.2.1 that it might solve some of the other issues, which I did last night.

July 13th, 2011 | 9:01 AM

Hi Mitch. My friends have told me to upgrade to v3.2, but when I asked them about the new version, they seem confused and couldn’t explain anything to me. Thanks for helping me here!

July 28th, 2011 | 3:34 AM