Scared of Upgrading to WordPress 3.0? Well…

Posted: June 23rd, 2010

Photo by Blogweis (Flickr)

Photo by Blogweis (Flickr)

Chances are, if you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, you’ve dealt with issues when upgrading to latest versions. In my experience (and likely yours), most upgrades are completed without issue but there are always those few that make you spend half the day trying to get the WordPress back to normal, much less, up to date.

Now this time, WordPress has reached a new milestone. Three point zero. A new era for WordPress.

Or in the case of your own blog, just the thought of upgrading to it creates a panic with flashbacks of the Y2K millennium bug thrown in. OK, maybe not that bad but you get the picture.

Usually I like to wait for the x.1 release in any kind of software to which irons out the bugs in x.0 versions. Yet, I went against my own logic, made a backup of my WordPress files and database and pulled the trigger.

Whew! Everything ok. Upon first glance, other than a slight makeover in the appearance of the admin, it’s pretty much the same.

Now, of course, just because my upgrade went ok doesn’t guarantee your own WordPress blog will be easily upgraded, especially with the multitude of plugin choices and server configurations per blog. It’s probably safe for me to say, though, that if an upgrade went smoothly for you in the past, then there likely won’t be an issue moving to 3.0.

But just in case, here are a few resources to let you know what’s new in 3.0 and make sure that 3.0 upgrade gets done correctly (and in case the auto-upgrade ends up a manual one).

8 New and Exciting WordPress 3.0 Features

Aside from the overhaul in the guts of the software, there are these cool new features. For some of them, you can say “It’s about time!”

Resource Guide to a Smooth WordPress 3.0 Upgrade

Here is a great, informative article to check out before upgrading. Includes resources on backing up your WordPress (very important) and troubleshooting problems during an upgrade.

Updating WordPress (From all versions)

From the WordPress Codex, these are the steps you should follow when upgrading. I know it’s tempting just to click the auto-update button and let it take care of itself (with fingers crossed). These steps should be followed though.

Manually Upgrading Your WordPress (From all versions)

Hopefully you won’t have to use this but these are the steps to take when the auto-update fails or you are upgrading from much older versions. This page saved my own blog several times.

WordPress Installation Problems

Alright, if things get real bad, this is a good place to start.

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Have you had any issues or some advice we can use when upgrading your WordPress to 3.0?

Leave a comment and share!

Holy Hackers! WordPress Users Be On The Lookout

Posted: May 12th, 2010

Image by Josh Self (Flickr)

Image by Josh Self (Flickr)

It seems that hackers have been on the offensive in past couple of weeks targeting self-hosted WordPress blogs. I mean we’re talking all out war here.

The scary part?

Rather than going for the WordPress installation on individual websites, these hackers target installations on hosting servers meaning the reach is widespread. Even worse… the big boys of the hosting providers have been affected: GoDaddy, Network Solutions, DreamHost and Media Temple.

If you do not use any of these companies to host your WordPress, you still aren’t out of the woods yet. Many reseller hostings use these companies as their primary hosting. Plus, with the frequent waves that these attacks keep coming, it’s only a matter of time before they reach other hosts.

In other words, be on the lookout if you have a self-hosted WordPress blog.

Even this instance, as I write, GoDaddy is dealing with another new server exploit wreaking even havoc on more WordPress blogs.

The Culprit

Blogs affected from a breached host server are infected with scripts that redirect visitors from your website to another website that infects the visitor’s computer with malware. I happened to have come across one of these infected websites by chance and you’ll notice that the browser window closes and a message pops up asking you if you want to download an anti-virus.

First of all, update your virus definitions since visiting an infected website will infect your computer with a harmful malware. Then if you notice that your own blog appears infected and redirects to a blank page or you receive a message to download anything, stop. Do not click Yes or OK.

If your blog is infected, don’t panic. The malware can be removed by following instructions on this page.

Be Alert

Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done on your part to prevent these server attacks except hide in your basement with a shotgun. OK, a little too much but just be prepared. It helps, though, to keep up to date with the latest server exploits at WPSecurityLock.com so you know if trouble is in the neighborhood.

Now would be a great time for that backup , too, wouldn’t it?