2 WordPress Lessons Worth Remembering

wordpress_logo.pngWordPress is an open source blog application which is widely used because of it’s functionality, adaptability and inherent SEO-friendly structure. Anyone interested in blogging should seriously consider WordPress. The latest release is WordPress 2.7. For those of us upgrading from the previous release to WordPress 2.7, the upgrade was not necessarily seamless, but then it seldom is. Several new features were added which will greatly increase functionality, yet, as usual, some plugins and themes have caused problems or broken your blog.

This time out, I started a new blog fresh with 2.7 and upgraded two others from 2.6. The initial installation of the fresh install got jacked because I tried to use all my old plugins. After nearly 10 hours of trying to figure out how to resolve the issues, I deleted the entire root directory and started over. The second installation was problem free mainly because before installing any plugins, I checked one place first.

Lesson #1:

Check the plugin compatibility page BEFORE installing plugins for any new WordPress Release.

I was starting a new blog, but I liked my old plugins and knew how to configure them. Some of my old plugins were redundant because the new Worpress release built them into the application. However, I learned that some of the newer plugins worked better or had added features, ultimately requiring less to mess with, which is always better.

Fixing the upgrade

When initially upgrading from 2.6 to 2.7 everything seemed to work at first, but then my editor broke along with title tags and a few other minor annoyances.

In this case a clean install of WordPress was out of the question. We had hundreds of posts and dozens of subscribers. But I ultimately not only fixed the broken blog, but improved it.

Lesson #2:

Clean your WordPress database periodically.

Before messing with your database, make sure to back it up.

After backing up your database, export it into a comma-separated-values (csv) file or text file and look through it. You may find some interesting entries that you had no idea were there. Afterwards, there is a wonderful tool to find any unnecessary records that could be causing problems now or may cause unexplained issues in the future. If you’ve tried out a number of different plugins and either they didn’t work, or you decided not to use them, remnants still exist in your database.

I highly recommend the Clean-Options plugin. Clean-Options checks through your WordPress database for orphaned options. The “options” table in your database holds the info for your plugins. If Clean-Options does not find an option with a “get_option” or “get_settings” referenced in any of your PHP files, it will display the record as orphaned and allow you to drop that database record. Dropping a database record is the same as deleting.

Please be careful not to delete any shared resources. Only delete records that directly reference a plugin that is deprecated or not in use. I’ve used this plugin to reconfigure revisions of plugins as well. For example, the All-in-one-SEO-pack plugin wasn’t working right, so I dropped all the all-in-one database records, reinstalled and everything was great.

WordPress is touted as an application for those who are not particularly tech-savvy. If you are not tech-savvy and run into issues with your blog, as you will from time to time, if can be a monstrously frustrating experience. These are just two simple tips to help you avoid pulling out your hair if you’re a newbie.

Join the Conversation


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *