Category Archives: Servers and Networks

Location where WordPress files and data is stored

How to Manually Update WordPress

This tutorial will show you how to manually update your WordPress site. There are many steps, and the auto-update feature of WordPress works typically with few issues, but if you need to do this process manually, this tutorial will aid you.

Begin the process by backing up your site first. Backup your current site data by going to Tools > Export.

WordPress admin menu: Tools

Export your site contents and use that file to import the data in-case of installation failure and your site crashes.

Also take time to download all of the files of your site, especially any outside of the wp-content directory. After downloading, you may zip the files to keep them together and save space. Between these files and the XML file export, you should be able to restore your site if there are problems.

Prepare for the Upgrade

To prepare for the upgrade, you should create a maintenance file and download the latest version of WordPress.

WordPress automatic updates initiate a maintenance file, an HTML file with information that the site is in Maintenance mode and will be offline shortly. You can create one easily in a text editor by doing the following:

  1. Create an HTML file with content that alerts visitor to the site’s maintenance mode.
  2. Save the file as index.html.
  3. Upload the file to the root directory of your web host server.
  4. Uploading uploading it will overrule the index.php file and be active.
  5. To “deactivate” the maintenance file, rename it from index.html to index.maintenance. When you wish to use it again in the future, rename it back to index.html.

Go to WordPress.org and download the latest WordPress zip (or tar.gz) file, and unzip it to its own directory/folder.

  1. Update WordPress Themes: Either manually or using the auto-update feature, update all WordPress Themes. If you have Themes you are no longer using or need, consider deleting them.
  2. Updfate WordPress Plugins: Either manually or using the auto-update feature, update all WordPress Plugins. If you have Plugins you are no longer using or need, consider deleting them.
  3. Deactivate WordPress Plugins: Some manual installation methods recommend disabling WordPress Plugins, then turning them of again after the update. This is optional, but highly recommended.

The next step is to replace your existing WordPress files with the new ones.

Replace Your WordPress Files

Installing WordPress manually involves uploading files from your computer to the web server. While it might work to simply upload the files and replace the existing files, glitches in the Internet connection could result in partially uploaded files or file uploading errors. It is highly recommended that you manually delete the files before uploading to ensure a better chance at a clean upload, thus a clean update.

Ensure you protect and do not change the wp-config.php or .htaccess file and other files necessary for your site to function beyond WordPress files.

  1. Delete the old wp-includes and wp-admin directories on your web host using an FTP client or Shell access.
  2. Upload the new wp-includes folder and wp-admin. (Do not delete your existing wp-content folder, and only delete directories that you are going to replace.)
  3. Upload any remaining loose files from the root directory of the new version to your existing WordPress root directory, protecting the wp-config.php, .htaccess, and other critical files not part of WordPress.

Run the Update

In a web browser, enter the address of the site followed by update.php such as http://example.com/wp-admin/update.php. This will run the update for WordPress to ensure any modifications to the database is complete.

Go to WP-Admin > Plugins to reactivate WordPress Plugins if you deactivated them.

If you have problems logging in, try clearing your cookies.

If your old site is still showing and you have caching enabled, you may need to clear the site cache.

If for any reason you can’t figure out how to complete your installation please view the WordPress Codex page for the extended upgrade instructions.

You can also restore your backup and replace the WordPress source files from your old version by visiting the release archive.

For More Information on Manually Installing WordPress

Advertisements

Installing WordPress on Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services  (AWS) offer a way to host your own WordPress sight with no hardware and little to no expense on a small WP blog site. This is ideal if you want to start working with a self hosted WordPress site for developmental purposes, monetization of your blog, or just good ol’ bragging rights.

In this article I will go into an overview of the EC2 service and the various Virtual Machines (referred to as instances from here on out) that are free and paid. Some may be free to download and initially spin up but may incur an additional cost to the AWS price tier even if you are in the Free Tier. Even though I discuss the free tier exclusively and micro-instances it should be mentioned that the AWS allows for scalability of your WordPress site so it can grow as your site(s) grow.

Bitnami Logo for WP instance.There are various pre-made instances for use with your AWS account that are configured for just about “one touch” configuration. Some are free, others are free to upload to AWS but incur a usage cost, and others cost for upload and usage. A few of the providers are; Bitnami, JumpBox, and Turnkey Linux. If you do choose to go with these “one click” solutions be sure to read all the print to verify if there are any charges for the instance or use of and how the charges are calculated. Continue reading Installing WordPress on Amazon Web Services

Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

Domain Name Services (DNS) is a service which exist to help us humanize the addresses of networked resources. Humans remember words as a whole easier than numbers representing octal based Internet Protocol addresses of those same networked resources be them across the Wide World Web or just an arms length away on our local network.

That was a mouth full. Essentially through DNS you can type in a URL into your favorite web browser and through the process of name resolution your system contacts a server acting in your behalf to find the correct IP address that matches the human oriented address you type in.

Sounds simple but a lot of chatter between various servers near and far may happen just to pull up that favorite site that you wish to view. First your own system will see if it has the particular IP/URL pairing locally in it’s own tables. On your computer this information will be kept in a host.txt file and depending on the operating system the location varies. Continue reading Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

Protocol Data Unit: A Suitcase for Electrons

The data, conversations, or pictures of your cute pet you send or view across this web of connections all have to be packed up for travel to the various addresses linked through the strands of the web. Where IP addresses are the street addresses and cables of copper, strands of glass, or the air waves themselves are the roadways you still have to get those ideas of yours you so diligently produced on that machine we call a computer into a format ready for travel.

To help understand the process of packing up those electrons Network Admins and Gurus have developed two models illustrating what happens to the data we see on the screen to the point of the 1’s and 0’s being transmitted back and forth across the web or for that matter any network. The two models are called the OSI (Open System Interconnection) model and the TCP/IP model which we touched on in the article Internet Protocol: Street Address of the Internet. Continue reading Protocol Data Unit: A Suitcase for Electrons

Internet Protocol: Street Addresses of the Internet

The TCP/IP model defines the four communication functions that protocols perform. TCP/IP is an open standard, which means that one company does not control it.

– Network Fundamentals, CCNA Exploration Companion © 2008 Cisco Systems Inc.

TCP/IP: Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

This quote from a Cisco CCNA textbook gives the industry definition for TCP/IP, but it does little to help us understand how the protocol actually delivers electrons of data across that etheric gulf woven of links known as the World Wide Web to our eyes and ears in the comfort of our own home or business.

To help understand the following section of this article think of the Internet Protocol addresses as street addresses identifying each and every resource networked.

The country designation in the address is a large network which can be divided up into subnets which are then represented by the state designator of your address. The resulting subnet is then divided up into smaller subnets to represent the city and divided into what we can consider our “street” subnet. It is in this subnet that our Public IP address which would represent our house’s or place of business’s address number. Continue reading Internet Protocol: Street Addresses of the Internet

How to Get a Local WordPress Install on Your Mac

Mac users have a few different ways to install WP locally on their machine. This tutorial will use Bitnami, which gives you a “full stack” (all of the things you need to get going) of helpers, so you don’t have to touch anything foreign on your computer.

This tutorial is for:

  • Mac users.
  • People wanting to edit their WordPress site when not connected to the internet.
  • People that want to learn more about their computer.

Sound interesting? Let’s get started. Continue reading How to Get a Local WordPress Install on Your Mac