WordPress Updates – The Long Boring Write-Up

Before I even start, if you’re not into WordPress or getting your hands keys dirty this will be a pretty pointless post. This is more of a reminder to me about what I did and when I did it kind of a thing. Maybe it will help someone else, I don’t know, but here it is. Skip to the bottom for the highlights if you’re only slightly interested.

For a while now I’ve been wanting to ditch Flickr and turn my site into more of a photoblog than what I’ve been doing with it thus far. I use WordPress to manage my blog and the problem with using it for photoblogging is that you can only post It drove me a little bonkers just thinking about it and to top it off, if I wanted to use lightbox it meant hard coding everything. I’ve been doing that up until this point that and it’s pretty much why I put off doing anything on the site. “But” many WordPress aficionado’s would say “there are plug-ins for posting multiple pictures at one time” and they’d be right. Multiple downloaded plug-ins and crashed sites later, I found out that none of them work with WordPress version 2.7.1 and there in lies the reason for this post.

My first thought was “so I’ll update WP to v3.2.1, no big deal”. Wrong. I click update and nothing happens. Turns out that in order to update, you need MySQL5 on your server. First I had to learn what that was. Then I had to figure out if my host ( offered it and how to update the server. In order to update it, turns out I needed to update my database. Updating a database means creating a new database by backing up my current DB and then transferring it to the new blank DB; in effect making the new old again. This also means changing my WordPress configuration files (not a big deal). Wait, if I’m having to back-up the DB, shouldn’t I also back-up the website it’s self if my main goal is upgrading my WP install? frick.

I have a Mac now (in case you missed the post) and I haven’t found a good ftp program. I had been using 1and1’s ftp access through their site, but downloading my site (and other sites I work on mostly for my wife) isn’t really an option due to how slow and unreliable that connection is. I decided to go ahead and back up the database as I wouldn’t need any special programs. Turns out, in reading the directions for the MySQL5 database upgrade, I found I needed an HTML editor in order to take out a few lines of code. In their directions, they list Notepad++ as a good free option and I had used it on Windows XP before so yeah, it was a no brainer. They don’t make a Mac version. Well, drawing back on my memory from months and months ago when I first created this site (before I knew what CSS was), I remembered Aptana and thank God they have a Mac version. I had used Aptana in the past, but only for a few minutes as I had no idea what I was doing (I thought it was a WYSIWYG editor) and promptly deleted it. While on the 1and1’s MySQL upgrade page, they actually recommend Filezilla (which is free) for FTP access. Downloaded it and it’s awesome. I was able to quickly download the whole site and swap out files almost effortlessly; it’s a great little piece of software.

Now that all the downloads are said and done, I created, updated, and swapped the databases. I then edited my WP wp-config files to reflect the database swap and then checked the site to make sure everything works. Done. So now I’m up and running and my computer has all the necessary programs to keep it that way. Sweet. Now back to those pesky plug-ins. I tried Faster Image Insert first and as it turns out, it’s all I needed to accomplish multiple file uploads and an auto insert. As a word of warning though, uploading your pictures and not inserting them immediately into the html window and saving as a draft results with pictures in the reverse order than when they were uploaded. Turns out you can easily re-order the pictures in any way you want by changing the numbers to the right of the file name and saving the changes. That’s convenient!

With all the updates completed, I decided to update the website’s look a little as well. Nothing major was done, just a change to a black background to better suit images and a little border fun. Let me know what you think and post a comment if this page helped you in any way.


Cliff’s Notes

Photoblog in Wiki in case you have no idea what I’m talking about is who my website host is
WordPress is how I manage my site
Faster Image Insert Plug-in is what I wanted and crashed my site
WP v 2.7.1 updating to v 3.2.1 was my new goal line
MySQL5 Database Software moved the chains and became an even more important goal
1and1’s Database Back-Up for MySQL5 conversion How-To that helped me complete all my new found goals (currently offline for maintenance but there is a copy on the Wayback Machine)
FileZilla Free FTP software for Mac
Aptana Free HTTP (CSS) Editor