Hassle-free WordPress Upgrades

It’s time to upgrade your WordPress blog yet again with the recent security release for both the 2.1 and 2.0 branches of WordPress. If you have several installations like I do, this news means quite a bit of work. You must download the new version, unpack it, delete the old files, upload the new files, and run an upgrade routine. And, hope that you didn’t make any mistakes!

Well, not any anymore! I have been testing a new WordPress plugin called InstantUpgrade. So far, the plugin has worked flawlessly. I have used it to do two upgrades of RL Digital. Now, I am installing it on my other blogs.

A few tips…

For the plugin to work, you must make lots of folders, subfolders, and files writable by the web server using your FTP program. If you use Filezilla like me, you are in for a surprise. Filezilla does not have an option to make subfolders and their contents writable when CHMODing a folder. You will need to download and install SmartFPT. It’s quite a nice program anyway and it’s not a bad idea to have another FTP client.

If you decide to let the InstantUpgrade plugin do your upgrades, it will take control over your WordPress files. Once the server writes a file, it is possible that you will no longer have the permissions to modify or delete this file. This is due to the fact that you (as FTP user) and the web server are different users and possibly even in different groups from the server’s perspective.

There is a workaround should you want access to the files again. In the lower section of the plugin page in the admin panel, you have the option to perform a CHMOD resetting, which will make all the files claimed by the InstantUpgrade plugin writable by you. You will need to download them, delete them on the server and upload them again. Obviously, do this before uninstalling the plugin.

It is worth mentioning that the second time you use the plugin, there is no need CHMOD folders or files. Just go the the plugin page in your admin panel and click on ‘Upgrade my WordPress!’. It takes only a few seconds and it’s done!