Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Upgrading WordPress & HTML checker

I'm running WordPress on bluehost.com, a WordPress website hosting partner. Nonetheless, I have to manually upgrade my old version of WordPress to the latest, greatest, most secure version (couldn't they have just automated the upgrade on bluehost?). *Sigh*. I'm lazy enough about posting, so I'm doubly lazy about actually maintaining my blog under the hood.

Has anyone successfully upgraded to the new WordPress software? Is it painful? Anything I should watch out for? Will it cause significant downtime?

Another issue I've been having: my blog looks like crap in IE. I've written to the template designer, and he says that his template doesn't officially support IE. He also says that any graphics larger than 400 pixels (IIRC) will cause the problems I've been having (namely, the column on the left is incomplete). I'm not certain this is the cause of the problem, as I'm pretty sure my blog looked weird in IE before I ever posted a graphic. I've also read that people have had similar problems as a result of bad code, such as a tag that you forgot to close. Apparently, IE doesn't know how to handle such minutiae and your page gets screwed up. (Why yes, I *am* a Firefox user :).

Has anyone had any similar experiences? Is there an HTML checker I can install on my host and run within the WordPress dashboard? I'm trying to avoid the joy of going through all my posts with a fine-tooth comb, looking for a rogue tag.

Of course, another option is to just ditch the template and install a new one. I really kinda like the template though, and I've finally got it set up just so.

This Post was written by shelly from anopencupboard

7 comments:

paul said...

I haven't upgraded any of my WP sites yet. I'll try one and report back.

As for your template, it looks like your missing a closing div ( </div> ) at the end of your code just before your closing body tag. Your posts look fine.

WP generates pretty solid code, so you shouldn't need a syntax checker everytime you post, just to check your templates when you first build them. http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/ is one. keep in mind, online validators like this one are also looking for strict stuff, so only worry about big stuff like unbalanced tags.

As for the 400 pixel thing, you could certainly make that wider, but you'd have to widen your #page style more than 620.

bryce said...

Upgrading is not hard to do at all. Simply follow the instructions to the letter they give you. Be sure to back everything up though just in case. Send a backup of your database to both your server and your computer. Deactivate the plugins, copy whatever you modified (.htaccess for example) onto your computer somewhere (you should actually have somwhere designated for this type of stuff all the time since Wordpress updates a lot and you never know when you need one of the older versions for something weird).
Sometimes a manual version upgrade is better for you, as it gives you more control, and you can see where your issues/conderns/problems are. Plus, it makes you a better Tech when you know what you are working with.

Just follow the instructions, and you'll be fine.

Oliver said...

hi shelly!

concerning the falsely rendered layout on IE, here is what I believe is the culprit:

<!--script type="text/javascript" src="http://embed.technorati.com/embed/ypbcg7w5m6.js">
</script--!>

there is a "!" too much at the end of the commented section/tag, hence IE will not show the rest...just remove it and see if it works.

I also noticed you're running on 2.0.1, so the upgrade process is not a major one (there are well documented instructions on wordpress.org).

bryce already gave the right recommendations around backing up everything (perhaps even the old wordpress files).

if you haven't modified any of the actual wordpress source code files, you should have a clean upgrade path (don't forget to deactivate all plugins before installing the new wordpress files).

the way i usually go about it, is to create a new top level directory, upload the new wordpress installation (all files essentially) to this new directory, then move all necessary directories (theme, plugins, images etc.) from the old installation to the new one, exchange names on both directories (thus make the new directory the "active one"), run the admin script, turn on all plugins and voila!

this way if anything goes wrong you can always revert back to the old directory & wordpress version in a heartbeat.

good luck!
oliver

Oliver said...

Ooops forgot to add that

http://validator.w3.org/

is a great tool to check your HTML. I just ran it on your blog and it does confirm that it's the extra "!" in your closing comment tag...

shelly said...

Paul, Bryce, and Oliver:

Thanks very much for your insights. I'll take a closer look at my blog over the weekend and see if I can fix the problem.

Ed Charles said...

I'm with Bluehost and used fantastico to install Wordpress and it will also upgrade it with a click of the mouse

shelly said...

Hi Ed,

Right, I checked fantastico, but it can only auto-install WordPress version 2.0.3, not 2.0.4.