Some of you might have shared my frustration.
I hate to see the message reminding me that a new version of WordPress is available each time I went to my Admin Panel. When version 2.5 came out, I was thinking to wait a little bit for a more stable version before going through the ritual to backup the database, backup the files, etc. I hate spending time to upgrade the WordPress to find out a week or two latter that a new version has just rolled out from the oven, hot and fresh! With that in mind, this past weekend I went to search for an easy way to reduce the time I would spend in the WordPress upgrading process. That was how I landed at the Installing WordPress page, and then to the WordPress Automatic Plugin (WPAU) site. Scanning through hundreds and hundreds of comments at the WPAU site, I thought, wouw! This is something worth to try!
In less than 20 minutes after I downloaded the plugin, followed the instruction and one of my site was updated. Another 30 minutes later this site was updated too.
I was really impressed with how fast the automatic upgrade plugin had worked. No more MyPhpAdmin steps, no more WP files backup steps. Just follow those easy instruction steps in WPAU plugin, the upgrade would be completed in no time. It’s fast, extremely fast as compared to few upgrades that I had done last time.
A word of caution. If you’re a beginner, please consult someone with programming background as there are few follow up steps in order to make your blog works properly.
As you may recognise from the format, both of my blogs are using Sadish Bala’s Mistylook template and this template worked fine before the update. However, as soon as the update was complete, I found some error messages showing up in my sidebar instead of the links and other features that were populating my sidebar before the upgrade. I’ve visited Mistylook site few times recently and I knew there were many updates in this template for WordPress 2.5 vesion. Accordingly I then went to download the Mistylook 3.6 and installed it to eliminate all these errors.
Every thing looks fine after the template update except the fact that all new plugins that were not part of Mistylook template, such as Alex King’s Most Popular Posts or the plugin to only show the blogroll in the first page were gone. But it was okay since I could just add them again when I have spare time to kill. The real trouble was the fact that I could not see my old header image. The profile image at the top of Mistylook side bar worked fine. I just simply followed the clear instruction Sadish has provided in the note on this page, renamed my profile image, put that image in the new mistylook image folder in my server and it showed up immediately. But it took me a while before I saw that there was an option in Design> Custom Image Header on my Admin Panel with the following three options to choose:
- Using your existing header image,
- Update new header image, and
- Reset header image and color.
Since my header image didn’t show up, I followed the instruction to update the header image, uploaded the file and I got my header image back. This evening while preparing this post, I checked Sadish’s site to insert the link and found this post on custom header image. I wish I’ve read this posting before I updated to Mistylook 3.6 last night so I could go to sleep early.
One new feature in Mistylook and Sadish’s other themes is the use of Gravatar. I have used the avatar from mybloglog.com previously, but I was curious about the gravatar Sadish mentioned in his post since I knew nothing about it. Apparently my new template didn’t pickup the avatar from bloglog.com, so I tried to find out how to activate this feature.
After searching for a while, I found the Gravatar website. Following the instruction to sign up, I found that my email address has already been used. Oops, I must have forgotten if I ever signed up there. After completed the log-in process, I then uploaded my avatar, went back to my site and hope to see the gravatar, but it wasn’t there yet. After twieking the code on comment file for a while using some codes I found in Sadish’s forum, I got double avatar frames but no avatar on those empty frames. Both of the codes, the existing get_avatar code and my newly added codes seem to work properly. I then deleted the new code. When I checked the properties of the existing avatar in some old comments on my blog, I saw it pointed to an image source at Gravatar site. It seems like I didn’t get my image set properly, so I went back to gravatar site, clicked on the Implementation link, followed these instructions, executed and voila, I got my gravatar!
Looking back, of course I’m grateful to Keith Dsouza, who has made the upgrading of WordPress less time consuming with WPAU, and to Sadish for his beatiful and easy to use template – Mistylook, as well as to the Gravatar site owner who made the gravatar available easily.
If you’re like me and hesitating to upgrade your site, I hope you may visit the WPAU site and read the instruction on how to get your latest version of WordPress. If you’re still looking for a template, please visit Sadish Bala templates site. Last but not least, you may also take look at various options available from Nurudin Jauhari free templates site. I just found that as of today, his site is listed at the top 28 in Technorati Top 100 blogs.