A few days ago, I updated the WordPress version for MarilynMoll.com. I am in the process of redesigning her blog to match her main site, TheUrbanHomemaker.com. As a part of that process, I updated her verison of WordPress from 2.3 to 2.8.1.
First, after getting the information for her admin panel, server, and FTP, I backed up all her posts and other settings – just in case something went wrong with the upgrade. Next, I attempted to upgrade from the admin panel of her blog. On newer versions of WordPress, an automatic upgrade option is available under Tools -> Upgrade. Unfortunately, however, that option was not available in version 2.3.
Once I realized that was not an option, I located instructions for manual upgrading, and I began looking for the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) options. All my experience until now has been with cPanel, but her blog’s server used Plesk. On cPanel the FTP section is located server-side with a handy button to open it. Looking through her Plesk panel, I attempted to find the FTP button, but it was not there.
After a little searching, I decided Plesk did not have it, so I started trying to figure out how to use the FTP URL. I visited the site, entered my credentials, and saw a list of the files currently on the site… but no option to upload. Puzzled, I sent an email to the webmaster, Chris Tingom, explaining that I was used to cPanel’s easy FTP client, and asked him for any tips.
He replied quickly with a link to File-Zilla and a few other desktop-based FTP applications that I could use. Downloading File-Zilla, I quickly upgraded my client’s site, completely replacing the wp-admin and the wp-includes directories, but leaving the wp-content directory intact.
After a few problems with the wp-config.php file, I completed the upgrade. Thankfully, no content was damaged, so I did not have to use the backup.
With this experience behind me, I now feel much more comfortable upgrading WordPress manually and working with FTP.