Shortcuts, Forum Help and Keeping Up with WordPress

Forum helpLast week I finally upgraded to WordPress 3.1.  I think WordPress released this version a while ago and I just ignored it, like always.  It’s not like I had a really old version, I had 3.03 (I think that was the number), so I just had the last version.

I was scared because I have read too many forum posts that talked of plugins not working with the latest WordPress version or just things going wrong.  But I had some time so I felt I should update.

So I not only did the update late I also did it the lazy way.  I did the automatic upgrade through my WP dashboard.  According to many blog and code writing geeks the better and safer way is to manually upgrade through a series of steps that better insure all your content is still intact after the process.  I’m not  a gambler but I do have a lazy bone so I ignored their advice and went with the faster way.

The outcome? After literally holding my breathe for the 30 seconds it took to upgrade I went immediately to my post list, they were still there.  My pages were all present, the plugins seemed to be working.  Everything was fine!!!

For once the shortcut prevailed.

Except….one thing.  Nothing major, well sorta. IF I WANT TO ADD LINKS TO MY PAGES. That’s important.

I wanted to add a link to one of my pages.  I have a Terms to Know page which is a list of words or phrases pertinent to what I write about here.  I highlighted the words, clicked the little chain link image on the menu, placed the URL in the space and clicked “update”. “UPDATE”?  Wait! That is wrong! It should be “Add a Link” to submit.  Sure enough, it sent me to my post list. What? I tried this probably, 6 more times.  I must have done something wrong. Nope!

Now I’m crying. I’m a girl, sorry.

I went to the WP.org forum for help and described my dilemma.  The people there are great, I got a response within an hour or so.  Not the drawn out process I wanted but probably needed.

Now I was even more scared.  He told me to deactivate all my plugins! WHAT?!  What if I lose all my work?

OK, I am the master at shortcuts, I started to deactivate one by one, given, this is not what the forum guy said to do.  He said to deactivate all then reactivate one at a time.

I started with my About Me plugin, nothing changed, so I reactivated it.  Let’s see.  This is gonna take forever.  Which plugins was I not getting much from, Zemanta.  Sorry, Zemanta, I’m throwing you under the bridge.  I think it is a great plugin, just not for me.  I deactivated it and…

The linking came back! YAY!

I assume it was Zemanta that was clashing with the new WordPress version.

So what is the moral of the story?

1. Keep things updated. Get the latest version of whatever you are working with.  Your blogging platform, your plugins, your theme, etc.  Don’t wait.  The longer you wait, the worse things can get.  I got lucky.  All but one of my plugins worked with the new WP version.  But what if I waited longer?  It could have been worse.

2. Don’t take shortcuts…most of the time.  You may not always be lucky.  I fixed this for free and relatively quick.  What if I never figured it? What if I had no luck? What if the fix would have cost me money?

3. Use the resources, in particular, the forums.  People there do want to help.  I have posted not only at the WP.org forum but at my theme’s forum and also plugin forums.  I have gotten responses within hours. Forums help.  They are amazing! (And free.)

Do you slack on updates? And is everything fine? Have you used forums for help?