I’m in the process of testing some problems with the upgrade to WordPress 2.8. I’m not the only person reporting them, but I think I’m one of the few who can test on 3 different hosting services with 3 different server configurations.

Quick Summary of WordPress 2.8 Issue

It appears that some people are reporting problems with upgrading to WordPress 2.8, particularly with customized themes and plugins. The only problem I experienced was with the Publish options failing after upgrade on two of my WordPress-based sites on two different hosting services. The Westhost sites (all 12! of them) had no problem with the upgrade. By deactivating all of the plugins and reactivating them, I was able to restore full functionality to one site. On the other site, I needed to deactivate, manually upgrade all plugins requiring updates, and reactivating them one by one. Once that operation was complete, full functionality was restored.

There’s a discussion of problems at the WordPress.org forum. A search on the WordPress.org forum show a number of people having various problems with the 2.8 upgrade. Most notably with plugins and themes. Below is my report on the various sites and hosting services I use with WordPress and my experiences. At the end of this post is a troubleshooting report on some specific plugins I recommend and my results.

A bit more information on my WordPress sites

I have 3 different hosting services that I use to work with WordPress. On 2 I can automatically upgrade plugins and WP itself. On the 3rd, which requires a manual upgrade unless I set permissions to 777, none of the suggestions above has worked. On one of these sites,Westhost hosting service, there were no problem after upgrading manually or automatically (I should mention I have 12! installations of WP on this site for use by students). Publishing functions works fine on all installations. On the 2nd automatically upgradeable site, after automatic upgrade was complete, I could no longer change the status or publishing information until I deactivated all of the plugins. The publish did work after re-activating my plugins, however. On the 3rd site, the one which won’t allow automatic upgrade or installation of plugins or the WP program, I’m unable to edit the status or other publishing settings once I’ve published a post.

Step-by-Step Troubleshooting of WordPress 2.8 Upgrade Problems with Publish Options

I began a systematic test of the various plugins I use regular and recommend starting with Askimet.

On the my primary site, which has the installation that cannot be automatically upgraded for WP or plugins, I deactivated all plugins, logged off, closed the browser and started again. At this point the Publish box fields (status, visibility, date) began to act normally. I then began re-activating my standard plugins one by one. If the plugin needed to be upgraded, I manually upgraded the plugin before re-activation.

  • Askimet: After deactivating and re-activating (and having to re-enter my API key), the Publish box problems disappeared on all sites.
  • Contact 7: After deactivating, manually installing the upgrade and re-activating, the Publish box problems disappeared on all sites.
  • Feedburner Feedsmith: After deactivating, manually installing the upgrade and re-activating, the Publish box problems disappeared on all sites.
  • Google XML Sitemaps: After deactivating, manually installing the upgrade and re-activating, the Publish box problems disappeared on all sites.
  • WordPress Database Backups: After deactivating and re-activating, the Publish box problems disappeared on all sites.
  • Headspace 2: After deactivating, manually installing the upgrade and re-activating, the Publish box problems disappeared on all sites.
  • WP-Events by Arnan de Gans: After deactivating, manually installing the upgrade and re-activating, the Publish box problems disappeared on all sites.
  • Bad Behavior: After deactivating, manually installing the upgrade and re-activating, the Publish box problems disappeared on all sites.

That’s my basic plugin collection. I’m looking at adding a couple of others, but this upgrade hassle has only reinforced my belief that limiting plugins reduces headaches with CMS installations. I am looking at adding and testing  a couple of widget additions and report on my results.

Meanwhile, let’s be careful out there! (Oh, dear. Doesn’t that age me…)



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