Be warned: WordPress update crash (2.8.4 to 2.8.5)

WordpressIf you are going to upgrade your WordPress installation soon you should read this post. A few days ago when I woke up and as usual turned on my notebook to check my mail and my sites stats. I have noticed and upgrade message in WordPress admin panel “WordPress 2.8.5 is available! Please update now”. I have decided I will not ignore this update and it was the beginning of my trouble.

I was really sure I am prepared for any kind of trouble. I always make regular database backups with great WordPress plugin called “WordPress Database Backup” and make sync copy of all my files from FTP to my backup ssh account (as described here).

When I was getting similar messages before I have always immediately updated my WordPress to make sure I have no any well known security holes in my websites. I have been always making an automatic upgrade without any problems. Just until now…

As usual I have clicked to update it… And as usual I have been watching current tasks made by upgrade script (downloading, unpacking, executing… etc). But on some point it have stopped! And the last message wasn’t “WordPress upgraded successfully!”. I’ve been waiting one… two… three minutes. I was very sure that something went wrong. I have checked my main page and it was gone! There was only some kind of under maintenance message! Same on the WordPress admin…

I thought I should calm down as I have backup copy of my files and database… I thought It will be just a while to reupload copy of files to fix the problem. So I have started my FTP client and reuploaded all of the files (with overwrite option). I have been in the kitchen to make a coffee as it was quite a while to upload all files. When I came back I was sure my site is working again. I hit F5 on my keyboard to refresh the “under maintenance” message and… No way! It still was broken!

In this moment I had something like this in my head: “No way… is it the database problem? It can’t be… Ok calm down… Google is your friend. Remember! Google is your friend…”. I have been telling to myself in my head as a mantra “Google is your friend…” unit I have found on some forum “during upgrade process WordPress is creating empty file called .maintenance to lock all site from changes”. I was right! Google is my friend! I’ve logged in by FTP and it really was there. I have deleted this file and hit F5 again! Yea! My site was back!

I did this update again and deleted this file by hand and most interesting in all of this is that all update went fine. My admin panel showed 2.8.5 version installed correctly.

This day I have learned two things. One that you are never really prepared as there always may happen something unexpected. Second is that I should never ever upgrade my main blog as first with a new upgrade (I have some smaller WordPress sites that should go first). And what about you…? Are your upgrades always smooth? Please comment.

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