WordPress Automatic Upgrade Has No Backup

It may be common knowledge or common sense, but here’s a quick Q & A on the new built-in upgrade feature of Word Press 2.7 and up.

Starting with 2.7 I typically deactivate and delete the automatic upgrade plugin after upgrade. But mostly of curiosity I left one on when upgrading to 2.7.1.

Question:
Should I definitely deactivate and delete the automatic upgrade plugin once upgrading to 2.7? Will it make a difference leaving it on?

Answer:
Yes. At the least it must be deactivated. It will cause an error during the attempt to auto upgrade if the plugin is still active. This won’t cause damage to your blog, but the upgrade will not work until you have deactivated the plugin.

This feature now being built-in to Word Press is very nice though. It skips several tedious steps from the the previous automatic upgrade plugin.

No Automatic Backup:
One important thing to remember though, you definitely need a database backup plugin now. It no longer takes you through the steps for backup during the upgrade.

I recommend WordPress Database Backup. It works very well, simple to use, and have used it myself to restore lost or corrupt databases with 100% success. This plugin also has automatic backup, which I highly rercommend taking the few seconds to set.

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Let Others Post To Your WordPress Blog Safely

Did you know that you create a new WordPress user, and set them to ‘contributor’ rather than to author or editor?  When you do that, their option after writing a post automatically changes to ‘submit for review’ rather than ‘publish’. It’s pretty slick, and seems like it would be a good way to encourage guest authors on the blog…

I added a new user, then logged in to post as that new user, and here’s what I saw at the “Write” screen –

wordpress-contributor.jpg

Unfortunately, this option then prevents those “Contributors” from being able to add photos to a post, which is a shame.. After hitting the “Submit for Review button, I logged out, then back in as the Admin, and I see that there is a post pending for review – Nice ;)

wordpress-contributor2.jpg

There was also no email notification to me as the Admin that a contributor had posted, but I guess you can’t have everything.

If anyone knows how to allow for photo uploads or add email notifications, please let me know here…

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Paste Easily to WordPress From MS Word

I’ve always recommended that people not paste text directly into WordPress from Microsoft Word, and instead suggested that they open their Microsoft Notepad, paste into Notepad, then copy and paste back into WordPress. This extra step removes the stupid formatting put in place by Microsoft Word.

Apparently, a recent addition to WordPress (maybe 2.3?) added a button on the WordPress text editor that allows you to paste information directly from Microsoft Word, and instantly strips out all the formatting. I’m exactly not sure how long it’s been there, but it works very well.

First you have to open the advanced toolbar options to see the new button button –

wp-word1.jpg

This expands the menu to a second level where you will immediately see the option for Microsoft Word pasting.

wp-word2.jpg

Hitting that button opens another small window, where you can paste from Word to your hearts content.

wp-word3.jpg

Nice!

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Edit Default Comment Invitation

One of the benefits of even having a blog is getting people to comment, because that adds more content and freshens your pages, known as UGC, or “User Generated Content”.

However, most people don’t even bother to update the default comment invitation lines that appear in their WordPress blog, because it’s just not something you think about.

If you scroll down below you’ll see that I’ve customized the comment message on this blog, and it’s really easy to do.

First, login to your WordPress admin, then go to presentation – theme editor.

Click on your single.php file over on the right.

Before you do a bunch of work to scroll to the bottom and make sure that you’re not seeing this message: “If this file were writable, you could edit it”

If you see that, then you need to adjust your permissions (FTP – CHMOD) on those files.

Once you are viewing single.php, then using Firefox or IE, (Ctrl-F), you can open a search box and with the WordPress file editor, you will usually find this line “You can follow any comments”. I say usually because these files are in the theme, and most designers will not edit that message.

That will put you smack dab in the middle of your code for editing that text to say what you want. You can also use linebreaks and limited HTML tags, like bolds and breaks to format it however you like. Cool, huh?

wordpress-comment-invitation-code1.jpg

Disclaimer:
ALWAYS make a backup of your work, even just in an open Notepad file. That way, if it screws up your formatting somehow you can paste it right back.

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Permalinks – Change Defaults

One of the first things you should do on a new WordPress install is to update your permalinks, and it’s really not very hard, but one of the things that gives people problems is that their .htaccess file isn’t writable.

If you’re on an Apache host, you most likely have mod rewrite, and you most likely already have an htaccess file, in my experience.

The first thing you need to do is make sure that your htaccess file is writable, and this can be done with your FTP software or your file manager inside your web hosting control.

Many web hosts block the visibility of your htaccess, so be sure to choose to show hidden files inside your FTP software or inside your web hosting control panel.

Make note of the original settings, then set the htaccess to 777, which should enable the WordPress admin control panel to do the rest.

Login to your WordPress admin control panel – options – permalinks

From there go to the custom option, and paste the following into the field -

/%category%/%postname%/

That will give you your category and post title for the end of your URL. I’ve been experimenting lately with just using /%postname%/ too, and if your blog is very niche, and you don’t want to to categorize your URLs, there’s no reason you can’t do that.

At that point, you should see this message appear the top -

 

permalinks-updated1.jpg

You’re done!

Check your post for friendly URL’s and change your .htaccess back the way it was, and you’re good to go.

*disclaimer – We will not accept any liability if you do it incorrectly and it does not work, or you get hacked because you leave something writable, or you basically screw thiongs up. Just set your permalinks back to default, and all will be fine. ;)

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