As you may have noticed the new version of WordPress – 2.8 – was released yesterday. And that started a cascade of people complaining their blogs were all of a sudden gone – replaced by a plain white page. I’ve been plugging at this all night and into today and I’ve found some nasty little bugs/inconsistencies that seem to be the main culprits in the woes of so many WordPress fans.
Problem: After Automatic Update the site turns white!
The main culprit is the automatic upgrade feature included with WordPress 2.7. For a lot of users (me included), the automatic upgrade does not fully update and/or replace the necessary core files and actually ends up putting them in the wrong place. As a result the update is not completed and the database is not updated either.
The result of this is that both the public pages of the blog as well as the admin areas are replaced by white blank pages. Not exactly what you want from a simple update, right?
Solution: Delete everything and do a manual install, then a manual database update
Unfortunately if after the auto update your blog is gone, you have to do a manual upgrade. And I mean a complete manual upgrade. I’ve done this with three separate blogs now and it’s painfully obvious that for whatever reason simply replacing files does not do the job. To get things up and running again you have to fully delete your entire WordPress install from the server and then upload a fresh new version of WordPress 2.8. And that’s not all. Even after uploading a fresh version of 2.8, your site will probably still be white. To solve this you have to manually update the database by going to http://www.yoursitename.com/wp-admin/upgrade.php. Only after this is done will you have access to the front and back end.
How to safely upgrade to WordPress 2.8
This is especially important for people with blogs hosted by 1and1.com
If you do not like the prospect of potentially spending several hours banging your head against your desk while your blog disappears and your inbox fills up with emails from people telling you your blog is gone I strongly urge you to do a complete manual upgrade if you want to go to 2.8 right now. Or better yet, just wait until whatever it is that is causing this mess is fixed. The good people behind WordPress have published a great and easy to understand guide on how to manually upgrade WordPress and I suggest you follow it to the letter (including all the backup stages – trust me, you don’t want all your work to disappear!)
I’m confident that the problems that have been reported will be ironed out by the developers in a matter of days, but until then I’m going to ignore the “Please Update Now!” warning at the top of my admin panel.