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the importance of deactivating plugins

WordPress has released the second candidate for Version 2.5.

With the eager anticipation from the WP user community, I boldly went where I haven’t gone before and tried out Version 2.5-RC1. What resulted was days worth of headache after minor pieces of the puzzle broke, and I had no idea how to fix it.

I consider myself an intermediate computer user. I’m not a programmer, but I can put pieces together to make things work.

My first mistake was neglecting to turn off all of my plugins beforehand. The rules of installing or upgrading WordPress really stresses is to deactivate all your plugins. This may have been the prime cause of the two issues I encountered with WordPress 2.5-RC1.

The first problem I encountered which was definitely the biggest one was that the Visual editor malfunctioned. I type some text, make some page breaks (hit Enter), throw some images, bold, italicize, justify… you know… all the great things you can do in a WYSIWYG interface that are simple clicks or shortcut keys away.

Then I hit Save ’cause I come from the paranoid days that stressed to Save Often. I understand that WP has implemented a feature that auto-saves at intervals, but again, I come from the paranoid days that stressed to Save Often.

The writing saves, the page reloads, and WHAT?! Every place I put a hit Enter has run itself into the line before, the images are gone, formatting is gone… AAAHHH!!! This is, for the lack of a better word, bullshit.

I cruise the WP forums. I Google some keywords. I desperately search for an answer. Others have had the same issue but in previous versions of WordPress. No one can provide a concrete reason why this occurs. Maybe it really has to do with the reason WP stresses to deactivate all of the plugins before upgrading. I’m not sure hence my quest for answers.

I remove 2.5-RC1 and restore my backup of 2.3.2… or at least attempt. By this point, I had written a couple posts. To restore the database would mean to go through the headache of adding the posts back in. Not too big of a deal, but at this point of frustration, I become very stubborn. I restore 2.3.2, and I attempt to login but get denied. I can’t login. Upgrading to 2.5-RC1 must have done something to the database where previous versions aren’t compatible. So I remove 2.3.2 and upload 2.5-RC1 again and tough it out for a couple more days.

The other major problem I had is with a certain plugin, Google XML Sitemap Generator 3.0.3. It is a wonderful tool for anyone who runs a WP site and wants to make it SEO-friendly. This plugin has a section for additional pages. If you have a page that is not part of the database, then you can add it on that list and it’ll add it to the sitemap.

I had a decent-sized list because I have a decent amount of pages that aren’t part of the database. All of the additional pages on the list were gone. I try to add one, and click Update Options… no dice. Again, is this the punishment I get because I didn’t deactivate my plugins before upgrading?

I cruise the WP forums. I Google some keywords. I desperately search for an answer. In this case, I am the only soul in the universe who ran into that issue. What a headache.

After toying around with trying to fix those issues in my free time over the course of a handful of days, I said F**K IT and just reverted my entire site back to 2.3.3. Yes, I was using 2.3.2 but went fresh into 2.3.3.

I still have faith in WordPress. I really enjoy the comfort of the system. I love the functionality. I love the flexibility. However, I don’t have much faith in the forum system. I get faster responses at the Gallery2 forums, and I’m sure it’s not nearly as popular as WP.

The second release candidate came out almost 19 hours ago. Am I going to go for it? No. With the headaches that the first release candidate caused, my anticipation level has dropped into the negative despite the trivialness of the problems I encountered.

Will Modern Soapbox be powered by WordPress 2.5? I’m debating. I was very impressed with the revisions that were made. The behind-the-scenes interface is very appealing, and the organization has been greatly improved.

What’s holding me back is the possibility that things may break again plus the fact of the many conversions I’ll have to do to conform to the new standards set by Version 2.5 which include but are not limited to: the integration of adding video to your post (which I currently rely on a plugin to do) and an integrated gallery/photo upload option (which I currently use Gallery2 and FTP to take care of).

I have this feeling that this site will possibly rest on 2.3.3 for the rest of its life, since it has grown more than any collection of writing I’ve ever processed has ever grown in the short 1½+ years that have passed since its creation. This is a collection I do not want to jeopardize as long as I’m maintaining it.

Version 2.5 is a very dramatic change. I don’t think Modern Soapbox will be able to handle it unless I can figure a way to make the transition smoother than silk. Like I said, most of 2.5 works just fine but it’s those little details not working correctly that consume the most time and create the bigger headaches.

I’m just a tiny cog amongst the millions of others. Will this be heard? Maybe. Will my questions be answered? Maybe. That’s as optimistic as I feel about any of it.

We could maybe speculate that with the rising trend in WordPress usage that it will eventually hit a pinnacle where the only way forward is down. This is what’s happening to MySpace. This is what will happen to any social network that surfaces.

People privileged to be educated enough to establish identities in the digital world are also the type to migrate through advancements in internet technology that reflect changes in styles and time periods. Like many styles, they tend to get stale or as the hipsters may coin it – get “played out,” therefore to remain fresh and with the times, people tend to move on to something new and innovative (to them).

OK… so this rant has gotten extra long, is going to get extra crazy, probably to a point of being senseless so I’m dropping the conclusion here. I’ve re-learned this the hard way: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Peace out.

Comments

Comment from Louie Toriello
Time: 14 March 2012, 11:06

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