Nerd-World Problems

Upgrading WordPress Manually on Pagoda Box

Since hosting on Pagoda Box is a somewhat different animal from most ‘traditional’ hosting solutions, the standard automatic WordPress upgrade will not work with Pagoda Box. This is because Pagoda Box hosts your application in a read-only environment (of sorts). Instead the officially recommended way to upgrade your version of WordPress is to do so locally on your development machine. This is fairly simple if you run a local working copy of your WordPress application. All you need to do is use your application’s built-in interface for upgrading and voilà you have the latest version. All that is then required is for you to add and commit those changes, and then push them up to Pagoda Box.

However if you are like me, you don’t actually run a working instance of your application locally (in my case because I don’t want to have PHP cluttering up my laptop, for various reasons). And so then you are left with only one recourse: manual upgrading. This involves downloading the latest version of WordPress, and replacing the necessary files by hand. Wordpress has a nice step-by-step manual for doing this,here, but the basic gist is this:

  1. Download the latest version of WordPress, and unpack it.
  2. Copy or move all the plugin & theme folders that you have added to your wp-content folder.
  3. Copy or move the entire contents of the new WordPress folder and place it in your app’s directory. Be sure to tell your file manager or operating system to replace all duplicate files and folders.
  4. Put back the folders you took out of the wp-content folder.
  5. Add and commit your changes to your git-repo and push them to PagodaBox.
  6. Go to your wp-admin page on your app and click the button to update your database

Keep in mind that this is the bare essential way of doing this, and does not take into account more complex customization of your WordPress application. You may need to be ready to roll back your application to an older version and proceed more carefully if something gets broken. However, it has consistently worked for me.

I hope that helps.