When you have WordPress installed on your server already, and a new version comes out, there are pretty easy, intuitive instructions for implementing the upgrade. The instructions basically consist of deleting the old WordPress application off the server and uploading the new one and going through the extremely short, easy “install” process afterward.

They also give you the nice tip, “If you’ve tweaked any of your themes, be sure to back them up before deleting them off your server, so you can put them back up after the upgrade.” Sure! No problem! Thanks for the tip; I’ll do that!

And I did do that (last night). But there are a couple of tips they didn’t offer that I really could have used. Mainly because I trusted the process a bit too much and didn’t’ think it through. But still, it would have been nice to have done a few certain things to make my evening a lot less frustrating.

Here are some important and useful things that you should keep in mind throughout this whole process according to this Dallas web developer. First, don’t just back up the changes you made to your themes. Back up your wp-config file with your server information on it. Otherwise, you have to log into your server account and track down the database name and the username and password you set up for that DB.

Next, if you usually tell your admin log-in for WordPress to “remember me,” and thus might have forgotten your password because you haven’t been using it regularly, take care of that while you still have admin access before the upgrade.

Go in and change your password to something new and write it down. Because once you delete the old application and install the new one, you’re going to need to sign in. It won’t “remember” you after an upgrade. And that blank username and password field can look very daunting. Especially if you used a now-defunct e-mail address when you originally signed up as I did. And thus could not get your password reset emailed to you right away! In fact, you might go in and make sure your e-mail address is up to date as well, while you are at it!

And last but not least, make a note of what theme you were using, the location on the server where you had everything installed originally, and the hierarchy of those folders as to how they pertain to your backed up themes and images.

These are all things that would have made my life so much easier, especially because in the middle of all of this I wound up to have some technical difficulties as well with my computer. So these preventable problems just made it even worse when the unpreventable problems cropped up.

So, lesson learned. I thought would pass on these tips to spare others the crying and heartbreak I experienced last night as I went in circles for hours on end to do an upgrade that should have taken 45 minutes at the most!