Routine WordPress Update Today.

One of the facts which I’ve written about often, is that I host my site, and therefore my blog, on my private computer at home, named ‘Phoenix’.

One advantage this gives me, is the ability to program my Web-server in any way I please. When people subscribe to Web-hosting services, unless they are subscribing to a Virtual Private Server, they receive whatever set of server-side resources their hosting service is willing to offer them. This way, I get to install those myself.

The WordPress blogging engine of this blog, is similar to ‘WordPress.org‘, but is actually a version, the core files of which are managed by the Debian Package Maintainers. This WordPress installation just received an update this morning, to version ‘4.1+dfsg-1+deb8u16′. One detail which is tricky in my case, about receiving updates to the core-files via the package-manager, is that I nevertheless subscribe to plug-ins, from WordPress.org. Therefore, If I did not manage the application of the package-update correctly, I could end up with a mess on my hard drive, since what most Debian package maintainers expect, is for their users to receive all updates to their software, from them.

I’m happy to say that this update seems to have taken place smoothly, and in a way that respects the arrangement of files which I have between core files, maintained by Debian, and plug-in files, maintained by me.

All systems are go, and there was no appreciable downtime.

Dirk

 

WordPress Debian Update Today

I use a version of WordPress to host my blog, which is very similar to the versions offered by WordPress.org, but which have been tweaked by Debian Developers, to add security, as well as to increase compatibility with Debian Linux.

But, it’s my personal habit to operate this platform with the ability to install plugins and Themes from the WordPress.org site. Making this available involves some trickery with symlinks and with directory ownership. Yet, WordPress itself is designed with flexibility in mind, when it comes to local configurations. So it tolerates this as a platform.

But from time to time, Debian Maintainers push through an update to their core version of WordPress – which I am using. I happen to have my core files installed in ‘/usr/share/wordpress‘, while I have my extensions installed in ‘/var/lib/wordpress/wp-content‘. The permissions and ownership for these two directories, as well as their subdirectories, involves two different settings in my configuration. One directory, with all its subdirectories, is not writable by the Web-server, while the other is.

When Debian Team pushes through one of these updates, it can break how my personal localization works, because Debian Team is inherently unaware of how any systems may be configured, which are not Debian. This is a bit like how Microsoft programmers inherently don’t understand anything which is not Microsoft.

Sometimes I have installed the update to the core files, without any issues, but sometimes, some additional, manual work is required on my part, to ease the update.

This afternoon, the core files installed fine, and left me with a working blog. But there exist some Themes and plugins which need to be installed from the package manager, to ensure a working site, but of which I usually have the latest versions, from WordPress.org instead. The packaged versions of these Themes and plugins generally tend to lag behind, the most up-to-date versions from WordPress.org.

This means that after one of the core updates, I typically need to reinstall the update, to whatever Themes and plugins the package-manager update has rolled back.

This morning, that added step in my procedure ran into some trouble. But, I was able to resolve the issue in little time, and my blog seems to be at 100% again.

Now, I do have a plugin which puts up a Maintenance Mode page, for as long as I like. But generally, I find that this plugin only hinders me. For one thing, if some type of mess results on my hard drive, having this page enabled could prevent me from disabling it again, and from fixing the issue. Secondly, whatever maintenance I do, is generally finished within 15 minutes or so. So I generally don’t use this plugin.

This afternoon, I began by allowing the core update to take place around 13h30, at which point the blog was still displaying fine. But I ran into issues getting the “TwentyFifteen” Theme back up-to-date, which would have caused any readers to see artifacts when trying to view my page, which were all gone and repaired by 13h45.

So for 15 minutes, readers might have seen some artifacts. If you did, I truly apologize. If I had used the Maintenance Mode plug-in, then doing so would have made my manual procedure more complicated, so that you might have seen the Maintenance Mode page instead, all the way until 14h00. In other words, the task could have taken twice as long to complete than it did.

My official WordPress version is now ‘4.1+dfsg-1+deb8u14‘. And it works again.

Dirk

(Edit: There exists a phenomenon in Human Psychology, with a name I forget. Essentially it amounts to stubbing one’s toe on a table-leg, and due to the unexpected or even inconvenient timing of the pain, blaming the table-leg for the accident. In retrospect, now that this pain is gone, I’d say this SNAFU was entirely my own fault.

Continue reading WordPress Debian Update Today

Routine WordPress update this morning went smoothly.

I host this blog on my own server, thereby maintaining a version of WordPress which is a combination of the Debian / Jessie packaged version, and of plug-ins from WordPress.org . It is therefore often a source of stress for me when Debian pushes-through an update, but rather than for the reason a previous update was botched, because such an update might not be compatible with my localization of the software.

This afternoon starting from 12h04, such an update took place, putting my WordPress version at ‘4.1+dfsg-1+deb8u13‘ officially.

Thankfully, the update went smoothly, and did not appear to break anything.

Dirk

 

WordPress Update Went Smoothly Today.

I run a localized version of , that partially comes from my Linux package manager, but that has been modified by me, to allow me to install the plug-ins and extensions from .

Therefore, whenever an update to the core files is available from Debian Team – from the package manager – I am a little apprehensive, that the way this update is carried out might not be compatible with my customizations.

Most of the time, updates are good, but on occasion, they may break things.

Today an update to the core package came through the package manager, which technically puts my version at ‘‘. I am sure that there are benefits to users like me. But most importantly, it seems that this update did not break anything. Yay!

Also, I am not recording any down-time, because as far as I can tell, I was able to display a Maintenance Mode page, while the update took place, which would have told readers that the site is undergoing maintenance, for a few minutes.

Dirk

P.S. I also had to restart my ‘‘ daemon after that, the purpose of which is to introduce caching on my side – on the server – to speed up retrieval of whatever readers are interested in most often. Because this cache has therefore been flushed, some of the pages and postings may load a little slowly for the next day or two.

(Edit 02/03/2017 : ) I have begun to notice some functional changes in the behavior of WordPress, that I believe stem from this update. In short, the new version seems to use my caching daemon more consistently, than the previous build did.

Continue reading WordPress Update Went Smoothly Today.