Help: WordPress Update to 3.1 (or any version) Crashed my Site

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 | Business | by

I just updated this site to WordPress 3.1, and it took the site down.  The automatic updated failed to update the site, and left the site in a permanent “500 Internal Server Error”.

How to fix any failed WordPress core Update (3.1 included)

Understand that one beautify of WordPress is that the core software is entirely separate from any customizations (if done right).  This means as long as you leave 2 items alone, you can replace your entire install.

Do not delete or overwrite:

  1. the “wp-content” folder (this has all your themes, modules, etc)
  2. The “wp-config.php” file (this has your database configuration information, security keys, etc)

If you know that you’re good.

Here’s the steps to restoring from a failed core update (any WordPress version updates).

  1. Backup your site (always a good idea, even if we’re not overwriting anything sensitive)
  2. Download the most recent version of WordPress
  3. Extract that download (I use my desktop for this)
  4. Upload everything except the “wp-content” folder right over your current site (I use FTP)
  5. Confirm there is no “.maintenance” file in the root of your WordPress install (if so, delete or rename it to “old.maintenance”)
  6. Visit your site to confirm it’s up
  7. Visit your admin (/wp-admin) to verify all database upgrades are applied

Your site should be in full working order.

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1 Comment to Help: WordPress Update to 3.1 (or any version) Crashed my Site

MiSociety (Robyn)
March 4, 2011

Thank you so much. I have been trawling all over for info like this. My site (and admin)crashed yesterday after 3.1 upgrade. I have backup of database prior to upgrade. Host co (who screwed their BU’s – long story) are re-installing WordPress but I am panicking as it’s a huge site 3,000+ posts an many pics and 3 years work. How much am I likely to lose

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