Last week, I finally got around to upgrading my WordPress framework to version 3.6. I dutifully disabled my plug-ins, backed up my main site and all seven blogs and then clicked on the "Upgrade Now" link. That's when ALL sites broke. For a while, I couldn't even get in to the administrative panel. All I got was a 500 internal server error message. The support team at Tera-Byte (my webhost provider) finagled it so I could get back in. They also informed me that my WordPress theme was broken. Great.
I thought I had kept up with updating all my WP themes. I thought it would be as simple as all the previous WP framework upgrades. I thought that I was doing all right with managing all my sites on WordPress Multisite.
How wrong I was.
My first instinct was to drop everything that I was doing to rectify this - pull an all-nighter or two if need be. Rewind to a few years ago, and I would have.
However, one look at the calendar that fateful day (September 5), told me that I only had three days remaining to prepare for the teaching year. Writing, designing and printing handouts, shopping, planning and cleaning took precedence.
I had to put ALL sites into Maintenance Mode for one week. In a world where articles are shared, reviews are searched and tweets are sent by the second, every minute that you're offline is costly. Google kept sending me messages to say that the Googlebots couldn't access my site. Page rank probably dropped a bit. Unless you had my affiliate links bookmarked, you couldn't shop for sheet music or geeky cool items.
Maintenance Mode was necessary though. I needed the time to research and troubleshoot. Believe me, I needed that time. I couldn't dedicate the time to repairing my websites until I was done teaching for the night. However, because of all the research and digging I had to do - on an already fatigued brain - I could only do so much each night.
I had to exercise patience. I had to continually remind myself that so long as the social networks were all working, Musespeak™ was still busy online through my YouTube, Soundcloud, LinkedIn, Flickr, Google+ and FB business Pages.
There were some design issues I wanted to improve upon on the main site. That meant playing around with those hex colour codes. Then, I had to research a calendar plugin use. That's been on my To Do List for months.
That went fairly well. Then, WordPress told me that it was time to upgrade to version 3.6.1. That went smoothly, until I realized that my media files on all blogs contained broken links after the upgrade. It wasn't until last last night (or early this morning), that I found the solution (if in doubt, replace the .htaccess file).
I also wanted to explore other premium WordPress themes and plug-ins that would perhaps be more compatible with WP MU. All of that takes time. As a result, I was lurking on ThemeForest and WordPress.org's Support Forums quite a bit.
In the end, I went back to my original themes - after upgrading the primary one - Pendulum. I will get around to tweaking each of my sites in turn. However, the important task is done: everything is functional. Everything is searchable. I can leave things be for now and focus on what I should be doing now: teaching, writing and practicing my music instruments.