While I have been using WordPress 5 on my local test server for months, I still worried about possible breakage caused by an update. Anyway, if my Gentoo experiment is any indictment, then I should have come to the conclusion that “not updating your system” breaks the system worse than “often updating”. The point is that by holding off updates for a long time, there has to be a point where new software start to be not compatible to your base system, and reverting to old versions gets harder and harder. And if you only fix it then it finally breaks, it might has already become a mess that’s impossible to deal with.
Hence, despite the concerns, here I updates the website.
Backing up the Database
There are various plugins that can back up the data base. However, after surveying about the various possibilities, I decided to begin with a simple solution — back up the entire database manually. At least there is no intermediate layer and confusing UI between me and the result.
The back up command is just a one-liner:
mysqldump -u $USER_NAME -p $DATABASE_NAME --single-transaction \ --quick --lock-tables=false > $DATABASE_NAME-backup-$(date +%F).sql
It turns out that the database is just in the scale of about 2MB in plain text. I can casually back up whenever I feel like it, and not take too much disk space. Nice.
So I backed up the database, and the WordPress directory itself. After updating WordPress to 5, I realize that Gutenberg is no longer needed since it is now fully integrated to the system. On the other hand, I need to do something to get back the classical editor. That is, I need to install the Classical Editor plugin.
Thankfully, life with the classical editor plugin is actually easier than before. It used to by default assume I was going to use Gutenberg, since the Gutenberg plugin messed up the priority of the plugins. The current one, on the other hand, offers me choices and allows me to set a default. So I can use the classical editor by default and use the Gutenberg editor when I feel like it. This is how it should have been, but it was not. Anyway, it is an improvement. Surprise.
The classical editor plugin has a shell life of about 3 years. So I need to consider my options before it goes obsolete again.
Let us jump to the simple conclusion. It updates. Nothing breaks. One plugin is no longer necessary but another plugin has to be introduced. Overall, everything is fine, though one wants to start planning for the future from now on.