Vice graciously commented on the upgrade of the blogging software that I use. Since he’s going to upgrade his soon I thought I’d throw out some pre-update tips.

First, a few background notes:
A) MoveableType (MT) 3.2 is a Major Upgrade, compared to the other Minor Upgrades that Vice and I have been loading for the past few years. It includes so many new features, and the new StyleCatcher (which is essentially a theme manager that lets you implement pre-packaged or custom-built themes from the SixApart Style Library) that you need to take precautionary measures.

B) Assumptions: The pre-update tips can be accomplished by various methods. I chose to use command-line access to the server via SSH (vice FTP), phpMyAdmin for MySQL backups (vice the command-line MySQL interface), and SmartFTP for FTP backups.

C) One can either upgrade MT internally or pull everything off and start fresh. This depends on your technical prowess (or in my case, lack thereof) and current configuration. The upgrade instructions were a little too vague for me, and I only have one blog with very few additional configurations, so I chose to start so fresh and so clean, clean.

So let’s get into it:
1) Using SmartFTP I downloaded copies of my blog folder (/journal), the script folder (/cgi-bin/mt), and the static folder (/mt-static).

2) I logged into MT and used the Import/Export feature to launch a new window containing a plain-text version of ALL my blog entries, which I then copied & pasted into a separate text file and saved to my hard drive. If you have multiple blogs you’ll need to do this for each blog.

I followed SixApart’s “Backup MySQL Database” instructions and saved my entire database as a .SQL file on my hard drive.

Take screenshots of your blog. This probably isn’t so much for aesthetic reasons as it is functional: as per Murphy’s Law, you don’t miss anything until it’s gone, and then you can barely remember how you did it in the first place.

I think that summarizes all of the pre-install stuff. Naturally this should be done shortly before you update. I hope to publish the steps I went through for the fresh install sometime this Holiday weekend, so stay tuned.

**PS: I use the SpellChecker built into the Google Toolbar extension for Firefox, and when I ran it on this post it suggested I substitute “Sexpot” for “SixApart.” hahahaha

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