Just wasted a couple of hours putting my site right.

I had been playing with facebook like icons, and noticed that the WordPress Theme I use had an update. I really like Magazine Basic, so I thought going from 2.7.9 to 3.0.0 must be a good move? Big mistake; and yes, I should have backed up, but normally a Theme upgrade is a trivial and reversable thing. Not this time.

The first thing it said was “Updating this theme will lose any customizations you have made”. This didn’t bother me too much, as – unlike this personal blog, and my board-game group’s website – I had made no customisations to the software or theme at all.

However, what they really meant was “Updating this theme will lose any *configuration* you have made – i.e. menu choices, logos, layout style. Everything I had done to make the appearance “just-so” was gone – even though everything had been done within the Theme, using its own menus.

Only after slogging through all the menus and getting it how I wanted did I realise:

  • The new theme used fancy fonts that were not easy on the eye, and in some cases almost unreadable; and this was not something that was configurable from the theme menus either, only by editing the css directly. Which I can do, but is why I use Themes.
  • There used to be an optional top bar containing things like login/logoff, access to the control panel, and personal profile, which was no longer there.

Furthermore, I couldn’t find the old version. Normally, when you install a new theme, the old theme is saved, but this one had been completely blown away; nor could I find it anywhere to download. However, I remembered I had the same theme on my test environment, so I grabbed the theme files, zipped them up and re-uploaded them to my Food Adventure site.

Not only did it work, but all my previous configurations appeared again. So I am now back to where I was before.

That is certainly not an upgrade I will try again! I would argue that a Theme that is so different from its predecessor that it doesn’t even attempt to use the old configuration, isn’t an upgrade at all, but a different Theme, and should be named and uploaded as such.

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