Due to a 6-year-old database (dinosaur by blogging’s standard) which was subjected to hundreds of plugins and optional component installs and uninstalls, plug various other caching and theme components whose developers thought it best to write their preferences in the database and neglected to remove those entries on uninstallation, the site’s database got to be a huge 310MB in size! Being fat, I can tell you, is not a good idea at the best of times.
So, days after the installation, I finally got the time to deal with this properly. For those interested who might be in the same situation, my remedial steps to properly upgrade to WordPress version 2.9 from 2.8 are as follows:
1. I manually went in and removed the no longer needed tables (after backing up the database of course)
2. I manually edited the db version number in the options table (as given above, thanks!) to 12329 to force going beyond the forced upgrade page
3. I went to the admin panel, downloaded, installed and activated the "Clean Options" plugin.
4. I got the plugin to remove all the hash rss entries (over 8 thousand of them!)
5. I got the plugin to evaluate all the remaining entries in the table to determine the most likely unneeded entries and double checked them all. Selected the ones I know to be unneeded and deleted them.
6. The above operation reduced the database size from 310MB down to 58MB!! Serious weight loss ;)
7. I re-edited the options value to put in the old database version of 11548
8. Went to the Admin panel again /wp-admin
9. Clicked the "upgrade database" button, and then within seconds the upgrade was reported successful and I have my blog back!
I’m so glad that the site is up and running again. I am also even happier that the database has finally slimmed down which seems to have affected the response of the site too to the better.
Silver lining? I guess so.