Hello ClassiPress customers!
As you probably already know, ClassiPress v2.8 was released on April 6th and includes many new features and enhancements. Unlike previous updates, this version is quite different infrastructure-wise and requires ClassiPress customers to carefully migrate their current classified ads.
So why did we make the big change?
ClassiPress was originally built without using WordPress custom fields which in the long haul, limits the growth and potential of the ClassiPress product. Version 2.8 has since moved all non-description field information into custom WordPress fields. This is a huge change but will benefit you and your ClassiPress instance down the road so you can take advantage of several new and upcoming features.
So anyone who is currently using any version prior to 2.8 will need to follow these instructions carefully in order to migrate their ads over properly. I highly recommend backing up your WordPress database and theme before making any changes just so you have the option of rolling back later. Depending on the size of your site, this migration could take minutes or hours. Essentially, you will be going through each and every post and moving content from one place to another. The good news is if you miss something, it will be easy to tell since your site ads will look strange.
If you have a huge site and don’t want to have to manually update each and every classified ad, then you might want to just stay with your current version. Set aside a few hours preferably at night or early morning when you expect the least amount of traffic. I highly recommend downloading and installing the Maintenance Mode plugin and use that while performing the migration. You’ll be able to see your site but anyone else who stops by will see a “this site is undergoing maintenance” page. Very handy.
Once you’ve taken your site “offline” with the plugin, you will be ready to go. First copy over ClassiPress v2.8 into your current classipress theme directory but create a backup of your current theme just in case…especially if you’ve done any custom work to your ClassiPress files. To compare what has changed with each file, I recommend downloading WinMerge which is a differencing and merging tool. It allows you to open two files and compare line by line what has changed as well as move over one line and not another. Perfect for those who have modded their existing version of ClassiPress and want to bring over parts of v2.8
Anything you have done will be overwritten with the v2.8 installation. If prompted, say yes to overwriting all existing files. Now go into your WordPress admin area and you’ll see a newer ClassiPress section. You might need to clear your browser cache if it’s not showing up correctly. Then expand that to see the new menu items. No need to make any changes here yet…I just wanted to make you aware of those new menu items.
Now view your site and don’t be upset when things look strange. It’s because the migration hasn’t been done yet. We are ready to move on. So instead of everything being written and saved into the post description field, we will be moving everything (except the ad description) into custom fields. Here is an example of what your existing ad should look like:
I have highlighted the fields we will be moving out of the description field and into custom fields. The ones that are not highlighted should stay but just remove the  [/] tags around them. The AIM, YIM, Gtalk, MSN fields have all been deprecated due to a majority of customers not wanting them. You can keep them but they need to stay in the description field.
The six new custom fields you will need to create (just only need to do this the first time. They will show up on all your other posts after you save them once) will be as follows: name, email, phone, price, location, and images. You do that by going to any existing post within WordPress, scroll down to the bottom section where it says “Custom Fields”, and then click “Enter new”. Now type in the name of the new custom field (which are the six I listed above) one for each entry. It’s very important you spell them correctly too otherwise it won’t work properly. Then to the right you will paste in the name of the ad owner which you get from in between the [name] [/name] tags in the description area. So it should look something like this:
Then click the “Add Custom Field” button to save it. The background will turn yellow which means you saved it correctly. Now do that five more times for the rest of your custom fields. Once you have finished, you can delete everything in the description field except what’s in between the [description] and [/description] tags. So your description section should now just contain regular text which is just the ad description. See where I’m going with this?
Now save your post and view your site and post to make sure it looks correct. If all looks good, then you can move onto the next post. Do this for every post you have. Here is what the final converted post should look like.
You’ll notice how all custom fields are listed with information to the right. See that the images field has the entire url separated by commas. This is the correct way and how ClassiPress knows to pull the images onto the classified ads post. In the above description field, you’ll see how it’s just plain text now without any [/] tags.
After you have completely migrated over all your posts, your site is ready to go back into action. Turn off the maintenance mode plugin so visitors can access your site again. Now would also be a good change to follow the included README-FIRST.txt instructions you received in the upgrade .zip email. You’ll need to activate a few plugins and run through the new options pages before everything is setup properly.
Hopefully these instructions work well enough for everyone. If you have any questions or problems, please post them in the AppThemes Support forum so I can answer them. Good luck and I promise you will be very pleased with the latest version once everything is migrated over!