I had another site to upgrade, but it had been installed as a one-click install. The upgrade for that was one click (plus some backing up). I could have manually upgraded this custom install, but if I did that, I knew I'd have to continue doing manual upgrades. Therefore, I wanted to convert this custom WP install to a one-click install.
DreamHost didn't seem to have any instructions, but how hard could it be? Basically, the procedure was pretty similar to what you'd go through to move a WP from one server to another.
- Backup the database and the old site: I backed up the old DB using mysqldump, and I tarred up the old site.
- Export the old site: from the WP admin page, select Export and dump all authors.
- Create a new database in the DreamHost control panel. In theory, you could drop all the tables in the old DB and re-use it, but I was being paranoid, which paided off later.
- Move old site out of the way: just move the old site directory to a new name - e.g., mv site.com save.site.com.
- Create a new 'One-Click Install' WordPress site using Advanced Mode, since we had a custom theme and a bunch of other content (pictures). This was put in the new database. After DreamHost emailed me to tell me that was done, I logged in and changed the admin password.
- Import the old content from the Admin Import function. Actually, DreamHost's email included the URL for that page. One issue I ran into was the "user name" for the old posts: WP thought the old posts by admin were from some other user because in the old blog, the admin user had a different display name.
- Copy in the custom theme and other content from the old saved directory into the new blog site. Enable the theme. Set up Akismet - this is where having the old DB around was useful; I just looked in the wp_options table to find the API key instead of having to dig around for it.