When introducing deeper changes to our products, we sometimes need to adjust the structure of Toolset’s custom database tables. For example, Toolset stores post relationship information in these tables.

To make sure that such database upgrades go well even on very large sites, we run them in batches. This removes the risk of running into any sort of server timeouts.

Of course, we deeply test such upgrade mechanisms and make them safe even in case of unexpected issues. Our testing includes our own production sites, toolset.com and wpml.org.

Best Practices For Updating Your Sites

You should always have a backup and follow the general safety measures before doing anything that can affect your production site.

  • Create a full database backup
    • If you don’t have any best practices set up for that yet, you might consider using the Duplicator plugin for a full site backup, which should work well in most situations.
  • Test updates on a staging site or your local environment first
    • That is the best way to catch any potential issues beforehand. If anything happens, you can contact our support for help before your production site is affected in any way.
  • Make sure your backups are fresh and that you can actually apply them properly
    • Worse than not having backups is not having working, applicable backups but still believing you can restore your site to the previous state.

We sincerely hope and believe you will never need to apply those backups, but it’s always a good idea to have them handy. Not only when you are about to run a big, far-reaching upgrade process.