get_categories() Stopped working with Wordpress 2.8 update

A lot of people are now using Wordpress due to its simplicity to setup and install and the vast amount of free templates available on the internet. I myself am a big fan of Wordpress and this blog is of course powered by Wordpress.

A good tip I can recommend when upgrading is not to upgrade the first day a major update is released. Just recently a friend of mine was developing a custom admin panel, and with the release of 2.8 he noticed his admin panel stopped working. When I investigated this error further I discovered the get_categories() method was no longer working in the backend but did still work in on the site.

Luckily the admin panel we were testing was all local and therefore no harm was done but if you have a large active site then you should either test the upgrade locally for a day or two first to make sure everything is still working and checking the Wordpress forums is a great solution also, to hear of any problems other people may be having.

If you have had similar problems then you will be happy to know that the awesome developers at Wordpress have fixed the bug in 2.8.1 and to upgrade to the latest version you will have to make a small edit to your version file. Go to wp-includes > version.php and find the line $wp_version = ‘2.8’ and change this to 2.8.1-dev this will make all beta updates available to you via the automatic upgrade tool. Once the final release of 2.8.1 is released your Wordpress install will stay on the stable version unless you alter the version file again.

Note: If you are interested in testing some of the new features been planned for 2.9 then you can change the version to 2.9 but this is only really for developers or enthusiasts and not recommended for live web sites.

In general when updating always:

  1. Backup the Database
  2. Check the forums for any possible Errors
  3. Test upgardes on a local install of Wordpress
  4. Look on the Wordpress site to see what updates have been made.

The last point is particularly important, if a serious security update was released then you should update as soon as possible, using the manual update will allow you to track any changes you have made and locate any problems you may come across with the update.

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