Since Weaver II and Weaver II Pro are really different themes than Weaver 2.2.x, a very common question is how difficult is it to upgrade from the original Weaver and Weaver Plus to Weaver II and Weaver II Pro. The short answer – fairly simple, but it can take anywhere from an hour to several hours, depending on the complexity of your original Weaver site. (If you need to upgrade from the old 2010 Weaver theme, see the last section of this post.)
IMPORTANT! If you plan to upgrade PLEASE read this entire post first!
Because Weaver II has many new features, and a new internal format, it was impossible to make it 100% compatible. However, much is the same, and Weaver II provides a conversion process that automatically converts all the compatible settings, and produces a report of items that need manual attention. For the most part, however, after you perform the conversion, your site will work, and look pretty much like it did before.
Once you activate Weaver II (and Pro), you need to upload and activate the Weaver Maintenance plugin from this site. This will add a new option to the Appearance section of the dashboard. If you select this option, an admin page will open, and you will see a choice to convert Weaver to Weaver II settings. The plugin will then convert all your previous Weaver and Weaver Plus settings to the new format. This is all done using the existing WordPress database entries (saved .wvr and .wvb files are not used), and saved into the new Weaver II database entries. We suggest that you copy/paste the conversion report to help you focus on what might require manual tweaking. And since Weaver II is a different theme, all your original Weaver setting are untouched, and you can switch back if you have the need.
After you are done with the conversion, you can uninstall the Maintenance plugin if you want.
Here are the items that require manual conversion:
- Sidebar Areas – Weaver II has completely revamped how sidebar areas are handled. It allows the ability to specify different sidebar layouts for blog pages, static pages, and archive-like pages. This can be done both at the global level, and on a per page basis. BUT – because of this, Weaver II had to use different names for the sidebar areas. After you activate the Weaver II theme, some (but no all) of your widgets will be moved to the Inactive Widgets box on the Widgets admin panel. You will need to re-activate these “inactive” widgets manually.
- Use of different Page Templates– Weaver II provides a different set of page templates. One of the results of the new sidebar approach is that the need for a bunch of different page templates has been reduced in favor of specifying a sidebar arrangement on a per page basis. For example, if you previously used the One Column, No Sidebar page template, you will need to use the default page template, but change the sidebar layout to none for those pages. In addition, some of the custom field area names have been changed (mostly the custom HTML insertion areas). You may have to manually change some of these names.
- Header – A site’s header seems subject to the most customization. Weaver II adds a new Header Horizontal Widget area. The previous, not very useful, header widget area is gone. Some of the class and id names used by the header code have been changed. So it is possible that you many have to adjust customized header areas. This is somewhat true for the footer, as well. You also may have to reactivate/upload custom header images.
- Custom Menus – When you switch themes, WordPress will lose the menu activations, but not the definitions. You may have to reactivate custom menus.
- Custom CSS – Most of the specific divs and other tagged areas in Weaver’s output have retained their previous names, and most of your custom CSS code is likely to still work. But some parts do have different names or organization, so some custom CSS might not work.
You are strongly advised to update to Weaver II. The original Weaver is now obsolete, and will no longer be maintained for full compatibility with WordPress versions. It is likely Weaver 2.2.9 will remain mostly compatible with WordPress, but is is possible that some new features in new versions of WordPress will not be supported by Weaver 2.2.x.
Weaver II has a lot of great new features. The main new feature is integrated, automatic support for Mobile devices. Weaver II will automatically adjust a few things, and visitors to your site using Mobile devices will see an attractive view that closely matches your standard view, but that is easy to view and navigate on mobile devices. Full sidebar control is important to many website designers. Weaver II is HTML5 based, which will keep it up to date with the latest web standards. And there are many other features that help make it easy to create a great looking website.
Without going the the effort to upgrade, you will be unable to take advantage of Weaver II’s features.
Upgrading from 2010 Weaver to Weaver II
You cannot upgrade directly from the old 2010 Weaver theme directly to Weaver II. Instead, you must first upgrade your 2010 Weaver to Weaver 2.2.9, then upgrade to Weaver II. Install the final archive version of Weaver 2.2.9 from our download page. Activate Weaver 2.2.9, and open its Admin panel. There will be an option at the very top to upgrade your 2010 Weaver Settings. Do that. Then follow the instructions in this post for upgrading to Weaver II.