Running a blog on open source software (in my case: WordPress) can sometimes feel like flying an airplane through a moonless night, without instruments: you cannot help but think that, maybe, in the next second, you’ll hit a mountain. Not good. And whatever happens, your host most likely will not be of any help.
Perhaps the most common “hitting-a-mountain”-equivalent in blogging is a corrupt database. Now, the latest WordPress-update requires a database upgrade. That means that, among other things, you have to create a backup of your old database, then create a new, empty database, and import your old database into it. While seemingly a standard procedure, even such a simple upgrade, as I now know, is not without pitfalls. However, Don Campbell wrote a rather foolproof description of how to do it, here.
While things will work perfectly if you follow what the link tells you, I think there are better ways than backing up your database manually. The manual backups are tedious, and inevitably you’ll do them less often than you should. I find it easier to use Austin Matzko’s plugin for that, here. The plugin also produces cleaner code compared to the manual export – you can import your backup into your new database as is, which is nice.