Upgrading Version 4.5.X

Important Note:  The contents of this document applies ONLY to version 5.x.x of Simple:Press.  It likely does NOT apply to version 6.x.x (our latest version).

These notes describe the steps required to upgrade Simple:Press Version 4.5.x to Version 5.

Some important information before you start

Renamed plugin

Please note that the actual plugin name for SP V5 has been changed from ‘simple-forum’ to ‘simple-press’. If you are upgrading from version 4.4.5 you will need to deactivate 4.4.5 (NOT uninstall) and completely remove the current plugin folder and files. Upload the SP V5 plugin in the normal way and re-activate it to perform the upgrade.

Storage locations

The upgrade/install attempts to create folders under your wp-content directory. If this for any reason fails, then please follow the on-screen instructions following the install to manually create them. The usual and standard access permissions to wp-content should result in a successful install.

In prior versions Simple:Press created numerous folders under wp-content. Starting with SP V5 we now create one folder (sp-resources) and create the other folders within that. If upgrading, you will be offered the option to move some of the old folders to the new format. This is optional and will not, in any case, move existing upload or smiley folders so as to maintain URLs in existing posts.


The older styled ‘skins’ and ‘icon sets’ from all previous versions are no longer supported. SP V5 has been re-written to now use themes – more in the WordPress style. This does mean that if your are upgrading then your forum will look different. We have provided a ‘default’ theme that closely resembles the older style but things have changed. Take a look at our support forum which is using this default theme although a variety of different color options are also available.


SP V5 is now completely template driven. Each theme comes with a set of templates that control all aspects of the forum display. This makes it easier to remove unwanted items, add custom items, change labels and text and to move elements around.


Gone are the old style program hooks and predefined filters in favor of plugging in to the WordPress system of actions and filters. Adding custom code is now a matter of utilizing the same techniques used in WordPress itself and SP V5 provides a rich wealth of filters that can be used.

Simple:Press plugins

SP V5 introduces a plugin architecture and many of the features of SP have been moved to plugins. Moving these features means that the core is lighter and smaller. When installed these plugins are all turned off by default and can be activated by visiting the new admin panel where you will find them listed. Only activating those you need will, of course, improve overall performance.


For SP V5, we are moving to a more collaborative translation approach using GlotPress – the same system that the WordPress team uses for International localization. We have now frozen strings in version 5.0 and are ready for our translator volunteers to begin. You can begin translating at new 5.0 translation page. Please note that you will have to register to translate – see the link in upper right hand corner. You can translate one string or as many strings as you like – all help is appreciated. Please use our contact form if you would like to be a language validator for any languages. The validators will help us ‘approve’ the translations and make them available for everyone. If you would like to translate to a language that is not listed, please let us know and we will see if we can add it.

Please note that existing, Version 4 language files will no longer work with SP V5. There have been too many changes to text to really make this possible plus SP V5 now separates PO files into the public and admin facing side as well as individual language files for plugins and themes.


If you do decide to dive in to start customizing a theme you should NOT simply start editing an existing one where your changes would be destroyed by future updates. It is easy to make a copy of a supplied theme, renaming it to a new, unique name and then working on that. There is a codex page to help with this: https://simple-press.com/documentation/codex/themes/theme-basics/creating-a-theme/. For less extensive changes it is recommended a Child Theme be developed. Information on Child Themes is located on our Creating a Child Theme Codex page.


SP V5 introduces automatic updates using the current WordPress update process.

How to Upgrade

Backup your database prior to upgrading Simple:Press
If something can go wrong it will go wrong on that one occasion you did not backup your data first! Always make a backup. We may be unable to help you with subsequent problems should they arise if a database restore is the logical option.

To enable an upgrade to Simple:Press version 5 you are required to have Version 4.5.0 or later installed. Earlier versions can not, at this point in time, be upgraded directly.

Manual Update of Simple:Press

Simple:Press cannot be installed or upgraded from the WordPress repository. To download your copy of Simple:Press version 5, please go to our Simple:Press Store page and click on “Download the Simple:Press Core Plugin for WordPress”. It is free.

Step 1: Deactivate the Old Version

Go to the WordPress plugins administration panel, locate Simple:Press in the list and deactivate the current version.

Step 2: Remove Version 4.5.x

You will next need to remove the old Simple:Press folder and files from the WordPress plugins folder. Click on the Delete link for the plugin. This will remove all of the old files.

Do NOT click on the Uninstall option
Using this will also remove all of your current forum data.

Step 3: Upload Simple:Press to your Plugin Folder

You may use the WP Updater tool to upload and copy the Simple:Press folders and files. Choose the Add from Zip File option, select the zip file you downloaded from our site and WordPress will do the rest. Alternatively you can unzip the folder and upload to your server manually using an ftp client.

Step 4: Activate Simple:Press

Simple:Press should now appear in your plugins list. Activate the new plugin version.

Unlike most plugins, activation is only the first step. Nothing is upgraded at this point. Simple:Press requires specifically upgrading – a process that will update any data needed for the new version.

You may load the upgrade page from the plugin entry by clicking on the ‘Upgrade‘ link. Alternatively, you can navigate to the ‘Forum‘ menu. This will appear beneath the WordPress ‘comments’ menu. At this point the only menu option available will be to upgrade the plugin.

Step 5: Upgrade

Selecting the menu item will present the upgrade page. Click on the ‘Perform Upgrade‘ button to start the process.

This may take a few minutes. During the upgrade you should see the progress bar as new items are created or copied to your system.

When a successful upgrade has finished, the progress bar will be complete and a button will appear inviting you to go directly to the Forum Admin.

In WP multsite, there is a network upgrade or you can let network site admins upgrade their own Forums. Network site forums will show a ‘Forum Not Available’ warning along with a reminder for the Admin to upgrade their individual forums.

That’s it. You are ready to use the new version.

If things do not go to plan and the upgrade halts, then visit the troubleshooting section in Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of the Codex at Troubleshooting FAQ.
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