Upgrading from GDv1 to GDv2

This article outlines the process of upgrading from GeoDirectory v1 to v2. For most installations, the upgrade process should go smooth and not take more than a few minutes. However, for highly customized setups, things may take a while to be executed properly. 

Before You Begin... 

As is the case with most upgrade processes, there is a margin for error involved and things may go wrong at any step. As such, it is very important to take necessary backups of your data BEFORE starting the upgrade process.

It is a good idea to keep regular backups anyway. Even if you have not done so by now, you should download a backup of your site database, files and other information before starting the upgrade. 

Depending on your web hosting provider, the backup process might vary. Certain web hosts tend to offer free daily backups, and you may wish to inquire with your web hosting provider for further details. 

Once you have backed up your site and database as well as any custom CSS/JS snippets that you may have added to GD v1, you can begin preparations for the upgrade: 

First, disable any GD v1 code snippets that you might have added. GeoDirectory v2 has changed certain function names, so code snippets may cause issues during the upgrade. 
Disable any caching plugins that might be active on your site. To be on the safer side, you may also disable any minification, compression and other "optimization" plugins. 
It might be a good idea to install and activate a "maintenance mode" WordPress plugin, to let your visitors know that your directory will be back soon. 

Starting the Upgrade 

At this point, you are ready to start the migration from GD v1 to v2. 

Pro Tip -- Install and activate WP Easy Updates on your site. It is an amazing free WP plugin that allows you to update your extensions from within the WP Dashboard, instead of going the old-fashioned FTP way. 

Disable all GeoDirectory v1 extensions. 
Update the GeoDirectory plugin to v2, just like you'd update any other WordPress plugin by heading to the WordPress Updates page. 
Once done, update any extensions, as shown in the update notice. 
You can now proceed with the post-update conversion of data. Depending on the size of your directory and the total number of listings, this might take a while. For smaller directories, the conversion process should not take more than a couple of minutes. 
Run through the Setup Wizard. This is not mandatory, but it's a good idea nonetheless as the Setup Wizard will walk you through with the setup of basic sidebars and menus, etc. 
Resolve the post-upgrade admin notices, if any. 

If you were using custom CSS with v1, you may use the same in the form of your theme's custom CSS.

Additional Steps

At this point, you have successfully updated your site from GD v1 to v2. However, a few things might require your attention: 

If you are a Google Analytics user, you should install the GD v2 extension for it from GeoDirectory > Extensions. 
If you were using GD Dashboard with GD v1, feel free to delete it. It is now a part of the core. 
Much like Google Analytics, if you are using WPML, you may install the corresponding GD v2 extension from GeoDirectory > Extensions.
If you are a Ninja Forms user, GeoDirectory v2 will add an NF template called " GeoDirectory Contact Form" to be used as the listing contact form.

Major Changes

Since GD v2 is a giant leap forward from GD v1, there are certain key elements that have undergone a facelift.

Starting from v2, GeoDirectory will no longer add its own sidebars or widget areas as well as the top and bottom full width sections. Instead, it will use the currently-active theme's widget areas or sidebars. If you were using v1 widget areas, those will be gone after the upgrade. The good news? You now have nearly absolute freedom in terms of widgets and shortcodes, as you can choose whether to show or hide widgets from specific pages, etc. 
GD Popular Posts has changed to GD Listings element. All other GeoDirectory shortcodes have changed as well. You may take a moment to familiarize yourself with our new Super Duper Widgets and Shortcodes.
GD v2 no longer uses the GD Home page. Instead, you can simply use the WP front page. Similarly, the Locations page, even though still present, no longer uses custom widget areas and is now a standard WP page. You can edit either of these pages in WordPress and add custom shortcodes and Gutenberg blocks as required. 
If you had added custom PHP or HTML/CSS tweaks to GD v1, those may not be fully compatible with GD v2. 

Finishing Up...

Once you have verified that all update notices have been resolved, all pages and sidebars are in order, and everything is carried over, you may activate your caching and optimization plugins. 

That's all, you have successfully migrated from GeoDirectory v1 to GeoDirectory v2. Lastly, don't forget to disable the maintenance mode!

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