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Do not upgrade the theme during a regular updgrade. This will remove some of our customizations.

First make a backup of the database and the Web root directory.

The upgrade from Wordpress 4.2.x to 5.8.x via the CLI after years of automatic updates was seamless, therefore I put a lot of trust in Web based updater. If you would rather do it via the CLI, that's easy too; just reference the following guide:

Note that instead of copying file by file from wp-content into the live site's wp-content folder, I suggest using an rsync command, then making sure that everything has the ownership of www-data:www-data. The other steps, such as fully replacing a couple of directories, can be taken more literally.

If you upgrade the theme, you may need to manually add some code back into the theme template. See below.

Theme tweak recovery

If you upgrade the theme, and our changes are lost, you can recover the most important bits like so:

In /var/www/wordpress/wp-content/themes/twentytwelve/footer.php, after <link rel="pingback", add:

<span style="margin-left: 20px;">
    <a rel="jslicense" href="">JavaScript License Information</a>

In /var/www/wordpress/wp-content/themes/twentytwelve/header.php, after <link rel="pingback", add:

Remove Google font

Edit the /var/www/wordpress/wp-content/themes/twentytwelve/functions.php file.

Manually set the font_url variable before it is returned.

        /* Michael hack to remove dependency on Google Font 2021-08-06. */
        $font_url = '';

        return $font_url;

Also, find the place where gstatic is preconnected. Replace the return with return null; like so:

        /* Michael hack to not connect to gstatic for fonts. */
        /*return $urls;*/
        return null;