A Rant About Auto Upgrading Plugins

by Martin Malden

This is just a ranting article…

I use the automatic plugin-upgrade function on WordPress because I’m short of time.

But the benefits of doing that are completely wiped out when the upgrade has the effect of erasing all your plugin settings and disabling it.

There were two plugin upgrades yesterday on which that happened.   

I clicked the upgrade button only to find that the plugins had been disabled. In fact on one of them there wasn’t even a warning message – I only discovered it had been disabled when I tried to refer someone to the associated widget in my sidebar and found it wasn’t there anymore.

So I then spent probably 30 – 45 minutes getting the pair of them set up properly and activated again. On one of them that entailed setting up all my options, one-by-one, all over again.

That time had been ear-marked for another job but, because the plugins are important to me, I had to re-configure them there and then – since they’d both been disabled.

Plus, I discovered this morning that one of them has a fatal PHP error which will necessitate another upgrade.

So – a request to plugin developers:

I love the work you do, especially as you’re relying on donations to fund it, and I do donate when I use a new plugin (even though it’s not a fortune) but…

… if your plugin upgrade is going to require me to completely re-configure my plugin please find a way of letting me know BEFORE I click the automatic upgrade button.

That will enable me to leave my plugin upgrade for a time when I have a few minutes to spare to re-configure it, instead of the upgrade unexpectedly screwing up an already busy schedule.

Thank you.

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