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What I’ve Been Doing

Yesterday I upgraded 7 wordpress installs. It’s gotten both easier and more difficult.

It’s easier because I’ve written out a series of necessary steps with UNIX commands about what to do. (It just occurred to me that I could put the mysql backups in a script. I’m sure there’s a way to run a mysql command without being prompted for password). Another trick was keeping two SSH windows open, one to run the backup scripts and the other to copy the updated wordpress files.

It’s harder because as time goes by I end up dealing with more plugins and more customizations of themes. I keep waiting for the next upgrade to break my theme customizations (I’ve been lucky so far). When I upgrade wordpress on teleread, I find it a bear to remember all the plugins we are actively using. Apparently, you also have to reinsert the widget for the plugin after you reactivate them. So what was the order of that sidebar again? (A necessary step for more complicated sites is taking screenshots of the front page and of the plugin directory (and which ones are activated).

Yesterday, things took about 2 hours, and that was unusual (because I had some special things to take care of). Now, by the way, I reactivated my Unsolved Heart weblog which I started a few years back when I was doing online dating. Another hard part was updating plugins, another scary thing. You never know if something is going to break something else. I probably could do my upgrade in an hour or an hour in a half next time.

From Matt’s point of view, it makes sense to release security updates for WordPress when the issue becomes apparent. But from the blogger’s standpoint, it is time-consuming. I could deal with one security update a month, but not several! (I know, there’s a plugin for handling updates, but that sounds like a security risk waiting to happen).

I finally included a new archive plugin that organizes my plugins. (View my new archive page–pretty sweet, eh?) I had looked into several alternatives, and none totally satisfied me. I’ve really kept my use of plugins to a minimum.

(Sorry, here’s the link to the SRG Archive plugin)

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Preston 1/1/2008, 5:47 pm

    That archive plugin is pretty slick. Link please?

    I use my personal blog as a test-bed for plugins, and if they pass muster then I use them on 12tomidnight.com. I just counted, and I have 21 plugins installed on my personal blog. Geez. That’s kinda crazy. It IS a pain in the neck when I upgrade and some plugins don’t work.

  • Jim Thompson 1/4/2008, 8:57 pm

    I maintain 6 or 7 WordPress blogs, although I use the word “maintain” loosely, because I’m woefully behind on updating the software. It’s just another one of those little tasks that I’d really like to not have to do. For that reason, I’m giving serious consideration to moving my blogs over to Wordpress.com. I will lose the flexibility of being able to tweak and control every little aspect of my software, but I will gain the time that I would otherwise spend (or not) in keeping everything running and up to date.

  • Robert Nagle 1/5/2008, 10:01 am

    Here’s one reason not to do it: when readers click on a link to one of the keywords, it sends you to a list of post by keywords by all people on wordpress.com, not only your own. Horrifying!

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