[thelist] Viability of Wordpress Sites for clients

Viggie viggie at viggie.com
Wed Feb 24 23:14:57 CST 2010

First my experience on Wordpress upgrades:
I'm maintaining about 20 wordpress installations including couple of
multi-blog (mu) installations.   Three of them from the days of Ver.1.x
I have never experienced problems of data loss during upgrades.
Now-a-days these updates only got smoother with one-click updates.

That said, the client should be aware of risks and should be trained to
take backups at regular intervals.  Ofcourse, keeping regular backups,
managing site downtime were all part of any dynamic website irrespective
of the package used.

On Plugins:
Plugins breaking during WP upgrade is very rare.  Some plugins might
become redundant (like 'simple tags' during Ver 1.x & 2.1 days) after an
upgrade.  Quite a few plugins have been around for long, have millions
of downloads and almost a standard part of wordpress in most
installations.  These plugins can be trusted as much as the Wordpress

But I will be cautious to install new plugins.   I tend to go only for
acclaimed plugins and generally test them in local server.    I also do
not upgrade these plugins in a hurry.  Always try to use minimum no. of
plugins as possible.   As you get acquainted with the tags, hooks &
functions available in wordpress, you will find that you will not need
some plugins at all and those features can be built into your theme
files itself.

Security risks through plugins are very real.  But it is also easier to
write plugins.  If your clients are too concerned, you can write your
own specific plugins (for a cost ofcourse!), it is much easier than
writing the entire package yourself.   In such case, it will be better
to hide the upgrade info on dashboard as suggested earlier in this

Hope this helps,
Helping websites to work

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