Pressing that "update" button on WP for plugins or WP itself - how daring are you?


HoosierBuff

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Pressing that "update" button on WP for plugins or WP itself - how daring are you?

Hi All,

A quick survey here - it's been a debate in our office. Are you willing to update plugins or wordpress itself if you don't have FTP access? For the longest time we did this, and then we had a few crashes, which, creates a really uncomfortable call with the client (or a sheepish call to their developer, begging for help).

I have banned my team from updating sites, and even plugins from now on. I think this is the right and prudent action. . . . just curious if you ever run into this dilemma.
 

djbaxter

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Re: Pressing that "update" button on WP for plugs or WP itself - how daring are you?

Are you willing to update plugins or wordpress itself if you don't have FTP access?
I'm having difficulty imagining a scenario where someone has the ability to update a WordPress site but can't be trusted with FTP access. I would suggest you take a good look at user privileges. It's not difficult to give users privileges that don't include things like updating the site.

I have banned my team from updating sites, and even plugins from now on. I think this is the right and prudent action. . . . just curious if you ever run into this dilemma.
But someone needs to be given responsibility for updating those sites. There are far too many attacks on WordPress sites these days to let any site sit with out of date core WordPress installations or out of date plugins.

Updates can easily be updated but you still need someone responsible for receiving notifications of those updates and for checking that nothing has broken on the sites.
 
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Re: Pressing that "update" button on WP for plugs or WP itself - how daring are you?

If they don't know what they're doing post-update, whether it works or breaks something, then yeah you did the right move.

I always make a backup first (All In One WP Migration or Duplicator, additionally Siteground backs up all sites every 24 hours), update the core THEN the plugins afterwards.
 

djbaxter

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Re: Pressing that "update" button on WP for plugs or WP itself - how daring are you?

All the sites I manage have automated daily backups so in a worst case scenario that can't be repaired I restore from the latest backup.
 

Tim Sweeney

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Re: Pressing that "update" button on WP for plugins or WP itself - how daring are you

"Are you willing to update plugins or wordpress itself if you don't have FTP access?" -No

A few more tips - Before updating a plugin, checkout recent support requests and reviews for that plugin. Plugin updates can contain issues which then need to be fixed in another update.

Depending on the hosting, if you have the ability to use a staging site, you can create an exact duplicate of the live site and then try the update on that duplicate version. I don't do this every time, but when there is a major or possibly troublesome update it proves useful.

Once updated, thoroughly test the site especially the pathway to purchase, top pages and contact us pages and methods.
 
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Re: Pressing that "update" button on WP for plugins or WP itself - how daring are you

If you're not on a host that has daily backups like siteground or WPengine, then I would suggest a move. My team is slowly moving away from FTP changes and moving to Git pushes for site updates. Way easier to see code changes and who performed the change.

FTP is good for a quick fix like creating a child theme, but i'm seeing the value of Git.

To echo what David said... you really need to update plugins. You're creating a security risk when you don't. If the site crashes when you update a plugin, then it sounds like the team needs a more structured update process (eg, don't update every plugin at once without testing). It also sounds like you might have some theme issues if updates are crashing the site. Daily backups can help clean up the issues temporarily, but then you'll need to address the code.
 

Conor Treacy

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Re: Pressing that "update" button on WP for plugins or WP itself - how daring are you

As the others have pretty much covered it, there's not a chance in the world that I will update plugins or wordpress without both FTP and access to the database. It's not just files that change, but sometimes it's database information.

For the users with cPanel access, life is easy, for others on places like FlyWheel where they don't offer cpanel, you can get FTP and Remote Database access.

There's nothing worse than making an update and not having a return path.

One extra step that we do for our clients on maintenance is that we take a full backup of their site and database and then restore it on our development server. We run the various updates, test everything and then once we have things verified, we'll perform the actions on the live site. This has saved painc from clients who process eCommerce on their sites.

An extra step that we do is not only do we have daily backups, but we also have HOURLY backups on the sites we manage. This allows us to go back in time for up to 8 weeks. This was the system that I had implemented when I owned my hosting company and it's been valuable for both hosting clients and now our own clients we manage.
 

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