[lang_de]Dieser Beitrag ist leider nur auf Englisch verfügbar. (Er darf aber gerne auf Deutsch kommentiert werden.)[/lang_de][lang_en][/lang_en]
The InstantUpgrade plugin has received quite some attention during the last two weeks since its initial release. At the moment, the plugin package has been downloaded about 1100 times. But it has also raised a couple of questions which were asked here at zirona.com or discussed in other places. I want to say a few words and try to summarize the feedback a bit.
In general, the plugin received very positive feedback. Many people wrote me that they were astonished how quick and easy the upgrade was indeed. I have to admit that I myself am surprized how good it seems to work for the vaste majority of users. However, some people did encounter problems, in fact due to certain
safe mode configurations. (This is why the plugin’s next version won’t work in
safe mode at all.) However, as far as I know, everybody was able to restore his/her WordPress installation, so there was no grave damage so far. (phew…)
For the topic of security
We all know that making files writable by the webserver is potentially dangerous. For InstantUpgrade, you must make very many files writable. There is no way around that, because FTP user (you) and Webserver are different system users on the server in most cases. But that’s ok in this case, because with the first run, all those files will be owned by the webserver and have proper permissions again.
However, the WordPress base folder will remain world writable. This might allow the webserver or other users to create files there — if they come to access this area at all. If you want to avoid this very unlikely possibility under any circumstances, you must not use the InstantUpgrade plugin. However, if you have your
.htaccess or your theme/plugin files world writable, or you use plugins that execute inline PHP, don’t you come to me whining about security.
Apart from this, there is — in my opinion — no reason to consider this plugin insecure. But if you believe to have identified another issue, please let me know.
Integration with WordPress
Another thing I’ve read a couple of times are statements like “If it’s so good, why isn’t it in the WordPress core?” or “I hope they will soon integrate this with the WP core.” Although I feel honoured when hearing thes proposals, I’m afraid, they’re a bit unrealistic. The installation of the plugin requires some steps that (a) might ask too much from novice WP users, and (b) can turn out to be impossible on some hosts.
I would however appreciate, if — with time — there could be a better cooperation with the WordPress developers. The InstantUpgrade plugin must be as future proof as possible, and I am afraid that most people won’t upgrade the plugin itself too often. So if there’s a change in WordPress for which the plugin is not laid out, there might be errors during upgrade. Of course I monitor the development of WordPress, so I pretty much get the idea what expects us with new releases, and you can be sure that I will bring out a new version of InstandUpgrade soon enough before the WordPress upgrade.
I have also received some ideas for upcoming versions. Some are things I had considered myself, and had rejected for various reasons. Others are good inspirations for improvements. So if you have an idea what could be a feature of an auto-upgrade plugin, please let me know.