Mostly Harmless

Mostly about my amusement

Sing those upgrade blues!

With every release of WordPress there are always people who have problems. That not unusual since change can bring unexpected issues.

Most of the WordPress forum users are just looking for help and are in above their heads. Those users I can respect, asking for help should be encouraged. Providing help can be satisfying and I refer to it as “therapy”.

Then there are those other users.  You know the ones, the pissed off users. These are the ones who seem to feel like there is an SLA that is not being honored by the “WordPress” guys.

Here is a current sample from the WordPress.ORG support forum:

“It wiped my website completely and it wiped 3 more website hosted on my server. Now really, do you test these things? And why is it still available for auto upgrade if you see what problems people have here ?”

“Who released this Fiasco?… Is this untested beta junk?”

“Who’s responsible for this crap ? Did anybody do any honest and real testing on it?”

“Thanks a lot, WordPress! I always love having my blog borked just for doing an upgrade, per the instructions. I’m in the process of rolling back to 2.71 and never upgrading again.

What idiot released 2.8?”

If I were these users, I would demand my money back. That’s no way to treat a paying customer.

Everyone should understand that the support is all volunteer driven. If you don’t provide details, if you are not willing to provide those details, and/or you come across as a petulant child, then don’t expect anyone to step up and help.

I’m a fan of WordPress software. It’s well written, mostly well documented, and the volunteer support generally is successful. If you provide some details of your problem then you’ll usually get a solution.

With version 2.7 and above, the software provides a built in auto upgrade. But it’s not fool proof and can go awry. When that happens, the blog user must become the blog system administrator. Not unusual: to properly host and appreciate WordPress you must develop some system administration skills.  This is a requirement, it’s not optional.

So before users push that upgrade button they need to have a Plan B for if it goes wrong.  That plan can be as simple as wiping out the installation and restoring the backup up made right before you tried to upgrade.

Here are some WordPress Codex URLs to keep in mind and read up on:

Upgrading WordPress
WordPress Backups
Backing Up your Database
Restoring Your Database from a Backup
Disabling Plugins when you can’t login

Version 2.8 was tested and vetted. But when you have +330,000 downloads, some of those users will have problems. It’s to be expected; the people who ran the beta code knew what they were doing. Many users just have not gotten there yet so they need more help.

So if you are using 2.8 and still have problems, take a look at this 2.8 Problems and Solutions FAQ that MichaelH quickly wrote up. From the feedback it seems like this is working well for the problem cases.

2 Comments

  1. Damn! These people need to learn about testing things on their own. Too many people take things from the Internet (especially free stuff) and assume it works 100% of the time. They really have nobody to blame but themselves for not testing it out first.

  2. Fortunately the majority of the help requests are from good folks.

    The one’s who troll are just louder. 🙂

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