WordPress Updates for Plugins

WordPress is a great piece of software that makes administrating websites a breeze. The downside however is after a while like any open source software there is the need to do upgrades.

A few of the big issues I have come across with updating plugins is that modifications to the plugin will get wiped clean. The only option is to either fork the plugin or submit your changes back to the plugin. The big problem with forking however is that you get no notification of upgrades, so critical issues will go by unnoticed and leave your WordPress open to getting hacked. Wordpress LegoYou could also leave the original version to run side by side with the forked version however only the one who made the modifications will ever know that it has been forked and that they need to be merged together when the upgrade occurs. The other option is submitting back to the plugin, it seems like the logical choice however this is not always easy because your modifications might only be related to your project specifically or the author of the plugin might not agree that your modifications are worthy of being added to their plugin.

What I would love to do when I get some spare time is create a plugin that will know when a plugin has been modified and will not allow the plugin to be upgraded but will still notify of the upgrade. Another option to add to this plugin would be an option to merge the upgrade would but this might be better left to a tool like git which makes this a breeze. This could also possibly require some core modifications but its a feature that I would definitely like to see in a future release of WordPress and any of the other CMS systems out there like Drupal and Joomla.

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