[wp-hackers] Plugin Authors: Major Plugin Upgrade Question

Scott Kingsley Clark scott at skcdev.com
Mon Apr 9 16:47:15 UTC 2012

I've got a pretty beefy question for plugin authors. I'm getting ready
to release a major new version of one of my plugins, but really don't
know how to handle the upgrade as I've never attempted anything of
this scale for any of my plugins in the past.

There's a lot of DB changes, a big codebase change (refactor), etc..

Do I submit a new plugin to WP.org, update my old plugin readme.txt to
tell users to check out the new version, that way they can install/
activate and run the upgrade script that is required? (has to be run
by hand, as the upgrade could potentially fail if just run
automatically for really really large sites using this plugin (server
config issues like timeouts etc)

Or how should I handle the upgrade? Do I try to figure out some
complex workaround to keep sites functional up until the upgrade
script is run (once they've upgraded to the new major version)?

Also -- if I do the plugin release in-place (like a normal plugin
update would be), how do I communicate to users that an upgrade script
needs to be run, to backup their DBs before upgrading in WP itself
(the plugin updater), etc..? How do I handle this for future 2.x
releases, for users who didn't have time to update to 2.0? Do I keep
that text in the upgrade notices forever?

Any tips are appreciated, I want to be sure I'm thinking about all my
options and so far it seems like I must be overlooking something.
Users are #1 here, so I don't want to do anything that would disrupt
their site.


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