Best Practices for keeping track of updated plugins/themes

Are there any tricks to keeping track of which plugins you have updated? Can I rename them in some way without loosing the ability for them to detect new versions?

  • DavidM

    Hi SJoAnneF,

    Ultimately, the easiest way to keep updated is using the Update Notifications plugin. You can view the changes with each update before going through with the update using the plugin.

    As for renaming the plugins, as with all WordPress plugins, you can change the plugin header section (at the top of each main plugin file), including the name of the plugin there.

    It's not really recommended of course, as plugin updates would overwrite any such changes.

    -David

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hi

    Are there any tricks to keeping track of which plugins you have updated?

    With WPMU Dev you can of course install the Update Notifications plugin.

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/update-notifications

    Any plugins form the WP directory:

    http://wordpress.org/extend/

    Will let you know in the admin.

    Anything downloaded outside of WP Extend and WPMU Dev, you would need to check with those developers and their websites. Some might have newsletters or RSS feeds.

    Once updated, the update notices will disappear.

    Can I rename them in some way without loosing the ability for them to detect new versions?

    Not sure I fully understand the question here.....

    Do you rename them to run duplicates? You could get some fatal errors doing this as php functions cannot be called twice. Some plugins will hard code their paths or some other paths for required files, this can cause errors as well.

    In one of our installs we renamed our /wp-content/plugins/ folder to just /prefix-extensions/ and some plugins didn't like this because of hard coded paths. I had to make some changes to those plugins and even a few themes.

    Hope this helps. :slight_smile:

  • SJoAnneF

    Ok - let me rephrase. :slight_smile: I'm less interested in knowing that there is an update and more interested in knowing that something I'm about to update has been customized. . . by me :slight_smile:

    Let's say I've made a tweak or fix to a plugin, and a year later there's a new version. I'm not likely to remember that I updated that particular plugin. It's already happened to me once and I've only been using Wordpress for a few months!

    When I mentioned renaming, it's cause I was wondering if I could rename any plugin I've customized to z-pluginname. That way if any plugin shows up with a new version and the plugin starts with z-, I know I'd better look through my svn to see what I changed and why.

    Any thoughts? Am I the only person that updates things and then forgets? :wink:

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey again :slight_smile:

    Ok - let me rephrase. :slight_smile: I'm less interested in knowing that there is an update and more interested in knowing that something I'm about to update has been customized. . . by me :slight_smile:

    Only you would know which plugins you have customised. You could create a function which when there is an update available it would also post a message stating it was customised. Wouldn't be hard to achieve but it isn't within the scope of a plugin by standard.

    Let's say I've made a tweak or fix to a plugin, and a year later there's a new version. I'm not likely to remember that I updated that particular plugin. It's already happened to me once and I've only been using Wordpress for a few months!

    I find the best way to manage this is keep a text file just below the root, I check this file everytime I'm going in for updates. This lets me see what needs custom edits again and what functions I might have changed.

    You could aways run a diff program or use something like PHPDoc and ensure you document your changes so you can find them again.

    If you run an SVN you could set up separate trunks. Your version and the default version.

    Any thoughts? Am I the only person that updates things and then forgets? :wink:

    I suspect others like me document my changes for future reference.

    Hope this helps.

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