Is this thing on?

For the last couple of days I’ve been struggling with WordPress. The old version I was on (2.3) for some mysterious reason started slamming my web server to the point it would bring the site down whenever I’d try to write or edit a post. (Tech support at my web host, Bluehost.com, was spectacularly UNhelpful in troubleshooting this problem, BTW. Tom Vilot and I figured it out independently. Bluehost support utterly wasted nearly two hours of my time yesterday in four separate calls….   Grrrrr……)

So now that Tom helped me get WP manually updated to 2.6 (Bluehost only offered automated update options to 2.5.1 — another grrrrrrr……) WP now seems ready to cooperate. (Well, except that my secure login stopped working.) I’m trying it out with this post. We’ll see what happens.

Moment of truth: Is this thing on? If you’re reading this, it worked.

UPDATE: OK, now that I know I can use the site again, here’s a gripe I have that maybe WordPress developers can do something about:

Why is the WordPress update process so F*CKING OBTUSE???

Here’s what I mean…

Having to manually delete and upload files to the web server is totally intimidating to people like me who aren’t server savvy. And I’m definitely no technophobe. But right now this is a huge hurdle to many people who’d want to use WordPress’s functionality and flexibility.

Some web hosts offer “1-click updates” — but those often aren’t to the latest version of WordPress (which is currently true of Bluehost). And those 1-click update processes often fail inexplicably. In my case, every time I tried to update WordPress via Bluehost, the process failed and the error message said to call tech support. Which, as I mentioned, was useless.

In my case, my only option was a manual update.

Wordpress developers:
Rather than add more bells and whistles, can we focus on a simple update process please???? Obviously WordPress users who aren’t total geeks cannot rely on web hosts to provide a simple update path that works. Why should we have to rely on web hosts for this? Can’t the update process be made more automated, so we don’t have to manually mess with deleting and replacing files via ftp?

UPDATE: Lisa B reminded me that there’s a WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin. I did try that about a year ago. I recall it didn’t work for me, but I don’t remember how or why. But I did uninstall it. I’ve just downloaded the latest version and installed and activated it, to try it again.

BUT… That said, regardless of whether this plugin works, I think the fact that it is a plugin could itself be a surprisingly significant barrier to plenty of WordPress users. Implementing this plugin involves downloading a zip archive, extracting the plugin folder from it, and FTPing in into your plugins directory on your web server. I’ve known several people who, while not technophobes, are even less server-savvy than me — and they’ve installed WordPress (often because their web hosts offer 1-click installation), but don’t use any plugins because they find that installation process intimidating.

Can’t we just integrate an automatic upgrade feature into the base installation of WordPress? Why does this have to be a plugin? Seems to me like it should be a basic and simple function built into any blogging tool.

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