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Updates : The bane of my life
mr_nabo




msg:3700576
 8:00 am on Jul 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is general question for all you web developers: as you grow and prosper, how do you maintain your clients' security without needing to update hundreds of previous installations? Or is this part of the parcel?

I use and customize open source CMSs like Joomla and Wordpress rather than build my own (it would seem like re-inventing the wheel to start from scratch these days), so I find myself needing to update the core CMS along with any plugins of all sites I've made for clients very often. Particularly with Wordpress which seems to have an update every 5 minutes.

Most updates are advertised as security patches, so I see them as necessary. But surely this process of updating all sites that use Joomla or Wordpress (and all the headaches of making sure plugins don't break and things look ok in new browsers etc.) becomes a fulltime job if you have enough clients. Do you guys charge for those type of things?

I just see a bit of a storm ahead of me as I take on more work and need to continually update, bug check and lose sleep following site launches...

Any opinions/advice on how not to lose my hair?

 

WingedHorse




msg:3700685
 11:34 am on Jul 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

"Do you guys charge for those type of things?"

Ofcourse. If it is work, it costs. The updates are done to those customers that either pay monthly fee for maintenance or pay for it with hourly rates. Those that don't pay get the instructions on doing those themselves (which I assume most don't follow but that's out of our hands).

That said, some nice bash scripts to take care of updates (on servers on which such can be run) would propably not be all that hard to leave on... Perhaps we'll create such if it seems that there'll be overly much work with those. Has anyone here used those yet?

But well, I mostly do SEO to customers paying monthly anyways so updating wordpress during that isn't a big deal.

Scally_Ally




msg:3700748
 1:14 pm on Jul 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

The company where i work were so scared of using wordpress for their blogs for fear of it a: being hacked and b: having to do alot of updates all the time.
Instead we are using blogger, then scaping the blogger blog that we have created and rendering it on our site.. This is such a bad way of doing things and introduces a whole other world of pain.

Personally, if i were in charge of the company i work, i would charge people a retainer fee which then includes the installation of patches etc for the software i have used.

Ally

BertieB




msg:3700776
 1:53 pm on Jul 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yeah, keeping multiple Wordpress blogs updated is a real pain, and it definitely comes under maintenance if you charge for that.

If you don't, or you run multiple blogs yourself, search for "Virtual Multiblog for WordPress". No association, I'm just looking to deploy it myself soon, and it seems to be the most straightforward and simple.

CrustyAdmin




msg:3715326
 3:32 am on Aug 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

@Scally_Ally

You can have a blogger blog ftp'd right to your web server. No need to scrape and republish.

Fortune Hunter




msg:3717276
 4:08 am on Aug 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I use and customize open source CMSs like Joomla and Wordpress rather than build my own

so I find myself needing to update the core CMS along with any plugins of all sites I've made for clients very often. Particularly with Wordpress which seems to have an update every 5 minutes.

I have a friend of mine that runs a web development company which is larger than mine and he won't use open source programs for just this reason. His philosophy is that while these programs can be great in terms of functionality that having constant updates and no uniform support options other than reading bulletin boards far out weighs any benefit he might get from using a free program. He said he would rather just pay for a product and know that he will get good support and a reasonable schedule of updates.

I like open source software, but I see his point.

mr_nabo




msg:3717344
 8:01 am on Aug 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

@Fortune Hunter, does your friend build his own CMS or does he buy in other products? If you could PM me with some other options like commercial CMSs that are good to check out?

I'd be grateful as I'm in a situation where I'm starting to get more work and I'd prefer to take the route where I can either buy a good system to use with my clients that is well supported, or be able to avoid so many updates...that's not that WP and Joomla aren't well supported, but as your mate said, it's a matter of posting a question and waiting/hoping for a response.

Any ideas appreciated, cheers.

Fortune Hunter




msg:3718760
 6:48 pm on Aug 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

does your friend build his own CMS or does he buy in other products?

I believe he uses a commercial application that he purchased. I am not sure what the name of it is, but I will shoot him a quick email and see if I can find out. As far as other commercial products, I don't really know because personally I don't have a big call for CMS systems, at least so far I haven't, but that may change in the near future.

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