How can I easily tell if a Wordpress plugin update broke something?
August 3, 2018 1:12 PM   Subscribe

We have a couple of WordPress sites where we are using a number of plugins. Some of those plugins are FREE while others PREMIUM. We do also use Custom PREMIUM themes. Right now after updating those plugins and themes, we are forced to manually check all of our sites for any broken functions/errors and this is tiring.

So we are planning to build a custom plugin that will scan our sites after an update and check for the issues/errors. The plugin doesn't need to check for every function but rather a couple of them and give results in a table format.

Before we start this task, we are wondering if such a plugin already exists? Also, can you suggest any other tools/processes that can assist with WordPress backend management?
posted by divinitys.mortal.flesh to Technology (5 answers total)
 
I honestly don't see how you could develop a plugin to do this.

I run quite a few Wordpress sites. I do all my updating in a test environment and check manually. The sites that are sensitive, I do this systematically and deliberately, checking the site after each chunk of updates.

I use the Duplicator plugin to create the test site and to back up before I start on any updates.
posted by humboldt32 at 1:27 PM on August 3, 2018


we are forced to manually check all of our sites for any broken functions/errors and this is tiring

What you're basically asking for is automated testing. Automated UI testing is usually done using a framework like Selenium. I don't think you can just get a tool that will do automated testing for you without a human being to actually write the tests for the tool, though.
posted by Sequence at 3:09 PM on August 3, 2018


You can’t, really. I work in e-commerce for $Major_Retailer and we do QA in the preview environment during the week, and live site QA at about 6am every Sunday morning. There are tools to check new SKUs that are scheduled to go live, but everything else is done manually. If you go to the Smart Home category online and see mis-formatted content blowing up a page, it’s because I personally missed it. Bottom line is that there really isn’t a faster way to check the integrity of new content and updates than doing it the old-fashioned way. Yes, it is tedious as shit.
posted by Autumnheart at 6:43 PM on August 3, 2018


What you're basically asking for is automated testing. Automated UI testing is usually done using a framework like Selenium.

I think what you’re talking about is “Do users actually use our site the way we intended?” whereas I believe OP is talking about “Is there a plugin that will bug-test my site for me after I update it, without me having to go click all the links myself?”
posted by Autumnheart at 7:03 PM on August 3, 2018


No, Autumnheart, I'm talking about software that automates what you do. Selenium is basically a way of scripting so that you tell the computer what should show up on the page and what should happen when you click on links and whatever, and then you can run that again whenever you want. If they don't have you guys doing Selenium or Geb or Cucumber or something now, they will soon. Precisely because doing it manually is tedious and expensive. But training testers to write automated tests is also expensive, so the industry transition that direction is moving relatively slowly.
posted by Sequence at 8:00 PM on August 3, 2018


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