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How the hell do you keep up with updates without a week worth of hassle?

I must be incredibly stupid or something because I can't figure out how to make it painless.

PS! This is a problem for those who add their own (complex) features, modify PHP & JS etc. Updates are breeze for casual theme users who changes CSS or few little things.


I tried child-theme in few first theme updates but you literally have to check & compare every single file in theme after update because:

  • Developers DO NOT include a list in .txt file with files that they changed with last update.
  • .php files in child theme overwrites whole file in theme - so you miss out new features OR get errors if that file has been changed with last update.

Because of all that I just modify core files & if theme update has some cool features, I'll code it or copy-paste it myself. This also has few drawbacks:

  • You might miss out code changes that makes theme faster, safer or more efficient.
  • if new feature require changing like 5 files, it takes time to figure out someone else's code - all this again because there is no .txt file of changes!

My question is: How to make theme updates as painless as possible if you deep-customize it yourself (child-theme or not)?

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    If you're making serious customizations just go the whole nine yards and write the whole theme, no dependencies. – TheDeadMedic Sep 24 '15 at 12:10
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First thing first, that's a very good question! Now let me tell you what I've done to definitely kill the annoying proceedings you have described.

Keep WordPress under Git Control.

There are a multitude of articles on the web that can guide you from the basics to advanced steps. I used to repeat the proceedings you mentioned over and over, and let's not forget to mention the FTP-ing tedious part.

I'm not a sysadmin person, however, it was pretty easy for me to achieve a safe and optimized "Git Controlled" environment using Github.

Learning the basics about Github is mandatory, however, when you get to it, you would be able to achieve an "Updates & Maintenance" scheme to do almost all sorts of automated tasks for you, including syncing between your development and production web servers.

I hope it helps, good luck!

  • You could have Git locally on a machine as well if you wish to. – Aravona Sep 24 '15 at 12:35
  • Yeah, definitely. Good point. – Adriano Monecchi Sep 24 '15 at 12:36

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