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)?

  • 1
    If you're making serious customizations just go the whole nine yards and write the whole theme, no dependencies. Sep 24, 2015 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


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, 2015 at 12:35
  • Yeah, definitely. Good point. Sep 24, 2015 at 12:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.