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Upgrade process for clients with add-ons

  • Hi,

    Looking forward to ACF5, have been testing out the Pro version and it looks fantastic. Use the plugin on every single site I create and can’t imagine a WordPress install without it.

    A lot of our clients prefer to do upgrades themselves. During the ACF 2 -> 3 upgrade, we went through the following discussion with virtually every single one:

    Client: My site is broken and I don’t know why.
    Me: There were required add-ons to install – did you not see the “What’s New” page saying you had to do this, and how to revert otherwise?
    Client: No, I was never shown that page, and don’t know how to revert.

    Every time I upgraded the plugin myself I saw it, so I don’t know how everyone missed it – perhaps upgrading multiple plugins doesn’t trigger it, or they simply close the window after upgrades are complete, or something else.

    While clients won’t have access to Pro themselves, will the 4->5 process be the same? It would be nice if, rather than a page that is shown once and never again, a permanent warning message could be shown at the top of the admin interface telling them their site is broken and needs urgent attention, so that they are fully aware of it rather than having aspects of their site broken that may not be instantly obvious.

  • Hi @TripleM

    Thanks for the post. This is still an active topic in my own head which I want to make as seamless as possible.

    Scenario A is that I add ACF5 compatibility for the current Add-ons. This would be a crowd pleaser but would bloat the plugins with duplicate v4 and v5 code.

    Scenario B is the one already in place which is a very clear message is displayed to the updater which will either allow the DB to be upgraded to v5 (if no add-ons are active) or a button to auto roll back to ACF4.

    Please let me know your thoughts or other ideas.


  • Thinking about it some more, ideally people with add-ons enabled shouldn’t be able to upgrade in the first place, rather than upgrading then finding then need to downgrade.

    I see your Pro version has a message saying automatic updates are disabled if you haven’t entered a license key. Could you release a 4.x update a while before the 5 release which disable updates if add-ons are enabled?

    It obviously couldn’t work in the same way due to the way one is on the WP repository and one isn’t, but I think you can prevent an upgrade with the site_transient_update_plugin filter..

    (People upgrading directly from an earlier version to 5.x would still need the message to downgrade of course, but it’s people doing regular upgrades who would be most inconvenienced anyway.)

  • Hi @TripleM

    Yes, this is a very good idea, however once I release that 4.x version, there is no turning back.

    I will spend some more time considering other options and hopefully have something soon.


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