With a bit (a lot) of spare time over the holidays, I’ve done some housekeeping around here. Including updating plugins (more on that in a bit), deactivating plugins that I haven’t used in, well, years, and poking around in cPanel. I can’t tell if it’s just a Placebo or not, but it definitely feels a lot faster.

As for updating plugins, it was less than pleasant. I seem to remember WordPress directly downloading the plugin ZIP files (presumably with fopen and etc) and writing the files directly. In recent releases, however, installing with FTP seems to be the only option.

To say this doesn’t always end well would be an understatement. Sometimes it makes WordPress unusable for minutes, and I say only WordPress because everything else served from the same web server works fine in the meanwhile. And there seems to be a weird bug that causes a file to download instead of the actual plugin, which caused some irritation too.

In the end I just opened SSH up and used wget and did it myself…

I’m not sure why they got rid of the original system, but I suppose the security risk of making all of wp-content writable could be part of it. Then again, I haven’t really kept up with WordPress at all since I left.