It’s a familiar scenario for you. You’re gazing at a customer’s WordPress dashboard when you see that a new update is available for a fancy plugin you’ve installed on all of your client’s websites. You skim through the plugin’s changelog, convinced you can handle the update without any issues.
“Easy-peasy. I’ve done this a million times before. No need for a staging or testing website.”
With a sense of confidence, you click on “update,” and the progress bar flickers to “Updated.” You quickly check the new settings of the plugin, and everything appears to be working smoothly.
“This took me no time at all! Piece of cake,” you think to yourself.
Feeling triumphant, you open the front page of the website. But to your horror, the page is blank. A wave of panic hits you, and you feel like you’re losing your mind.
As if things couldn’t get worse, your phone starts ringing. You hear the voice of an angry customer on the other end of the line. They’re shouting about emails not going through, orders not being processed, and a campaign that’s gone haywire. Your heart sinks as you realize you’re responsible for the chaos.
You can’t let your client know you’re at fault. You tell them you’ll solve the issue and hang up the phone. But you’re not sure how you’re going to fix this. It’s been smooth sailing in the past, but something is different this time.
You try a quick fix by renaming the plugin’s folder via FTP, but it doesn’t work. You’re in a race against the clock as the website has been offline for fifteen minutes. You’re sweating, and your heart is racing.
It’s time to enable debugging to get to the root of the problem. You remember that there are some permissions issues on the site that prevent debugging from working correctly. You’re kicking yourself for not having fixed it sooner. But you’re running out of time, and you have to act fast.
You enable debugging on the website’s front end, even though it’s risky. You can’t afford to waste any more time. You reload the website and wait for the error message to appear.
Finally, an error message pops up. But it’s not the one you were expecting. It’s a fatal error, and it’s pointing to a function that doesn’t exist in the WordPress source code.
“What’s going on?” you ask yourself, scanning the WordPress source code frantically.
But you’re determined to solve this. You have a feeling that you’re close. You try something desperate. You go directly into the website’s heart and open the file that’s causing the error. You modify the code and upload it to the theme directory.
You reload the website, hoping that it’s the last time. And finally, the customer’s logo appears on the screen and the website loads without any issues.
Relieved, you feel as though a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. But you realize that you still have to explain to your customer why you updated a plugin on their production website without testing it first.
You put on your jacket, ready to leave the office, but you can’t shake the feeling that you’ve made a huge mistake.