21 Comments

  1. Rene

    Chapeau – Very ambitious but well done. My respect for such a task

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  2. WildCrow

    Awesome, CLI all the way :)

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  3. Andrew Smallwood

    Wow, amazing to make such an implementation at scale. I’d think the dev team was probably sweating bullets all month. Big Accomplishment though. Did you have to get user approval to make such an update

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  4. Central Geek

    My compliments. This approach I agree with for many reasons. The first is the process begins with backing up the site. Verifying the update worked and if not restoring the backup.

    That’s the way it should be done.

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  5. Terence

    I maintain just 60+ sites so its easy for me to keep them updated, but updating more than 2.5 million customer sites would scare me S H one T less.

    Props to the devs and admins at Bluehost.

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  6. Christina

    Not always a good thing. The client had a custom WordPress theme created a couple of years ago. Someone much later created a theme with the same name and released it. That theme also had a child theme.

    BlueHost upgraded the theme It broke the client’s website.

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    • Garth Mortensen

      Fortunately, Bluehost saves the backup they made right before updating. You can restore that backup from the “WordPress Tools” section of the Bluehost control panel and then turn off updates for themes for that specific site. Hope this helps.

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  7. Peter Cralen

    The hosting company should keep updated server’s software such as PHP, MySQL … instead of user’s app. I can not imagine, that my host touches any of my files.
    The interesting thing here, that Bluehost updated WP, but still not on php7. Is Bluehost hosting company or managed WP service?
    Anyway, update so many websites with success is technically cool work.

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    • Marko Heijnen

      Moving to PHP7 isn’t as straightforward as I first thought it would be. Depending on their supported modules I can understand why they aren’t on 7 yet since some of them haven’t a stable release yet.

      Also 2 Months ago at the WordPress community summit it was discussed how to upgrade safely the PHP version. That is also a huge challenge to be tackled. It’s still on my plate to build some tools to check the quality of a plugin and which versions it works on

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      • Terence

        Tread carefully Marko. I am finding even certain very experienced software developer ~ who shall remain nameless ~ and the kind of developer you would have thought would know better, is saying his software has been updated, tested and runs on PHP 7.x, But I’m finding it doesn’t. In fact it even abends upon activation. Just goes to show there’s nothing like a real world environment for testing/breaking software.

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        • Marko Heijnen

          I totally get that. That is also what worries hosts to force update customers PHP version. Currently they don’t have good enough options to check if a site breaks. So every additional piece they can use is a win for them and the community. In the end it’s all about reducing breaking customers sites.

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    • Garth Mortensen

      As Matt mentioned in the State of the Word, Bluehost is also updating customers PHP versions.

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    • jezza101

      PHP 5 isn’t dead and buried! 5.6 has security support until 2019!

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    • Alfonso

      PHP 7.x for production environments means you like to live at the edge of the razor.

      Here for production (and we manage servers with >50M of hits daily on the OPC cache) we use 5.5.x versions and no one blamed/cried for it.

      I would be very vary of being hosted at a place where their PHP is a 5.2 or a 5.3 and their support says about ‘compatibility matrix’ or BS like that.

      Certainly cPanel et al doesn’t help to alleviate this.

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    • John

      Totally agree.

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  8. Jeffrey

    Kudos to Blue Host!

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  9. Marlon

    Any clue about why they choose Perl to handle this? Is Perl good for scripiting servers? Thanks Bluehost for sharing this!

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    • Marko Heijnen

      At my previous job at a host they also used it for some tasks. But personally never used it so can’t say much about it then it has a lot of linux library packages.

      My main guess would be that it’s one of the few languages that was already available on the servers and from those it was the best option.

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    • Anastis

      Perl was pretty-much the de-facto standard scripting language in POSIX systems for the biggest part of 90’s and 00’s.

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