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WordPress 2.6, more updates more (possible) Plugin problems

WordPress 2.6 will soon be released, and much like 2.5 it may very well lead to a wide range of Plugin related problems. In this case though it’s not the normal range of programming level issues, but related to a security change in the structure of WordPress.

In 2.6 it appears that they want to allow the admin to alter the basic location of both the wp-config.php file (which contains the database/username/password information for WordPress) and the wp-content folder (which contains the theme/plugin/image/media uploads folders). I was honestly somewhat surprised when I first started using WordPress that these areas weren’t already variable based for their locations. Most other older CMS programs had implemented these types of customization options over time to help combat security vulnerabilities. Obviously the recent string of WordPress hackings have finally prompted the dev team to add this into WordPress.

So, what does this mean to Plugin programmers? Well, for very basic Plugins probably not much. However, the more powerful and wide ranging Plugins will need to probably be rewritten…again. Anything that needs to write to a specific folder or location will be impacted. Some Plugins that “require” the wp-config.php file will also be affected–this is even true in the cases of some Theme files too. So this could be very fun. The upshot though is the possible changes in this case are elective–the WordPress site admin will need to actively change the default locations for the config file and wp-content folders–so I’m hoping anyone who decides to do this will also be able to understand and compensate for any plugins that may need to be altered.

As for the AWSOM series of plugins, I’m going to work on and release an update soon for any that are impacted by these changes, so there shouldn’t be a problem going forward.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to a good write up on the changes Plugin writers need to know to be compatible with the new 2.6 version–> http://planetozh.com/blog/2008/07/what-plugin-coders-must-know-about-wordpress-26/


  1. You’ve identified the key element in this yourself: “The upshot though is the possible changes in this case are elective.” How many users will start changing the locations of wp-config.php and the wp-content folder just because they can? Many of these users are too intimidated to even upgrade WP on a regular basis; I can’t see them choosing to muck around with locations.

    Still, I agree that plugin authors need to stay abreast of these changes, as you are doing.

  2. You are totally right about the customization being probably rare, but since it *could* happen I have to assume that it will be customized. It’s never easy being a Plugin developer :)

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