Reflecting on the Give 2.0 Release

It’s been a week since we release 2.0.0 and I just finished releasing version 2.0.1 which includes a number of important fixes.

For a large percentage of our users the release has been smooth and they upgraded just fine. However, some of our users experienced issues and we apologize for that. Moving our codebase into the future is important to us but we never want to have our users to have a bad experience. The good thing is though that those who reached out to us were able to roll back Give version to 1.8.19 and continue accepting donations without any issue.

Give 2.0.1 Health Checks

In this point release we have included additional checks to determine whether 2.0.0 completed successfully or not. As always, we recommend you take a snapshot (aka “backup”) of your website prior to upgrading.

The Nature of WordPress Plugin Development

At the time of this writing Give has 30,000+ active installs. That’s a lot of websites and environments to be compatible with when you want to perform complex data migrations. There are a number of excellent hosts out there for WordPress and many like to configure their environments in ways that are often difficult to predict. Some servers have firewalls or security measures in place that potential could break Give’s ability to connect with WP’s admin AJAX while others would have plugins that could conflict.

We’ve Done Our Best to Correct Upgrade Issues

Version 2.0.1 includes a number of checks for folks that:

  1. Upgraded to 2.0.0
  2. Experienced an issue
  3. Downgraded back to 1.8.19
  4. …And continued using Give

…or:

  1. Upgrade 2.0.0
  2. Experienced an issue
  3. Stayed on 2.0.0

We want you to update to 2.0+ and this point release includes additional checks so your migration will be a smooth experience.

What We Learned from the 2.0.0 Release

It’s important to reflect back on what we learned in the 2.0.0 release and how we can improve from it.

Here’s what we did well post-2.0.0 release:

  1. Constant Communication: The entire team this past week has stayed in constant communication with customers experiencing update issues. Our development and support teams have done a great job duplicating sites experiencing issues and passing that off to support to determine the issues and add fixes for the issues found within the 2.0.1 upgrade routine.
  2. Rapid Development: We’ve been working around the clock to get these issues stomped out. Despite the challenges, we don’t want any percentage of our users to experience problems with data migrations and we’ve implemented the best approaches we feel possible to work in all the various WP hosting environments.
  3. Validate Fixes and Test Thoroughly: With such a large variety of environments running Give it’s important to test, test, and then test some more. This means all sorts of server and database configurations, PHP versions, MySQL versions, and more. It’s not a controlled environment and we’re ready to take on that challenge. 2.0.1 is our best effort towards that.

Here’s what we can improve for our next major release:

  1. Beta Program: Before our next major release we will implement a Beta test program for users comfortable with helping test new major versions. Keep an eye out for that before the next major release.
  2. Improve Automated Testing: There were a number of issues we experienced with the 2.0.0 release that could have been caught had we more automated testing in place. Currently this means more PHPunit tests but I would also like to see if we could also benefit more from browser automation.
  3. Faster Releasing: It’s been almost a week since 2.0.0 release and I think we could have pushed this point release faster. If you’ve been waiting for it, I apologize for the delay. We wanted to ensure it was a solid release however I question whether we should’ve had multiple point releases to help remedy the situation faster. It’s a delicate balance of often burdening admins with more updates or waiting until you have a solid one in place. In the future we may take the approach of more rapid releases.

Time to Update to 2.0+

Now that 2.0.1 is here I’m confident you can update to 2.0+ without an issue. If you ever experience an issue you can always contact our support for assistance.

See you on the 2.0+ Here’s to the future!

 

 

Devin Walker

Head of Product and Founder of GiveWP, WordPress enthusiast, WordCamp speaker, mediocre golfer, post-rock obsessed cat lover and aspiring world traveler.

 

6 thoughts on “Reflecting on the Give 2.0 Release

  1. I have a political site that includes the Stripe add-on (paid for). Will upgrading to 2.0.1 recognize all premium features I have or will I need to relocate license/api codes for it?

  2. Missed a lot of donations in the middle of a fundraising campaign – when was the communication about the upgrade to 2.0? Somehow I missed that. Still not fixed as we just learned credit card processing not working due to error message last night

  3. Hi Devin, thanks to the whole team for rapidly responding to issues. Nice to see the note added to developer docs that the existing examples don’t use the 2.0 methods. Still waiting for updated docs or a blog post to tell us how we should be doing custom fields with 2.0+.

    One aspect of upgrading and rapid releases I’d ask you and the team to give consideration to is that some of us are supporting dozens of those 30,000 sites using Give and every update is a significant undertaking for us. Less is definitely more when it comes to workload and profitability. That doesn’t mean critical fixes should be held back. It does mean increased testing and solid releases that don’t need immediate fixes are far more valuable to us than frequent releases. It also means we’d be happy to help with the beta testing for your, our and the entire user base’s benefit.

    1. Hey Scott, I understand that updating dozens of websites can be an undertaking. However, we do want to progress Give into the future and doing that can sometimes mean some more significant changes need to be made to shed legacy code or database structures. 2.0 was our most significant release to date which included database upgrades which for some environments has been an issue.

      WordPress is unique compared to most platforms in the fact that “rapid” development is somewhat discouraged by users because of the upgrade responsibility you outlined in your comment. We’re going to do our best to balance this burden and our need to push the platform into the future. Of course, we’re going to learn from our past and improve the release process to it’s less of a burden and a smooth experience. Thanks for your comment!

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