Subversion offers many promises for casual Wordpress users, such as the ability to update Wordpress using a single shell command. But many underlying challenges also remain. This post examines what makes the lure of Subversion so strong for Wordpress users while thoroughly discussing the challenges the author faced in an experimental deployment of Subversion. Subversion clients are also discussed. The article concludes with a “wish-list” for the ideal theoretical Subversion client.
While Wordpress offers the functionality of upgrading core files, themes and plugins via the Dashboard, this feature cannot be used with some webhosts who are keen on security. Upgrading via FTP is time-consuming and error prone. FTP is also not very secure. To quote one webhost, “Its 2012, and you shouldn’t be using FTP for anything.” Subversion offers the promise of one-click one-command, lightning-fast, server side upgrades. Is Subversion the way to go or has Subversion yet to grow up for the casual Wordpress user?