Yoast on Why They Don’t Support Old WordPress Versions

Joost de Valk posted an interesting article about their support policy the other day. Specifically, about not supporting old WordPress versions. Joost comes to an interesting conclusion:

In short: upgrade. I know some developers out there are saying that we can’t “require” people to upgrade, well, I disagree. He compares it to Apple not forcing you to buy a new Mac when it breaks. The difference there is that we’re not talking about hardware. We’re talking about software. Apple regularly asks you to upgrade your system to fix battery issues or other issues.

My thinking is pretty much the same as Joost’s in that we have to agree with that the line has to be drawn somewhere. Do you agree with his take on where that line should be? Is one version behind really fair?


  1. says

    Totally agree with you and Yoast. Many problems are avoided by keeping the software up to date and nothing happens by force or educate users that they should upgrade their software.

  2. says

    The software moves really quick. Talking about WordPress, one version behind is 6-12 months, which means a lot of time.
    In the other hand, it’s all about security. As a developer I think that we must force our clients to upgrade, and that we must force ourselves to make our code easily upgradeable. The benefits are clear here.

  3. Asbjørn says

    There are two camps here as I see it. A distributor of a free product. And a distributor of a paid for product.

    Distributors of free products can do what they please. People choose to use their products. If you want a good relationship with the user, you give them what they need (not always what they want). That would in most cases involve updates. And anyway, it is their product. They set the terms.

    The same goes for a paid product I’d say. But with some other terms included. If you sell something, you should be honest about the product. You should inform the customer as much as you can about what it is and how it works. If you can foresee an update, or if updates are a part of the products “life”, then it is ok. If you sell the product on the basis of telling the customer it never needs to be upgraded, and it will have to be, then you lied, and it’s a whole other story.

    That pretty much sums it up. I could go on. But it all boils down to premises and promises. And what is legal. And what relationship you want with your customer.

  4. says

    I don’t think it is fair to expect developers to maintain support back one version. I only support the current stable version and have no intention of providing backwards support like Joost no matter how many people may complain. Thankfully things are normally backwards compatible anyway, so it’s mostly a moot point.

  5. says

    Keep updating to safer and compatible versions, else you might have a …surprise when you visit your website.
    I’m not saying is good to update next second, take some time and check if others had problems or experienced anything after update, that’s the best way.

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