It’s happened to all of us at some point or another. We see the shiny ‘Update’ button on our WordPress dashboard, phone, or other platform with excitement and can’t wait until it’s done so we can play with our new shiny features. Most of the time new features are a welcome addition and we want them on, but what happens when a new feature actually hurts you or has an unwanted outcome?

Think in the terms of an SEO plugin (I’m not naming names or even thinking of one specifically). Many companies or businesses spend hours, days, or weeks properly setting up their SEO strategy. They execute this in their plugin, then on the next ‘update’ a new feature is added that auto enabled a feature they weren’t aware of, changing their SEO footprint. It may take weeks for them to realize why their page ranks have changed and traffic is down. There are plenty of other cases. WordPress themes for instance, can sometimes add new features that conflict with plugins installed to do the same thing. Maybe colorblox/floatbox/*box was added to the theme, but the user already has a plugin installed to handle this.

I think my point comes across pretty clearly in those two cases. If you are adding features to your plugins, apps and platforms you should be thinking of the impact you may have on your users before you default that setting to ‘On’. I prefer to err on the side of caution and make my new features ‘Opt In’, due to their usage of an external API and interrupting a users’ day with push notifications.

What are your thoughts on new features and their implementation?

Posted by Chris Klosowski

Chris Klosowski is the Director of Technology at Sandhills Development, LLC, creators of fine WordPress plugins, and ecommerce solutions.

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