Beware QuickInstall Auto-Update

I have always preferred to install scripts on my hosting account myself. I do this because I do not find the task difficult, and because I like to control exactly how and where it is installed.

My hosting account used to provide a tool, Fantastico, which would install many common scripts for you. I tried it once or twice but found that it was just as easy to do it myself.

My CPanel gets upgraded regularly by my hosting company, Hostgator, and some time ago, Fantastico disappeared and was replaced by QuickInstall.

I gave QuickInstall a try when I wanted to install another WordPress blog and found that it did a very good job, so I actually used it again to set up another 3 blogs. One feature that I really liked about QuickInstall was that it could be set to automatically upgrade WordPress when a new version was released. Little did I know that this would be the downfall of one of my sites.

I had set up the blogs on various domains that I was not using for the time being. The blogs helped maintain the domains’ rankings in Google and the other search engines until such time as I decided to use them for another purpose.

On one such domain, I deleted WordPress and installed an affiliate store script and set it up to sell coffee makers. The store did quite well considering that I was doing very little to promote it. I had a nice little stream of sales. Nothing to make me a fortune, but some welcome extra cash. Then the click-throughs and sales dropped off. When I visited the site I discovered that it was broken and the message that I was getting referred to WordPress, which I had deleted.

It turns out that even though I had deleted WordPress, QuickInstall was still set to install newer versions of WordPress, and it had done just that. As I had also deleted the database that WordPress had previously used, the new installation failed to work. QuickInstall is not clever enough to notice that WordPress is no longer there, so it blindly installs the latest release.

The moral of this story is that if you use QuickInstall to install a script, use it to uninstall it as well before you install anything else. Or at least switch off auto-update.

July 27, 2012 · Phil Rogers · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Internet

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