The worst part about SaaS

And... that's why you don't hack the core

And… that’s why you don’t hack the core

Since I recently gushed on about how wonderful it is to run a SasS business, it’s only fair to share with you a downside.1

This morning I quickly checked my small-side-business SaaS site before heading off to work, only to find the thing that people actually pay to use was not working.  Dropping everything, I quickly started hunting through code.  I haven’t changed a single word of core logic on the site in about six months, so there’s no reason this problem should be occurring.

Except that whenever WordPress asks me if I want to update, I immediately do so.  Sometimes really minor changes to WordPress functionality create huge tangles of CSS and HTML, as it did in this case.  Once I tracked down the problem I quickly hacked together a solution and uploaded it back to the site. 2  Thankfully it’s now working as well as it did before I found this problem.

Because my site has been working so well for so long3 I’ve been loathe to build a better design for the logic.  In the very long run, it will save me time, but in near future/short run of a few months all it will do is suck up time without demonstrating a tangible benefit.  I suppose being less prone to breakage is a tangible benefit, but I spend less than 2 hours a year dealing with minor problems like this.  The prospect of spending two months rewriting and then rechecking code to save 2 hours a year doesn’t seem like a worthwhile investment.

Frankly, what I need to do is come up with some other tangible benefits that when added with the existing fixes I need to perform will have a more tangible4 benefit, and then jump into building them all.

  1. I don’t know where the original picture comes from, but I got it from this website. []
  2. And, really, it’s a nearly unforgivable hack.  Rather than figuring out how to fix the problem in the plugin, I commented out the newly-bad code and hacked that same code directly into the website’s theme.  I know, I know…  nearly unforgivable.  At least I didn’t try to hack the core.  []
  3. The core logic of the site has been essentially unchanged since about 2008. []
  4. Read: immediate monetary []

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