You know the drill. WordPress comes out with a new update, then you hope and pray that it doesn't damage anything on your site.
You've worked hard on your blog, eCommerce or business site, so it feels a little frustrating that a little update could bring it all crashing down.
Obviously, a site backup is encouraged before completing a plugin or WordPress update, but what about researching what might have gone wrong afterwards?
A simple plugin update might have conflicted with your contact form, or maybe your portfolio isn't showing up the way it used to. Minor updates like these sometimes go unnoticed, or you at least have to go clicking around your entire website to find them.
WP Boom has developed a system that notifies you if a visual change has occurred after a plugin or WordPress update. You're not required to install a plugin, and the website has a free plan for monitoring two websites. Upon first glance the visual snapshot comparisons look promising and the weekly alerts sound impressive. But let's take a look at a deeper WP Boom review to see who can take advantage of the tools.
How WP Boom Works (And Its Coolest Features)
Only a few steps are involved with the entire WP Boom process. First, you go to the website and sign up. Type in your new site URL, then specify which day you'd like to get your weekly snapshot. You also have options to fill in tags, display names and a development URL if needed. After that you click on the Create Site button.
WP Boom then takes a full snapshot of your current site.
Ideally you can update WordPress or some plugins right from the start. This way you can see the effects immediately.
Taking a New Snapshot to Compare After the Updates
Upon completing the plugin or WordPress updates, move forward by taking a new snapshot to compare with the old one. As you can see from the screenshot below, you can even use WP Boom to find broken links that you might not have known about before.
View Changes After the Updates
One of my sites saw a 3% overall change, which is pretty good for a full WordPress update along with updates on seven plugins. What's really interesting is that WP Boom reveals how much each individual page has changed visually.
It looks like my primary portfolio page has seen a 14% change, so I might want to check out what's going on there.
WP Boom even has visual screenshots (or snapshots) for every one of your pages. You might notice that your text has moved a bit, or maybe your logo isn't quite as centered as it once was. Who knows? Maybe your entire site crashes and you see close to a 100% change.
Regardless, this visual breakdown and automated monitoring system certainly helps those with concerns about updates. After all, updates are meant to make your performance and security better, while also giving you more features. Therefore, you're better off making the updates and using a tool like WP Boom to quickly find troublesome updates.
WP Boom Weekly Updates
Now, it's somewhat unrealistic to assume that you're going to remember to run a test every week or month. Therefore, WP Boom takes your email address and sends a weekly report to your inbox. The majority of changes will occur when you make some sort of update, but you might catch something after installing a new plugin as well.
The emails are straightforward, with a percentage of how much each site has changed, along with a full comparison for each site you have. Therefore, you can passively monitor updates and only try to fix things when something is truly wrong.
WP Boom Pricing
As you can see, the Free plan has all features from the priced options. The only difference is that you get support for more websites. I love this setup, since individuals can get the tools for free, and you can jump up a plan whenever you get additional sites.
- Free - $0 to check two websites and see snapshot comparisons and weekly alerts.
- Owner - $9 per month to check 10 websites and see snapshot comparisons and weekly alerts.
- Developer - $29 per month to check 35 websites and see snapshot comparisons and weekly alerts.
- Agency - $49 per month to check 70 websites and see snapshot comparisons and weekly alerts.
- Hosting - $89 per month to check 150 websites and see snapshot comparisons and weekly alerts.
Customer Support from WP Boom
The only area for customer support comes from a contact form on the WP Boom website. Therefore, you shouldn't expect anything like a forum, ticketing system or live chat. It's possible that we see this in the future, but the website is currently basic enough for even the most beginner of users to understand.
The developers also have a blog, but only one blog post has been made. I expect some big things from WP Boom in the future, seeing as how the current product offers a strong snapshot of your site updates, and it eliminates some of the work you have to do after these updates. So maybe we'll see some cool new features and support offerings on the horizon.
Should You Consider WP Boom for Your Site?
The quick answer to this is yes. WordPress developers constantly have to worry about whether or not a WordPress or plugin update is going to affect their websites, so it's nice to see a way to evaluate what changes have occurred. Not only does the site give you a visual look into the modifications after an update but you gain access to the weekly messages.
Furthermore, you're not required to install another plugin that might conflict with your theme or current plugins. It's all handled on the WP Boom website.
Consider WP Boom If...
- You're curious about the little changes that occur to your site when updating WordPress or plugins.
- You're concerned about your site crashing or drastically changing after an update.
- You'd like a passive way to understand these changes (with help from messages sent to your inbox).
Don't Consider WP Boom If...
- You're running your site on anything other than WordPress.
- You'd like more support from WP Boom (although the website is pretty easy to use without significant support).
- You think this is going to replace backups before making an update.
Overall, WP Boom shows what's been broken or moved around on your site after the fact. Therefore, full site and database backups are still encouraged before updating WordPress or plugins. However, WP Boom is a wonderful tool for exploring what might have gone wrong or what fixes you may need to make after completing an update.
It breaks down each of your URLs so that you don't have to go clicking around the website yourself. Even the slightest movement of text or media is reflected in the snapshots, so it cuts down on significant work. I'd recommend that anyone with a WordPress site bookmark WP Boom and sign up for the free plan. This delivers all offered features for two websites, and you can always upgrade if you need more.
If you have any questions about this WP Boom review, let us know in the comments section below! Also share your thoughts after you've tried it out.