I spent some time this weekend looking into ways to spend less time maintaining my WordPress installs. WordPress has had the ability to automatically update itself but it doesn’t work for me. While I could go down the path that got the plugin auto-update working for me I wasn’t willing to make my entire WordPress install writable by Apache. So it was time to investigate installing WordPress via Subversion (svn).
The WordPress folks have the procedure well documented. I followed the instructions for a new install and for converting a “traditional” install to a Subversion checkout. The instructions given were easy to follow. I install WordPress into the root directory of my sites so I just had to change the commands appropriately.
Installing the svn client on Ubuntu was accomplished with Aptitude by using the command:
sudo aptitude install subversion
While this isn’t any option with many hosts, it’s a benefit of using my own VPS. I’ve only done installs so far, but it appears updates will be easy.