Version 3.8.3 came out today of All In One WP Security & Firewall, and if you look through the changelog you’ll see a familiar name… mine!
We use AIO at my 9-to-5 on our client sites, and recently the plugin implemented a nice import/export feature for its security settings. It’s useful for just keeping a backup of your config around “in case”, as well as setting up one site once and then being able to rapidly deploy those same settings to other website.
Unfortunately, we ran into an issue in one of our hosting environments where we were running into inconsistent issues getting the import to work. Some sites would work, some wouldn’t, and we couldn’t track down any different PHP settings between the sites nor any other glaringly obvious things (they were all running the most up to date versions of the plugin, the most up to date version of WordPress core, etc). The problem seemed to be attached to failed fopen() function calls, but we still didn’t know why.
But that’s where the power of the open source community springs into action! Since I had access to the source code, I did some digging through their process and within about an hour, I had refactored some of their functions to support an alternate means of importing via an HTML textarea field. That way we wouldn’t have to worry about uploading a file to the server to be read; we could just copy/paste the JSON contents of our export file into the textarea and click the Import button.
After fully testing it, and using it ourselves, I decided to reach out to the plugin authors via their support forum on the wordpress.org repository and let them know what I had done. I gave them the source code to review if they wanted to consider it for a future version: and they did!
It may be a very small update, but it still felt good to contribute to another plugin author to help advance their plugin. And the tip of the hat in the release notes brought a smile to my face, too. Not bad for a plugin with nearly half a million users!